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BEER, Georg Joseph (1763–1821)

Das Auge, oder Versuch das edelste Geschenk der Schöpfung vor dem höchst verderblichen Einfluss unseres Zeitalters zu sichern.
Wien, in der Camesinaschen Buchhandlung, 1813.

An unusual and fascinating collection of papers by this famous ophthalmologist. Three plates and the title-vignette were drawn by the author. The other two plates (incl. the frontispiece) are drawn in the Chodowiecky style and illustrate Chapter VII, in which Beer ridicules the then prevailing, especially in Vienna, mania of wearing spectacles just for fashion. Both these charming and funny plates are often reproduced. Other subjects discussed are the physiological and psychological aspects of blindness, the types of eye defiencies, the care of the eyes, and the use of spectacles. The last chapter is the 1806 report of Beer’s private eye clinic for the poor, which received royal patronage that year. One chapter is on blind-dogs.

Collation: Pp viii (incl. engraved title-leaf), 158, (2). Engraved frontispiece and 4 engraved plates, one of which is hand-coloured.

Binding: Contemporary red grained morocco with richly gilt spine, gilt borders around sides, gilt inner dentelles, and all edges gilt.

References: Hirschberg § 469, with a summary of the contents, pp 521-525; Hirschberg/Blodi, vol. 5, pp 88-92; Albert 184; Becker, 38. Waller 828.

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