Publisher Information: London: For the author by R. & J. E. Taylor, 1848.
Owen, Richard (1804-92). On the archetype and homologies of the vertebrate skeleton. 8vo. viii, 203pp. 6 plates (2 folding); 3 folding tables. London: for the author by Richard & John E. Taylor, 1848. 222 x 142 mm. (unopened). Original cloth, spine a bit faded, front free endpaper restored. Light browning, but very good to fine.
First Edition. Owen’s comprehensive account of transcendental osteology—i.e., an osteology based on the concept of an ideal form or archetype—was first delivered as a two-part report to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1846. “In mid-Victorian days . . . the archetype notion had above all a connotation of vertebrate morphology, and was closely associated with Owen’s book On the Archetype. In fact the vertebrate archetype has been Owen’s most enduring and most widely acknowledged claim to fame . . . Used in the sense of an abstract anatomical plan, the term appeared for the first time in Owen’s writings in the published version of the two-part BAAS report . . . The BAAS report of 1847 did not yet contain the actual sketch of the vertebrate archetype. This appeared for the first time in 1848 when the report was published in book form, On the Archetype, with additional plates and thirty pages of new text” (Rupke, Richard Owen: Victorian Naturalist, p. 189; see also pp. 188-91). “Through his elaboration of his theory of archetypes, Owen provided a major assist to the much-needed standardization of anatomical nomenclature and greatly clarified the distinction between the anatomical concepts of homology and analogy” (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). Garrison-Morton.com 330. Owen, Life, II, p. 351.Book Id: 50257