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FRITZE, Hermann Eduard (1811–1866) & REICH, Georg Friedrich Otto (b. 1807)

Die plastischen Chirurgie, in ihrem weitesten Umfange dargestellt und durch Abbildungen erläutert.
Berlin, Aug. Hirschwald, 1845.

Only edition of ”the first extensively illustrated general treatise in plastic surgery published in Europe” (Garrison-Morton). This early iconography of plastic surgery is the most beautiful in the history of plastic surgery – a classic of legendary rarity. The work is dedicated to Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach by two of his pupils, who daily had witnessed their master’s genious and creative plastic operations and thus had an excellent opportunity of studying this branch of surgery. As Dieffenbach’s own and very rare atlas to his only work entirely devoted to plastic surgery, the Chirurgische Erfahrungen, only shows before-and-after drawings of the patients, Fritze’s and Reich’s atlas, with mostly hand-coloured figures illustrating the entire procedures, fills an important gap in recording the achievement of Dieffenbach’s wonderful art. Dieffenbach himself called the atlas a masterpiece: ”Sie haben etwas Ausgezeichnetes geliefert. Die Gegenstände sind mit wunderbarer Klarheit behandelt, mit den feinsten Fühlfäden haben Sie bei den minutiösesten Operationen immer das herauserkannt worauf es besonders ankommt. Die Tafeln sind wahre Meisterstücke.” Of the plates eleven are devoted to the nose, two the cleft lip, eight the eyes, one the ears, six the mouth and two the tongue and palate. The final four plates depict the penis and the female sexual organs. ”This work is not only important from a didactic and artistic point of view, it became something like a textbook for future generations of plastic surgeons” (Gabka & Vaubel).

Collation: Pp (2), viii, 179, (1) errata. With 48 engraved plates, 33 of which are printed in colour and finished by hand.

Binding: Original cloth-backed boards with printed spine label.

References: Garrison-Morton 5746.4; Gabka & Vaubel, Plastic Surgery Past and Present (1983) reproduces several of the plates; Waller 3275.

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