London, South Kensington
18 November 2003
EUSTACHI, Bartolomeo (?1524-74). Tabulae anatomicae, edited by Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720), Rome: Francisco Gonzaga, 1714. 2° (387 x 252mm). Engraved title-vignette by and after Petrus Leo Gherrinus, 47 numbered plates by Giulio de Musi (fl. 1550) after Eustachi and Pier Matteo Pini, historiated initials, errata at end. (Lacking the unnumbered plate, a few lower margins at beginning lightly waterstained, light marginal spotting or occasional thumb-soiling, engraved area of plates 12 and 16 lightly smeared.) Contemporary blind-stamped vellum, manuscript title on spine (soiled, 2 marks on rear cover). Provenance: Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION. This fine collection of plates was completed in 1552. "They remained unprinted and forgotten in the Vatican Library until discovered in the early 18th century, and were then presented by Pope Clement XI to his physician, Giovanni Maria Lancisi. The latter published them in 1714 together with his own notes. These copperplates are more accurate than the work of Vesalius. Singer was of the opinion that had they appeared in 1552 Eustachius would have ranked with Vesalius as one of the founders of modern anatomy. He discovered the Eustachian tube, the thoracic duct, the adrenals and the abducens nerve, and gave the first accurate description of the uterus. He also described the cochlea, the muscles of the throat and the origin of the optic nerves" (Garrison & Morton). Blake, p. 139; Garrison & Morton 391; Norman 470; Wellcome II, 536.
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