Padua: Roberti Meglietti, 1625.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine. Item #001938
5 parts in one volume. Folio (403 x 273 mm). General title with engraved printer's device, , 150,  pp, 34 plates (including unnumbered plate on verso of plate XI, 11 double page), engraving to K4 recto a duplicate of K2 (as called for); 23  pp., 8 plates (1 double page); 68,  pp., 7 plates (including 4 unnumbered bound at the end); 27,  pp., 1 plate; 27,  pp. In total fifty engraved copper plates of which twelve are double-page. Contemporary sprinkled calf, spine with 5 raised bands gilt in compartments (binding rubbed, corners and extremities worn, joints slighty cracked), marbled pastedowns. Internally fresh, with only very minor spotting, marginal finger soiling and browning, most plates with the edges folded in, one plate with tear to upper margin affecting image (expertly restored). Leaves may come from two different copies. They have been carefully cleaned and recased. There is a presentation inscription in the hand of Marion Bell, the wife of anatomist and neurologist Sir Charles Bell (1774-1842) on the first flyleaf: "George J. Bell from his uncle Sir Charles Bell." Sir Charles Bell's brother was George Joseph Bell (1770-1843), a distinguished Scottish advocate; George J. Bell was one of his sons. Good copy, collated complete. ----
NLM/Krivatsy 3804/3831 ; Norman 750 ; Wellcome I, 2126 ; Waller 2886 ; Hirsch-H. II, 460 ff. ; Grolier Medicine 27b ; Franklin, « Valves in veins : An historical survey, » Proc. Roy. Soc. Medicine 21 (1927), pp.1-33 - Important first collected edition, very rare. Fabrici's best known and most important medical work is his classic monograph on the venous valves, De venarum ostiolis, first published in Padua in 1603 and reissued with four other works in 1625 under the general title Opera anatomica and Opera physica anatomica, respectively. This tract, published originally as an unbound folio pamphlet consisting of 23 pages of text and 8 engr. Plates, has been described as one of the rarest and most beautiful works in the history of anatomical illustrations. Among the plates is the well-known depiction of the surface anatomy of the veins of the forearm that William Harvey adapted to illustrate his De motu cordis. Although Fabrici did not fully appreciate the functional significance of the venous valves, hist work was a crucial precursor of Harvey's discovery. As Harvey told the British physicist and chemist Robert Boyle, i twas his recognition of the significance of Fabrici's observations and his own realization of the function of the venous valves that led him to conceptualize the circulation of the blood (Grolier, Medicine, p.104). -
Fabricius's De Venarum Ostiolis (On the Valves of the Veins) was the first detailed demonstration of the existence of venous valves, and it contains the first extended illustrations of them. It was the immediately significant precursor of the De Motu Cordis of William Harvey, who studied for two years at Padua where Fabricius was Professor of Anatomy; and Harvey used the great double-plate of the veins of the arm in his own book 25 years later. Apart from his importance in relation to Harvey, Fabricius has in recent years been increasingly recognized as a man of mark in his own right; and in 1933 a translation, with reduced-size facsimile, was made of the De Venarum Ostiolis by K. J. Franklin (History of Science Society, through Charles C Thomas, Springfield, Illinois). The most striking feature of the splendidly produced editio princeps is the series of full-page plates. As Franklin says: "The sumptuously printed folios which Fabricius published in 1603-1604 were issued separately, and unbound. Though they escaped Choulant's notice, they are among the rarest and most beautiful works in the history of anatomical illustration. The plates are magnificent; in fact nothing on their scale had been seen since the days of Vesalius." (Franklin).
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