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SCHILLING, Gottfried Wilhelm (1725-1799)

De lepra commentationes. Recensuit J. D. Hahn.
Lugduni Batavorum, apud Sam. et Joan. Luchtmans, Trajecti ad Rhenum, apud Abr. van Paddenburg, 1778.

First edition of an interesting work on leprosy in America. Schilling was born in Priegnitz in Brandenburg. He began his medical career as a ship’s doctor and for fifteen years he lived and practised in Surinam. Returning to Utrecht, he took his M.D. degree in 1769 with a dissertation on leprosy in Surinam. After long travels in Europe he returned to Surinam. This work is divided into three parts. Part I is Schilling’s thorough account of the varieties and symptoms of leprosy, its incidence in the colonies of America, and methods of treatment. Part II comprises Philipp Ouseelius’ Dissertatio philologico-medica de lepra cutis Hebraeorum, with Schilling’s commentary (Part III) in which he also discusses new methods of treating leprosy including the use of three New World plants, illustrated on the three large folding plates engraved by B. de Bakker. In 1770 Schilling had contributed to the Abhandl. der Berliner Akad. der Wissensch. with “Versuche mit dem Zitteraale” (electric eels). In the Prolegomena to the above book the editor Johann David Hahn, a toxicologist, discusses Schilling’s experiments with electric eels, animal magnetism and electricity. In the Elenchus (list of contents) is a list of Schilling’s works.

Collation: Pp 60, 203, (1) bl. Engraved vignette on title showing a leprosy face and three folding engraved plates of plants.

Binding: Contemporary half calf with sprinkled boards.

References: Blake 406; Pritzel 8184; Hirsch , V, 75. Waller 8609.

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