Edinburgh: published by W. H. Lizars, 1822.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Large Folio. Very Good. Item #003447
1822-26. 12 Parts of text in one volume and one atlas volume. Folio atlas (448 x 275 mm) and 8vo text (216 x 133 mm). Text volume with general title undated, engraved title vignette, separate title and half-title to each part. , xv , 152; xix , 82; , xxii-xxv , -209 ; xiv, 43 ; xiv, -137 ; xvii , -219 ; xii, 18, 5 ; ix , -65 , 6; xix , 107 ; x, 66; ix , 102; vii , 34, 6 pp. Parts 1-8: printed by John Brewster; part 9-12: printed by Ballantyne & Co. Atlas volume undated: , 2, 4 pp., including engraved title with large vignette, dedication to the King, content list, and 101 engraved hand-tinted or hand-colored plates, separated by protective paper sheets. The plates with Roman numbering for each part and additional running numbers printed on plates. Text volume bound in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, spine lettered and tooled in gilt, marbled endpapers (upper joint partly split, boards rubbed, extremities worn, corners slightly bumped). Foxing to general title, some minor foxing and spotting elsewhere, occasional pale dampstaining and slight marginal warping of some gatherings. Atlas volume bound in contemporary half-calf, spine ruled and lettered in gilt, mabled endpapers (joints partially cracked but cords holding, boards rubbed, extremities worn, corners bumped). Light browning of paper, occasional finger-soiling, very minor spotting in places. Provenance: Arthur Bailie Francis, Queen's College of Belfast (inscribed on first flyleaf and further on title with date Nov. 1889); William F. Clay, bookseller (small ink stamp to first flyleaf). ----
Heirs of Hippocrates 1436 (later edition); Waller 5950 (atlas only); Welllcome III, p.531; Cushing L313; Roberts & Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body, pp 504-8. FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTINGS (second issue of atlas), and exceptionally rare with the octavo text volume present, of this impressive and highly successful collaboration between anatomist John Lizars and his brother William Home Lizars, a talented artist and head of the publishing and engraving firm established by the brothers' father, Daniel Lizars (1754-1812). "Although it contains no new discoveries, this superb atlas is certainly one of the most elegant works of the nineteenth century." (Heirs of Hippocrates).
The first edition of the folio atlas illustrating Lizars's System was issued in both uncolored and hand-colored versions, although the 15 plates devoted to the brain and spinal cord are colored in all copies of the first edition. All first editions of this work are rare, and because the plates were issued in folio, and the text of the first edition was issued in 12 parts in octavo, most often the first edition of the atlas is not found with the text.
John Lizars studied under John Bell and later became a partner in Bell's anatomy school. The partnership with Bell was eventually dissolved but Lizars continued to teach on his own, and also maintained a private surgical practice. In 1825 Lizars became the first surgeon in Britain to perform an ovariotomy (see Garrison-M. 6026). In 1831 he was appointed professor of surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. Lizars' System of Anatomical Plates was by far his most successful work, going through many editions; "the sale of the book in its various forms was reported to be immense" (Roberts & Tomlinson p 505). Lizars' fame as engraver led John James Audubon to engage Lizars to engrave the plates for the elephant folio Birds of America; however, after Lizars had engraved the first ten plates, he recommended to Audubon that this enormous project (requiring over 76,000 elephant folio hand-colored plates for the 175 copies in the edition) be turned over to Robert Havell in London. Lizars' atlas for his brother's System of Anatomical Plates represents the highest quality of artistic production available in Scotland at this date (Roberts & Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body, pp 504-8).
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