Scheuchzer, Johann Jakob; Agrostographia sive Graminum, Juncorum, Cyperorum, Cyperoidum, iisque affinium Historia. Tiguri (Zurich), Typis & Sumptibus Bodmeriania, 1719. Quarto, pp. title in red and black, 40, 512, 24, 8 folded and 11 unfolded plates of grains and grasses.
The first edition of a rare work in a 19th century calf over marbled boards with gilt titles. The binding is tight and clean with light scuffing to boards. Penciled notations on end sheet indicating 1st edition state and pagination, light foxing to first text leaves and last plates. In very good condition.
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A Swiss geologist and paleontologist, Scheuchzer (1672-1733) is considered the founder of paleobotany. His father, Johann Jakob Scheuchzer (1645-88), was a successful physician in Zürich. In 1679 he became Stadtarzt. He died when Scheuchzer was not quite sixteen. During the 17th and 18th centuries the family was one of the leading families in Zürich. In addition to his work on fossil plants, Scheuchzer also studied living plants, especially grasses and grains. Within his “Agrostographia” work he provides the first systematic description and classification of grasses and grains and illustrates the grasses on 19 plates.