London: Robert Knaplock, William and John Innys, and Jacob Tonson, 1724.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Large Folio. Very Good. Item #003762
Large folio (440 x 320 mm). , lxxvii , 194 pp. Signatures: [*A]2 *B-*C2 a-t2 v2 B-3D2 (-v2, -3D2). Engraved frontispiece, title printed in red and black, double-page engraved table of the Syllabus musculorum bound after v1, and 67 engraved plates after Rubens and Raphael numbered 1-66 (with plate 13 in two states), engraved text illustrations, diagrams, initials, head- and tail-pieces. Without the two blank leaves v2 and 3D2. Bound in contemporary full calfskin, spine with gilt-lettered red morocco label, 6 raised bands and rich gilt tooling; boards blind-tooled and ruled in gilt, red sprinkled edges, original endpapers (expertly recornered and rebacked, minor wear to extremities, corners bumped). Crisp and bright throughout internally with just some minor spotting and finger-soiling in places; outer margins of endpapers, frontispiece and title little browned from binder's glue; plate 7 misbound after 8; two short wormtracks near gutter of final leaves. In all an exceptional copy. ----
FIRST FOLIO EDITION, remarkable not only for the quality of the large plates but for "the ingenious historiated initials wittily decorated with myotomical motifs" (Norman). The first edition of Cowper's treatise on the muscular system of the human body was published in 1694 as a modest octavo with 10 plates. Cowper worked until his death on this greatly expanded edition, which was published 13 years later under the supervision and at the expense of the physician Richard Mead (1673-1754). With its 66 plates, some after Rubens and Raphael, its witty engraved initials and dramatic head- and tail-piece illustrations, this first folio edition ranks among the most artistically inventive anatomical atlases of the 17th and 18th centuries.
References: Norman 530; Choulant-Frank, p.253; Garrison-Morton 392.1; Wellcome II, p.401; Roberts & Tomlinson pp. 415-17; Russell 210; Heirs of Hippocrates 723. - Visit our website to see more images!
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