9 February 2000
CHESELDEN, William (1688-1752). Osteographia, or the Anatomy of the Bones. London: [William Bowyer for the author?], 1733.
2o (539 x 373 mm). Engraved frontispiece, engraved title with royal arms on verso, engraved dedication with engraved deer skeleton on verso, 25 leaves with 30 engravings (including vignettes and head-pieces) in text and 112 engraved plates, comprising 2 sets of 56 numbered engraved plates by Jacb Schijnvoet and Gerard van der Gucht (plate margins soiled throughout, a few plates with browning or faint soiling, repairs to small marginal tears in dedication leaf and first pl. XL). Modern half calf, contemporary drab boards and morocco gilt spine label (boards soiled, edges worn); uncut. Provenance: Middlesex Hospital School of Medicine (bookplate on front pastedown; inscription on title-page).
FIRST EDITION, with title vignette and engraving on verso of second plate LVI printed in red. "The most famous, and among the most artistically interesting osteological atlases ever produced" (Norman). Complete copies of this work are rare; although 400 were printed, only a small number were sold to subscribers and many of the remainder were broken up for the sale of individual plates. Choulant p. 261; Garrison-Morton-Norman 395; Heirs of Hippocrates 814; Norman 466; Russell 173; Waller 1941; Wellcome II, 335.
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On 6 and 7 of December Christie’s will offer almost 400 lots from a collection that includes works by Hals, Van Dyck, Leyster, Snyders and Jan Brueghel the Elder
Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous