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SCULTETUS, Johannes (1595-1645)

χειροπλοθεκε [Cheiroplotheke]. Armamentarium chirurgicum XLIII. Tabulis æri elegantissime incisis, nec ante hac visis, exornatum. Opus Posthumum. ... Nunc primum in lucem editum, Studio et Opera Joannis Sculteti, Authoris ex fratre Nepotis.
Ulmæ Svevorum, typis & impensis Balthasari Kühnen, 1655.

First edition of the most complete illustrated work on surgical instruments and procedures as well as the most popular surgical text of the seventeenth century. The first edition of Scultetus’ ’Arsenal of Surgery’ was the only published in folio format. It underwent numerous editions and translations. The most expanded was published in Amsterdam 1672. Johann Schultes, called Scultetus, the son of a poor sailor, was educated in Padua where he was a pupil of the great Fabricius of Acquapendente, Harvey’s teacher. He took his medical degree in Padua and received a doctorate in medicine, surgery and philosophy. He also served as prosector to Adriaan van der Spieghel and then practised in Vienna before he turned to his native town, Ulm, where he served as city physician until his death. His remarkable book, Armamentarium Chirurgicarum, was published posthumously by his nephew and namesake, Johann Schultes the Younger. Garrison says that Scultetus is famous, as Albucasis (d. A.D. 1013) and Paré (1510–1590) before him, as one of the great illustratotrs of surgery and surgical instruments. Of the 43 plates the first 20 represent detailed illustrations of the instruments Scultetus used, together with explanatory text describing the operations for which each was used. Among the procedures illustrated are amputations of the breast, reduction of dislocations, passage of sounds, trepanning, facial operations, operations of the eye, orthopedic technique, dentistry, forceps delivery of dead fetuses, etc. Scultetus invented an amazing variety of bandages, among them the many-tailed bandage (Scultetus’s bandage) used for abdominal wounds. The importance of this book may be judged by the reappearance of its illustrations in the surgical literature over the succeeding centuries.

Collation: Pp (2), 10, 132, (4). With 43 engraved plates. Title printed in red and black with printer’s woodcut device.

Binding: Contremporary vellum.

Provenance: Anders Johan Hagströmer. Heraldic engraved bookplate: Ex Bibliotheca Gralathiana.

References: Garrison-Morton 5571 and 3669.1 (dentistry); Rutkow, pp 203, 205; Zimmerman & Veith pp 249-252; Norman 1912; Cushing S172 (1665 ed); Hagelin, The Womans Booke, pp. 50-53 (German edition); see Heirs of Hippocrates 466; Krivatsy 10746; Parkinson & Lumb; Ricci, The Development of Gynaecological Surgery and Instruments, pp. 124-134. Waller 8792.

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