Two esthetic hundreds of seeds of cultivated plants and weeds by Raffaello Sernagiotto

Two esthetic hundreds of seeds of cultivated plants and weeds by Raffaello Sernagiotto

450 euros

Dimensions

Case : 21x16 cm

Circa

1905

Country of manufacture

Other

Categories: Scientific, Natural history

Description

The Sernagiotto’s Collection is a valuable collection of seeds of cultivated plants and weeds, which was assembled at the beginning of the last century by Prof. Raffaello Sernagiotto, between 1905 and 1908.

 

The Sernagiotto’s Collection is particularly interesting for three reasons:

-Historical Aspects: Raffaello Sernagiotto was born in Treviso on January 12th, 1858. In July of the same year Charles Darwin expounded his theory On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection at the Linnean Society in London. Sernagiotto’s birth, therefore, coincided with the growth of nineteenth century naturalism. The noble origins of the Sernagiotto da Sernaglia family go back to the 13th century. Count Raffaello Sernagiotto of Casavecchia was involved in agriculture in various ways and places. Amongst his professional activities he was Director of the Control Service of Agricultural Seeds at the Royal School of Viticulture and Oenology “Umberto I” in Alba, and Principal of the High School of Agriculture in Cagliari. He died in Padua in 1935, at the age of 77.

 

-Technical aspects : the collection contains samples of seeds of 200 (on 1000) cultivated plants and weeds, in ten groups of a hundred. An impressive range of biodiversity ! 

The collection is contained in several printed cardboard cases with a volume compiled by Prof. Sernagiotto which lists the entire collection.

The botanical preparation/mounting is of great quality, invisible and preserving perfectly the species exhibited.

 

-Artistic Aspects: and, finally, the aesthetic aspect, which evokes the lines:

“… Amidst this immensity my thought drowns: 

and to flounder in this sea is sweet to me.” (Giacomo Leopardi, 1819)

 

This may seem an obvious reference to Leopardi’s Infinito, to highlight nature’s almost infinite variety in the concept of biodiversity. But, in fact, there is a historical justification: Count Raffaello Sernagiotto was the great-grandson of Teresa Teja Leopardi, sister-in-law of Giacomo Leopardi. Here, the agronomist has few of his own tools to describe the aesthetic beauty of this collection, just the “wonder” aroused by natural phenomena, even for objects as small as seeds. So miniscule, but so very important in biological processes, as agents that perpetuate the species. The wonder of nature which inspires the Agronomist and is the fundamental reason why he chooses his profession.

(See, Vincenzo TABAGLIO and Adriano MAROCCO, La Collezione Sernagiotto. Raccolta di Semi di piante agragei ed infeste, Milano, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 2011)

 

We know only one complete example, the Sernagiotto own’s copy preserved at the Istituto di Agronomia, Facoltà di Agraria, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

All the edited boxes are extremley rare.

The condition of this two centuries are genrally very good excepted few small lackings.

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FR Le Zograscope

Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris, Le Zograscope specializes in antique and rare books in Science, Medicine and Technology, and rare antique instruments in the same fields. We have especially a strong interest in early and continental microscopy, early and special mathematical/drawing instruments, medical and surgical instrument, and rare technology.

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