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SARLANDIÈRE, Jean Baptiste (1787-1838)

Mémoires sur l'électro-puncture, considérée comme moyen nouveau de traiter efficacement la goutte, les rhumatismes et les affections nerveuses, et sur l'emploi du Moxa japonaiæ en France; suivis d'un Traité de l'Acupuncture et du Moxa, principaux moyens curatifs chez les peuples de la Chine, de la Corée et du Japon.
Paris, chez l'auteur et chez Mlle Delaunay, 1825.

First and only edition. The first treatise on electro-puncture – the only significant Western contribution to acupuncture, and one of the most widely used methods of acupuncture today. In the early nineteenth century there was great activity in the use of acupuncture and moxibution clinically. In France the first book was that of Berlioz, the father of the composer, Mémoires sur les maladies chronique, les evacuations sanguines et l’acupuncture I-II (1816). Then came the work of Jean-Baptiste Sarlandière, a friend and collaborator of Magendie, who describes his method of electrical treatment (electropuncture) and the use of Japanese moxa as a therapeutical agent, followed by the translation from a Chinese manuscript of a treatise on acupuncture, illustrated by two large Japanese anatomical plates, but with Chinese nomenclature, showing its application, which he owed to the famous orientalist Klaproth. Sarlandière was the first to apply electric currents to the implanted needles. - “The early history of the practice of electro-puncture (tien chen chih liao), i.e. the sending of electric currents by means of acupuncture needles either at the traditional acu-points or other loci on the skin between the tracts, may well be European, beginning with Chevalier Sarlandière in 1825, but though the idea did not catch on much there, it recurred in China with the modern revival of traditional medicine and is now the basis of certain forms of treatment” (Lu Gwen-djen & Needham). The author tells in a note, that the drawings for the excellent handcoloured copperplates where lost, because he had shown them to the personal physician of the Russian emperor, who had lend them to one of his collegues, a doctor at the Prussian court. However Sarlandière had got the opportunity to make new copies of the here present essential plates.

Collation: Pp (4), iv, 150, (2), with two folding lithographed plates, coloured by hand, in red, green, blue and yellow.

Binding: Contemporary half calf with gilt ruled spine and red title label.

References: Lu Gwei-djen/Joseph Needham, Celestial Lancets (1980), pp 188, 295. Jeremy Norman Cat. 29 (1995), No. 221, Nigel Phillips 29/97 (2004). Waller 8492.

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