Coral through a microscope
Ellis, John. An Essay towards a Natural History of the Corallines, and other marine productions of the like kind, commonly found on the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. To which is added the description of a large marine polype taken near the North Pole by the Whale-fishers, in the summer 1753. London: For the Author, 1755. Contemporary calf. Quarto, 260 x 195mm. xvii, , 103 pp. Frontispiece, plates numbered I-XXXVIII ( many folding, a few out of order), as well as the folding plate of Cuff's aquatic microscope [i.e. forty engraved plates total]. Some offsetting, spine tanned, very good.
First edition, this work is notable for demonstrating for the first time that Corals were animals rather than plants. John Ellis (1705?-1776) was an Irish-born naturalist and merchant in London and agent for West Florida (1764) and for the Island of Dominica (1770). He had built up a well-known Herbarium from which he did send specimens to many botanists, a. o. to Linnaeus. Specimens received by Ellis from his correspondents are also in the Smith herbarium. Ellis is best known as the author of the present Essay. He published also some pamphlets on the subject of preserving plants and seeds during long voyages. The work was also translated into French, Dutch, in the same year and printed by the same printer, as well into German (in 1767). (#kfk518)