London: John and Paul Knapton, 1749.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Large Folio. Near Fine. Item #003841
Tables of the Skeleton and Muscles of the Human Body. Translated from the Latin. London: John and Paul Knapton, 1749. Two parts in one volume. Separate title with engraved vignette to each part, 45 unnumbered text leaves bound in single sheets and 40 engraved plates (including 12 in outline) by Grignion and Scotin. [Bound with:] A Compleat System of the Blood-Vessels and Nerves. London: John and Paul Knapton, 1750. Title with engraved vignette, 17 unnumbered leaves bound in single sheets and 11 engraved plates by Scotin, Ravenet and Müller. Two works in one volume. Large folio (727 x 540 mm). Bound in 20th century blind-tooled calf over thick boards, spine with 7 raised bands, original green morocco gilt lettering pieces preserved and pasted on boards (light rubbing to extremities). Text and plates crisp and bright throughout, just a few pages with light spotting; first title somewhat creased and with lower blank corner torn with loss of a few mm, 2-3 small worm holes near gutter, the final 7 text leaves with hole at blank inner margin repaired and closed, small perforations holes near gutter likely from earlier iterim binding. Provenance: William Constable, English naturalist, 1721-1791 (armorial bookplate to front pastedown). ----
EXCEPTIONAL COPY OF THE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF BOTH WORKS, published two years after Verbeek's Latin edition in Leiden. The plates, originally engraved by Jan Wandelaar, were re-engraved by Simon François Ravenet and others for this edition."They established a new standard in anatomical illustration, and remain unsurpassed for their artistic beauty and scientific accuracy" (Garrison-Morton).
"[Albinus'] works [...] were originally published in Latin at Leiden, but some were reprinted in other places. Especially notable are the first London reprints, in 1749, [...] in Latin; and (in a shorter version) in English, as Tables of the skeleton and muscles of the human body, H. Woodfall for John and Paul Knapton. The plates for these reprints were most carefully and elegantly re-engraved" (Roberts & Tomlinson, p. 329).
"Albinus's Tabulae sceleti et musculorum, based on his concept of the 'ideal man' (homo perfectus), is among the most artistically perfect of anatomical atlases. Albinus and his artist Jan Wandelaar used some ingenious methods to prepare the illustrations, including the establishment of an optically ideal point of view (one at which all of the bones of the skeleton are seen at right angles), dividing the human figure into sections using a mathematically constructed grid, and transferring each section onto paper in true size with the aid of compass and ruler. In addition, Wandelaar placed his skeletons and musclemen against lush ornamental backgrounds to give them the illusion of vitality, using contrasts of mass and light to produce a three-dimensional effect. The most famous plate in the atlas depicts a skeletal figure standing in front of an enormous grazing rhinocerous, sketched by Wandelaar from the first living specimen in Europe, which had arrived at the Amsterdam zoo in 1741" (Norman 29).
References: Brunet, I, 143; Garrison-Morton-Norman 399; Norman 29 (all for the first edition in Latin of 1747); K.F. Russell, British Anatomy, 1525-1800 - A Bibliography, 1963, p.38; Roberts & Tomlinson, The Fabric of the Body, pp. 320-39. - Visit our website to see more images!
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