13 December 2006
CHARLES ESTIENNE (1504-1564)
Les figures et portraicts des parties du corps humain. Paris: Jacques Kerver, 1575. 2° (314 x 220mm). 61 full-page woodcuts, 8 smaller woodcuts, Kerver's unicorn device on the title. (A few marginal repairs, one horizontal tear repaired.) Modern panelled calf to style. Provenance: small inscription in an early hand on verso of last leaf ('a Seignelay en Bourgogne').
THE VERY RARE, ENLARGED ISSUE OF THE PLATES OF ESTIENNE'S GREAT WORK, De Dissectione partium corporis humani, first published by Simon de Colines in 1545. Kerver's issue includes three striking illustrations of a zodiac man by Mercure Jollat, previously unpublished in the Collines 1545 and 1546 editions and originally rejected by Estienne for being too astrological (Huard and Gmek, L'oeuvre de Charles Estienne et l'école anatomique parisienne, 1965). ABPC does not record a copy selling at auction for over 25 years. ONE OF PERHAPS LESS THAN 15 COPIES KNOWN; we have located 10 copies worldwide: 3 in Paris, 1 in Nancy, 2 at Grenoble (according to OCLC), 1 in the British Library, 2 at Yale, and 1 in the Blocker Collection at the University of Texas. Brunet II, cols 1073-1074; Cent et un livres anciens rares ou précieux, 42; Cushing II-26; cf. En français dans le texte 48 (for De Dissectione: 'l'ouvrage français qui illustre le plus superbement cette union de l'art et de la science').
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