6 December 2004
COLUMBO, Matteo Realdo (ca 1510-1559). De re anatomica libri XV. Venice: Nicolò Bevilacqua, 1559.
2o (316 x 225 mm). Hand-colored full-page woodcut title showing a dissection, numerous woodcut initials, printer's woodcut device at end. (Some minor marginal worming at beginning and end, a few leaves browned at end, soft creasing at lower inner corner, otherwise a generally fine, crisp copy.) Contemporary limp vellum (small wormholes on front cover, some minor soiling); cloth folding case.
FIRST EDITION, second issue, with the dedication to Pope Pius IV and the text reset on the following three pages. It is believed that following the deaths of both Columbo and Pope Paul IV (the original dedicatee), Columbo's sons immediately reissued the book with a new dedication and mentioning the author's death. "Colombo was a pupil of Vesalius and succeeded him in the chair of anatomy at Padua before proceeding to chairs first at Pisa and later at Rome... He described the pulmonary circulation but may have read the account of Servetus published six years previously. He gave a clear description of the mode of action of the pulmonary, cardiac, and aortic valves" (Garrison-Morton). The woodcut title was clearly influenced by Vesalius's De Fabrica, showing the author presiding over a dissection in progress. Except for the title the work is unillustrated--according to tradition the work was to have been illustrated by Michelangelo. Adams C-2402; Garrison-Morton 378.1; Norman 501; Osler 897.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
Ahead of our Paris sale on 10 September, Meredith Etherington-Smith salutes three generations of collectors from one family
What a newcomer needs to know about the highly collectable, grain-based liquor served at all Chinese state banquets