Neuchatel, Suisse: Institut Lithographique de H. Nicolet, 1842. First edition. Hardcover. Folio.  leaves (Half-Title, Title, Notes and Captions),  leaves (lithographic plates). Original illustrated paper covered portfolio. Second part (Livraison II) of the "Embryologie des Salmones", by Louis Agassiz* and Carl Vogt, containing 14 plates (in which 3 are partly colored) by Carl Vogt and Antoine Sonrel*. Sonrel, who has been employed by Agassiz in Neuchatel, was one of the outstanding lithographic artists of that era. This striking series of lithographic plates destined for the "History of the Freshwater Fish of Central Europe", but comprising only the family of Salmones, was executed under Louis Agassiz's immediate supervision by his skillful lithographer, Nicolet. Plates protected with a tissue-guard, and measuring 12 1/2" x 18 1/2". Covers of portfolio detached, but present. Some rubbing and age-toning on covers. Sporadic closed tears, sunning, tiny chipping and creasing along paper margin (not affecting text or plates). Notes and captions in French, German, and English. Portfolio in overall poor, interior in good to good+, plates in very good condition. fair to g. Item #38198
* Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), was a Swiss-born and European-trained biologist and geologist recognized as an innovative and prodigious scholar of Earth's natural history, with later American writings that have received scrutiny because of particular racial themes. Agassiz was a creationist who believed nature had order because God has created it directly, and Agassiz viewed his career in science as a search for ideas in the mind of the creator expressed in creation. Agassiz denied that migration and adaptation could account for the geographical age or any of the past. Adaptation takes time; in an example, Agassiz questioned how plants or animals could migrate through regions they were not equipped to handle. According to Agassiz the conditions in which particular creatures live “are the conditions necessary to their maintenance, and what among organized beings is essential to their temporal existence must be at least one of the conditions under which they were created”. In his work he noted similarities of distribution of like species in different geological eras, a phenomenon clearly not the result of migration. Agassiz questioned how fish of the same species live in lakes well separated with no joining waterway, Agassiz concluded they were created at both locations. According to Agassiz the intelligent adaptation of creatures to their environments testified to an intelligent plan. According to historian Paul Blowers, the conclusions of his studies led him to believe that whichever region each animal was found in, was created there “animals are naturally autochthones wherever they are found”; after further research he later extended this idea to humans, which became to be known as his theory of polygenism. ** Antoine Sonrel (died 1879) was an illustrator, engraver, and photographer in Switzerland and Boston, Massachusetts, in the 19th century. He moved from Neuchâtel to the United States around the late 1840s, and was affiliated with Louis Agassiz throughout his career. Around the 1830s in Neuchâtel, Sonrel began creating scientific illustrations for Louis Agassiz. "Draftsmen of superior talent, trained ... to the greatest accuracy - Weber, Dinkel, and Sonrel - were constantly in [Agassiz's] employ at a regular salary. ... At the suggestion of Agassiz an extensive lithographic establishment was created in Neuchatel." Agassiz wrote in 1857: "I esteem myself happy to have been able to secure the continued assistance of my old friend, Mr. A. Sonrel, in drawing the zoological figures of my work. More than twenty years ago, he began to make illustrations for my European works ; and ever since he has been engaged, with short interruptions, in executing drawings for me." As a photographer Sonrel created numerous carte de visite portraits in the 1860s and 1870s; subjects included his friend Louis Agassiz, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Abbott Lawrence Rotch, and sculptor Anne Whitney.