London: John Redmayne for James Allestry, 1669.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003160
8vo (175 x 109 mm). , 220,  pp., including 7 engraved folding plates bound at end (plate 1 misbound after 2), preliminary leaf A6 a cancel, ornamental woodcut initials and typographical headpieces; bound without initial blank A1. Contemporary mottled calf, rebacked with blind-stamped spine and gilt-lettered morocco label, marbled edges, original endpapers present (minor rubbingto extremities). Text with light even browning, occasional minor spotting, lower edge of plates 5 to 7 shaved into platemark affecting a few mm of image, plate 1 with repaired clean tear outside platemark. Provenance: Sir Henry Mainwaring, baronet of Over Peover (armorial bookplate with motto "Devant, si je puis" to front pastedown). Generally a clean and crisp copy with ample margins. ----
PMM 149; Norman 1397; Garrison-Morton 761; Grolier Medicine 34; NLM/Krivatsy 7157; Waller 6046; Wellcome III, p. 552; Wing L-3310; J.F.Fulton, The Oxford Physiologists: Richard Lower 1631-1691. FIRST EDITION, SECOND ISSUE of 'the most important contribution to circulatory physiology after William Harvey's De motu cordis' (Grolier Medicine). Lower was a London physician who had studied at Oxford, where he knew Thomas Willis, Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke. Tractatus de corde reports his observations on the scroll-like structure of the cardiac muscle, the velocity of blood flow and its quantity, as well as the effects of aeration on the blood as it passes through the lungs. He also described a blood transfusion between dogs, thus demonstrating the safety of a method that was later to revolutionize surgery. "Lower's main work was on the anatomy and physiology of the blood system. He gave the most accurate description of the structure of the heart to date, and explored the structure and function of the veins and arteries. He elucidated the mechanism of respiration. It had been known since antiquity that venous and arterial blood differed in colour; Lower showed conclusively that this difference was caused purely by the admixture of air as the blood from the right side of the heart flowed through the lungs. He even showed that venous blood could be made to resemble arterial blood by shaking a sample in air. He concluded that the change in colour was caused by the blood's absorption of air, which explained why air is necessary to life. His experiments were admirably devised and conducted, and De Corde ('A Treatise on the Heart') is a worthy successor to Harvey's De Motu Cordis" (PMM).
The Tractatus de corde exists in two issues, the first with the original leaf A6 containing the catchword 'Im-', the second (ours) with a cancel leaf containing the catchword 'quic-'. According to Fulton, the reason for the change was "to modify (very slightly) a scurrilous remark that Lower had originally made concerning the Irishman O'Meara" (Fulton, p. 17). It is often stated that the first issue of the first editin is rarer than the seond. Fulton recorded only 14 copies of the first edition, all but four were the second issue. However, of the 8 copies we could trace at auction in the past 30 years 5 are of the 1st and only 3 of the 2nd issue. - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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