With the first true anatomical pictures in an obstetrics book
De conceptu et generatione hominis, et iis quae circa h(a)ec potissimum consyderantur, libri sex.
Zürich: C. Froschauer, 1554.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003679
4to (200 x 140 mm). , 105,  leaves, Signatures: aa4 a-z4 A-B4 C6. Includes final blank and 65 (6 full-page) woodcut illustrations and historiated initials in text, errata on final leaf verso. Bound in near contemporary vellum, spine handlettered in ink, original endpapers (vellum dust-soiled and spotted, extremities rubbed, a little fraying to spine-ends). Housed in custom clamshell box. Text with minor even browning, title-page somewhat dust soiled and spotted, light waterstaining to second half, a bit stronger to 17 leaves, but in all quite clean and crisp. Provenance: Alistar Livingston Gunn, MD (bookplate to front pastedown), old ownership inscription to first flyleaf. A very good copy in untouched original binding. ----
FIRST EDITION of the improved version of Roesslin's "Rosengarten" with "the first true anatomical pictures in an obstetrics book" (Garrison-Morton). Jakob Rueff (1500-58) was town physician and professor of medicine at the university in Zurich, famed particularly as a surgeon and obstetrician. This book was published simultaneously in Zurich in two editions, one in German and one in Latin, of which the present copy is an example, and it is known to be the first to contain true anatomical pictures in an obstetrics book. Indeed, Rueff described smooth-edged forceps for delivery of a live baby, preceding Chamberlan, and a toothed forceps for an extraction of the dead fetus, both illustrated within. Also, celphic versions of manipulation are explored in the cuts as too are the conjugal twin variations and cross-mammalian fantasy. The first English translation would not appear until 1637, titled pragmatically The Expert Midwife. Divided into six sections the volume covers the entire pregnancy cycle along with discourses on related medical diseases and situations. Book one opens with information on conception and nutrition of the fetus; the second section contains descriptions of the uterus and guidelines for the pregnant women; book three deals with the birthing process, subsequent care of mother and infant, as well as a portion devoted to the use of obstetric instruments; section four pertains to the management of "unnatural" births such as multiples and awkward presentations; book five discusses related conditions such as false pregnancy, uterine tumors, abortions, and deformed infants (or "monsters"); while section six discusses causes for sterility with suggested remedies.
"Of greater interest, however, is the series of seven woodcuts illustrating contemporary ideas of mammalian embryology, which provde a unique and valuable insight into how early writers envisioned the process of embryonic development" (Norman 1856).
Literature and references: Norman 1856; VD 16 R 3580/3581; Adams R 866; Bird 2099; NLM/Durling 3980; Garrison-M. 6141 (cit.); Haeser II, 207; Leeman-van Elck p.124, 126, ills. 72; Rudolphi 442; Vischer C 492; Waller 8301; Wellcome I, 5611; Heirs of Hippocrates 233 (1580 edition only); Hagelin II, 19. - Visit our website to see more images!
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