RAFINESQUE, CONSTANTINE SAMUEL. 1783-1840.
Précis des découvertes et travaux somiologiques de Mr. C. S. Rafinesque-Schmaltz, entre 1800 et 1814 ... en Zoologie et en Botanique. Palermo, Sicily: Royale typographie Militaire ... aux depens de l'Auteur, 1814. WITH: Circular Address on Botany and Zoology; followed by the prospectus of two periodical works; Annals of Nature and Somiology of North America. Philadelphia: printed for the Author, by S. Merritt, 1816.
2 works in one volume, 12mo (136 x 92mm). 55, ; 36 pp. Near-contemporary blue leather-backed marbled paper-backed boards, spine gilt. Some light spotting, binding with upper hinge split
FIRST EDITION OF BOTH WORKSBOTH ARE EXTREMELY RARE. One copy of the first work is listed as having sold at auction in 1977, the last recorded copy on offer of the second work was offered by the dealers Eberstadt in 1956. Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, or Rafinesque-Schmaltz as he is known in Europe, is now recognized as having made important contributions in various scientific fields, including botany, zoology, the study of prehistoric earthworks in North America and the ancient linguistics of Mesoamerica. The present works mark the end of one phase of his life (from 1805 to 1815 he lived and worked in Palermo, Sicily) and the start of the next, when he moved to America, initially settling in New York.