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DEVENTER, Hendrik van (1651–1724)

Operationes chirurgicæ novum lumen exhibentes obstetricantibus, quo fideliter manifestatur ars obstetricandi, et quidquid ad eam requiritur: Instructum pluribus Figuris æri incisis, repræsentantibus multiplices Uteri posituras, pravosque Infantum situs. Quo etiam ...
Lugduni Batavorum, apud Andream Dyckhuisen, 1701.

First Latin edition, published in the same year as the original Dutch edition. It was, however, the Latin edition that made Deventer famous and it is the one that Garrison-Morton refers to as "the first accurate description of the female pelvis and its deformities, and the effect of the latter in complicating labour. van Deventer was the greatest obstetrician of his time, the "Father of modern midwifery.” The Dutch edition has the same curious frontispiece drawn by Deventer himself with twelve obstetrical figures surrounding the author’s self-portrait. This rather naive self-portrait was erased in the copperplate and replaced with the engraved title in the Latin edition. van Deventer was born in the Hague. After serving an apprenticeship as a goldsmith he began to study medicine at the age of seventeen at Gröningen and later returned to his native city. His wife was an accomplished midwife and much of van Deventer’s success is due to her assistance in his obestetrical practice and in writing the book to meet the practical needs of the midwife. Because of his interest in orthopaedic surgery he early became interested in the bony pelvis, and it was through his investigations of normal and deformed pelves and their effects upon the course of labour that van Deventer rose to his position in obstetric science. van Deventer wrote more extensively and in greater detail on the anatomy of the bony pelvis and its relation to child-birth than any of his predecessors. Deventer attempted a classification of pelvic deformities, and his illustrations represented the pelvis more accurately than any previous work. Operationes chirurgicae was translated into German, French and English. Deventer’s knowledge of the pelvis was not superceded until the mid-nineteenth century.

Collation: Pp (18), 274, (6). With additional engraved title-leaf with a border of 12 obstetrical figures, and 35 engraved plates with figures 1-38.

Binding: A very nice copy in contemporary red sheep, gilt (oxidated) floral border on front and back cover.

Provenance: Upper edges has a burnt in ”L”.

References: Garrison-Morton 6253; Norman 631; Cutter & Veits, p 180; Findley, Priests of Lucina, pp 139-44; Thoms, Classical Contributions to Obstetrics, pp 11-15; Speert, Obstetrics and Gynecology: A History and Iconography (1994), p 112; Graham, Eternal Eve, pp 260-63; Hagelin, Womans Booke, pp 86-89 (this copy). Waller 2423

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