[Comte de Buffon]. Histoire naturelle, gÃ©nÃ©rale et paticuliÃ¨re. [-des oiseaux, -des mineraux, -supplement], Par M. de Buffon. Intendant du Jardin du Roi, de l'AcadÃ©mie FranÃ§oise, & de celle des Sciences, &c. Paris: de l'Imprimerie Royale, 1769-1789. Nouvelle edition. [together with:] [Comte de LacÃ©pÃ¨de]. Histoire naturelle des quadrupeds ovipares et des serpens. Paris: HÃ´tel de Thou, 1788-1790. New edition. [and:] [Comte de LacÃ©pÃ¨de]. Histoire naturelle [-des poisson, -des cÃ©tacÃ©es]. Paris: Plassan, 1798-1804. New Edition. Seventy-one twelvemo volumes, broken down as follows: Histoire naturelle: thirteen volumes; Birds: eighteen volumes; Minerals: nine volumes; Supplement: fourteen volumes; Oviparous quadrupeds and serpents: four volumes; Fish: eleven volumes; Cetaceans: two volumes. Containing a total of 886 illustrated plates, six of which are folding. Near-uniform contemporary sprinkled calf, spines elaborately decorated in gilt in seven compartments with floral device, red and green morocco labels, board edges ruled or tooled in gilt; marbled page edges and marbled or sprinkled endpapers; excepting Minerals in contemporary mottled calf, spine with five raised bands and elaborate gilt compartments; all edges stained red and marbled endpapers. General shelfwear with occasional minor chipping to spine ends; some joints tender; some title labels dulled to brown; some corners bumped and worn; sporadic minor biopredation to only a few volumes; one leaf (Birds, volume eleven) and one plate (Oviparous quadrupeds, volume four) detached and laid in. Includes two duplicate volumes in Birds (volumes one and four) and three volumes from Å’uvres complÃ¨tes with repeated content. A very good collection of a landmark natural history work.
"In this monumental and fascinating Histoire naturelle, Buffon dealt in a stimulating manner with almost all the problems that would subsequently be raised by evolutionists. Writing in a brilliant style, this work was read in French or in one of the numerous translations by every educated person in Europe. It is no exaggeration to claim that virtually all the well-known writers of the Enlightenment and even of later generations, in France as well as in other European countries were Buffonians, either directly or indirectly. Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the eighteenth century." -Ernst Mayr. The Growth of Biological Thought.