VESALIUS, Andreas (1514-64). De humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543.
VESALIUS, Andreas (1514-64). De humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543.
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VESALIUS, Andreas (1514-64). De humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543.

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VESALIUS, Andreas (1514-64). De humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543.

First edition of the Epitome, published virtually simultaneously with the Fabrica, Vesalius's revolutionary work on anatomy. Vesalius conceived it as complementing his fuller work and serving as a practical anatomical atlas to be consulted on a daily basis by medical students performing human dissections. To this end, he had it printed in a large format so that its separate sheets could be hung as wall charts for instruction and easy visual reference. This required 7 woodcut figures to be newly cut in a larger size; the remaining illustrations were first used in the fuller work. It was widely disseminated but because it was 'not necessarily bound, the Epitome is considerably rarer than the Fabrica today' (Grolier Medicine, 18b). 'It is a very rare work and is incomplete [or completed] in most of the existing copies' (Heirs). Cf. Pozeg and Flamm 'Vesalius and the 1543 Epitome...' PBSA, 103:2, 2009, 199-220. Heirs of Hippocrates 291; Choulant-Frank p.180; Cushing V-85; NLM/Durling 4581; Garrison-Morton 376; Stillwell 711; Wellcome 6565.

Broadsheet folio (476 x 340mm). 14 leaves signed A-M followed by two unsigned sheets. Large woodcut of an anatomy, historiated initials, author portrait, and 11 large woodcuts comprising 7 anatomical figures, 2 of Adam and Eve and 2 of several smaller figures intended to be cut out and attached to larger figures. A forked cross and crowned eagle watermarks. (Minor repairs, mostly marginal, sheet M apparently a composite of two original sheets, with repairs.) Stab-stitched into modern flexible boards backed in marbled paper. Provenance: Bologna, Jesuits (17/18th-century title inscription).
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