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ALGHISI, Tommaso (1669–1713)

Litotomia ovvero del cavar la pietra.
Firenze, Giuseppe Manni, 1707.

Presentation copy of the rare first edition inscribed on half-title “ex dono Auctoris”. This edition in folio is much more beautiful than the second in quarto of 1708 with the plates folded. This is of one of the great and authoritative books on Lithotomy, the surgery to remove the stone, illustrated with excellent plates. A renowned specialist and pupil of Bellini, Alghisi was probably the first to use an indwelling urethal catheter to drain urine away from the wound after lithotomy. The inclined position of the patient with the head raised during the operation was also adopted from him. Alghisi perfected the lithotomic method of de Romani. Through his treatment of Pope Clement XI, to whom the book is dedicated, Alghisi became famous. The fine plates, showing anatomical observations, operation positions of the patient and instruments, made this work a classic. The plate of the Grand Appareil is famous, showing the assistants rectracting the scrotum of the patient and the operator holding the sound in his left hand and the lancet in his right.

Collation: Pp 24, i-cx, (2). Engraved title vignette by Cosmus Mogalli. Fine woodcut headpieces, initials and vignettes. With 16 engraved plates.

Binding: Contemporary calf, gilt spine with six raised bands.

Provenance: Presentation copy of the rare first edition inscribed on half-title “ex Dono Auctoris”. Book plate of Leo S. Olschki (1861-1940), wellknown bookseller in Italy.

References: Garrison-Morton 4279.1; Heirs of Hippocrates 479 (the 1708 edition); Kiefer 12; Murphy p 100; Hirsch I, 102; Waller 351; Pavasini, L’Urologia in Italia, 412; Landes in Journal of the History of Medicine, VII, 331-42. Waller 351.

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