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EUSTACHIUS, Bartholomæus (c. 1510–1574)

Tabulæ anatomicæ ... Præfatione, Notisque illustravit, ac ipso suæ Bibliothecæ dedicationis die publici juris fecit Jo. Maria Lancisius.
Romæ, ex officina Typographica Francisci Gonzaga, 1714.

First edition of this fine collection of plates, drawn by Eustachius himself and completed in 1552. They remained unprinted and forgotten in the Vatican Library until discovered in the early 18th century, and were then presented by Pope Clement XI to his physician, Giovanni Maria Lancisi, who published them in 1714 together with his own notes. Singer was of the opinion that had these plates been published in 1552 Eustachius would have ranked with Vesalius as one of the founders of modern anatomy. He discovered the Eustachian tube, the thoracic duct, the adrenals and the abducens nerve, and gave the first accurate description of the uterus. He also described the cochlea, the muscles of the throat and the origin of the optic nerves. Eustachius is considered to have been the most scientific anatomist of the High Renaissance. He was born at San Severino, near Ancona. He spent much of his professional life in Rome. Before his move to Rome, Eustachius was physician to the Duke of Urbino, and then to that Duke’s brother, Cardinal Guilio della Rovero, in whose service he remained. He was a teacher of anatomy in the medical faculty of the Sapienza at Rome, where he himself was probably trained. He carried out autopsies at some of the Roman hospitals, and was allowed subjects for dissection. His fame as an anatomical illustrator rests principally on a series of copper engravings of the skeleton and muscles that sadly was not published until a hundred and forty years after his death. The 1714 edition was followed by several editions, i.a. Amsterdam 1722, Rome 1728, Leyden 1744, Venice, 1769, Amsterdam 1798.

Collation: Pp. XLIV, 115, (13). With 47 engraved plates numbered I-XLVII. Engraved title vignette with a dissection scene. Initials with landscape backgrounds.

Binding: Contemporary speckled calf, richly gilt spine, red spine label. Marbled endpapers, red sprinkled edges.

Provenance: Johan Graff, with his note on last page “acheté à Rome”. Graff was born in Hamburg, studied under Herman Boerhaave in Leiden, and came to Sweden in 1712 to serve as the private surgeon to Count Claes Bonde (Sacklen, C 393).

References: Garrison-Morton 391, 1312, 3668; Choulant/Frank, pp 200-204; Norman 740; Eimas 324; Roberts & Tomlinson, pp 188-205; Herrlinger, History of Medical Illustration, pp. 132-137; Lilly Library, Notable Medical Books, p. 41. Waller (later editions).

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