Birmingham: John Baskerville, 1774.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Large Folio. Very Good. Item #003808
Double folio (643 x 478 mm). Text in Latin and English. 21 unsigned and unpaginated text leaves (including title and 3 preliminaries), each leaf a single sheet, 34 engraved plates. Prize binding dated an 10 (1801) in half red morocco over thick red paper-coated boards, spine with rich gilt tooling and two black morocco labels lettered in gilt, all edges gilt, original endpapers (foot of spine and edges slightly bumped, wear and some paper chipping to board edges, boards rubbed, final free endpaper creased). The plates with light browning, text leaves only little age-toned. Plates 16 and 34 each with clean tear to blank margin, plate 23 with brown spot outside plate-mark. Provenance: Simon Guillaume Gabriel Bruté de Rémur, presented to him by the École de Médecine de Paris*. Exceptional, tall copy printed on strong paper and in untouched prize binding. ----
FIRST EDITION, Early issue with the plates watermarked. The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus, on which Hunter labored sporadically for thirty years, primarily with the artist Jan van Rymsdyk, is one of the great masterpieces of medical graphic art and printing. One of the main reasons for the book's excessively long gestation was Hunter's difficulty in obtaining the cadavers of pregnant women for dissection. By 1751 van Rymsdyk had completed ten of the red pastel drawings, which Hunter exhibited publicly and used in his lectures. The positive reception of the drawings encouraged Hunter to undertake publication of an atlas; however, problems in obtaining dissection material, and the great success of his obstetrical and teaching career, inevitably created delays. Compounding this were Hunter's ambitious plans to expand the atlas, which eventually was published with 34 plates.
"It is indeed a remarkable book, not the least important aspect of which is the large size of the plates, which Hunter took care to defend in the preface. For him, the technical quality of the plates was of great importance; they combine descriptive clarity with beauty. The work contains thirty-four plates of different kinds; some depict several objects, others a life-size section of the human body--the female trunk between the abdomen and the middle of the thighs. Some plates are packed with detail, others are more schematic, showing large parts in outline only. Facing each plate are a short description and a key [. . .]" (Jordanova, p. 386).
Remarkably 17 different engravers were employed producing the 34 plates in Hunter's atlas. Of these Sir Robert Strange engraved only two, but he is thought to have supervised the rest of the group. Strange had studied anatomy at the classes of the first Alexander Monro, and is supposed to have drawn for Monro. In 1750 Strange was working for William Hunter in London. Strange spent time in Paris and Italy, and after 1760 became an art dealer, selling to Hunter a number of master works now in the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow. According to Roberts & Tomlinson, Strange was knighted in 1787 for engraving "a sentimental picture of two dead royal Princes." In format the Gravid Uterus was the largest book printed by the great printer John Baskerville, and one of two medical books issued from his press; it is also among the very few medical books issued from a private press. The original drawings, from which the engravings were made, are preserved in the Hunterian Collections at the University of Glasgow Library. Like certain other labors of love, sales of Hunter's atlas did not equal the passion of its author. It was originally issued for £6.6s, but remaindered in 1784 after Hunter's death for £3.13s.6d.
*Ours is a Prize copy offered by the École de Médecine de Paris (first prize of the École pratique for the year X) to Simon Gabriel Bruté, born in Rennes, with handwritten mention at the bottom of the title (with stamp of the École de santé and signature of the director) and morocco piece to the spine. Simon Guillaume Gabriel Bruté de Rémur (Rennes 1779 - Vincennes (Indiana) 1839) was French missionary, bishop in the United States. Son of the agronomist Simon-Guillaume-Gabriel Bruté de Rémur and Jeanne-Renée Le Saulnier du Vauhello, widow of the printer François Vatar (in whose workshop he worked as a young man with his mother), he studied medicine, without practicing it, before becoming a priest in 1808 and going to the United States in 1810 where he taught and became a bishop in Maryland, Indiana and Illinois.
References: Choulant-Frank, pp. 296-297; Garrison-Morton 6157; Norman 1125; Waller 5004; Wellcome III, p. 319; Gaskell, Baskerville, 53; Heirs of Hippocrates 942; Jordanova, "Gender, Generation and science: William Hunter's obstetrical atlas," William Hunter and the eighteenth-century world, ed. Bynum and Porter, pp. 385-412; Kornell in Oxford DNB for Rymsdyk; Osler 3026; Roberts & Tomlinson, pp. 460-73; Russell, British Anatomy, 452; Sappol, Dream Anatomy pp. 29 and 44.
Delivery time up to 10 days. For calculation of the latest delivery date, follow the link: Delivery times
Lieferzeit max. 10 Tage. Zur Berechnung des spätesten Liefertermins siehe hier: Lieferzeiten