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GALL, Franz Joseph (1758–1828) & SPURZHEIM, Johann Caspar (1776–1832)

Anatomie et physiologie du système nerveux en général, et du cerveau en particulier, avec des observations sur la possibilité de reconnoître plusieurs dispositions intellectuelles et morales de l'homme et des animaux, par la configuration de leurs têtes. Volumes I-IV + Atlas.
Paris, F. Schoell (vols. I, II & Atlas), Librairie Greque-Latine-Allemand (vol. III), & N. Maze (vol. IV), 1810-1819.

First edition of the large paper edition, with the text printed on sheets of the same folio format as the atlas. Included is also the Prospectus of 8 pages. The only copy in Sweden of this famous work. Not in Waller, nor in Osler, Cushing or Reynolds. Wellcome, III, 84 (imperfect, vol. I and atlas only). This sumptuously produced work is one of the great rarities in the history of neurology. It introduced the theory of the localization of cerebral function, and was the pioneer attempt to map out the cerebral cortex. The names of Gall and his pupil, Spurzheim, are generally associated with the notorious doctrine of phrenology, which Gall originally called cranioscopy, and which Spurzheim so effectively popularized in Europe and the United States. However, Gall was an expert anatomist, and the attention which he drew to the structure of the central nervous system was of the greatest importance. Because Spurzheim parted with Gall in 1814, only the first two volumes represent their collaboration, volumes III and IV are solely Gall’s work. The second edition in six volumes in octavo (1822-1825) does not include the atlas. “Gall & Spurzheim established the fact that the white matter of the brain consists of nerve fibers and that the gray matter of the cerebral cortex represents the organs of mental activity. They were the first to demonstrate that the trigeminal nerve was not merely attached to the pons, but that it sent root fibers as far down as the inferior olive in the medulla. In addition, they confirmed once and forever the medullary decussation of the pyramids.” (Garrison/McHenry, 146-149)

Collation: Vol. I. (1810): pp (2), xxxvii (1), (2) half-title, 246, (2) contents; Vol. II. (1812): pp (4), half-title & title, 324, (2) errata, mounted; Vol. III. (1818): pp (2) title, (2) ded., ix-xix, (1) errata, i-viii (preface), 260; Volo. IV. (1819): pp (4) title & half-title, 282; Atlas (1810): title-leaf and 100 engraved plates (one folding, many with protective tissue-paper. Plates signed Pretre, del., Bouquet, sculp.

Binding: Rebound in three volumes. Green half calf with the original black spine labels preserved.

References: Garrison-Morton 1389; Eimas, Heirs of Hippocrates 712; Norman 862; Clarke & O’Malley, The Human Brain and Spinal Cord, pp 392-95, 476-80, 598-602, 825-27; O. Temkin, ‘Gall and the Phrenological Movement’ in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, XXI (1947), pp 275-321; Brazier, Neurophysiology in the 19th century, 114-17; McHenry, Garrison’s History of Neurology, 146-49; Heintel, Gall Bibliographie, 12.1.1; Cooper, Heads: or the Art of Phrenology, 69-82; DSB, V, 250-256. Jeremy Norman Cat. 29 (1995), No. 94.

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