Clifford Dobell’s copy of an important work on microscopy
Stock Number: 012
Nice copy of Wilhelm Kühne's 'Untersuchungen über das Protoplasma und die Contractilität' (1864, 8 plates), from the library of the noted protozoologist and historian of the microscope Clifford Dobell (1886–1949)
Country of manufacture
Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne, Untersuchungen über das Protoplasma und die Contractilität (Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann, 1864), pp. vii, 158, 8 plates [one folding; two copies of pl. v erroneously bound in, one in place of pl. vi].
Kühne (1837–1900) was a pupil of Claude Bernard, Ernst Brücke and Emil du Bois-Reymond (to whom the present work is dedicated). He was professor of physiology at Amsterdam and Heidelberg, and is perhaps now best known for coining the term ‘enzyme’. His Untersuchungen über das Protoplasma, offered here, ‘brought strong evidence from many sources of the close similarity of plant and animal protoplasm. [Kühne] studied the living substance in Amoeba, Actinophrys, Didymium (a mycetozoan), in the cells of the connective tissue and cornea of the frog, and in those of the staminal hairs of Tradescantia. He observed protoplasmic movements and noted the effects of reagents, of temperature changes, and of the passage of an electric current. He obtained protoplasm from staminal hairs and was so struck by its resemblance to that of Amoeba that he called particles of it “vegetabilische Amoeben”” (Baker, Cell Theory, Part II, p. 97)
Provenance: ownership signature of Clifford Dobell (FRS), biographer of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. Dobell’s Antony van Leeuwenhoek and His “Little Animals” (1932) is a classic of scientific biography. Dobell was also an important scientist in his own right – he was the author of numerous articles and two books on protozoology, the subject of Kühne’s book.
Condition: very good; original quarter leather over marbled boards; front endpaper a little loose; very slight foxing to one of the plates; overall a lovely copy.