FABRICI, Girolamo (ca. 1533-1619). De formato foetu. Venice: Francesco Bolzetta, 1600 (Padua: Lorenzo Pasquato, 1604).
Large 2o (432 x 284 mm). Collation: a-b2 A-E4 F-I2 K4 L-O2 P4 Q2 R-Z4 Aa2(1+1). 82 leaves. Engraved title signed "Iacobus Valegius sculp", 11 double-page and 23 full-page engraved illustrations, plates 4 and 10 signed "Ben. W. fec"; printer's woodcut device at end, ornamental woodcut initials and tailpieces. (Some show-through of engravings, printing flaws to plates 14 and 31 from creased paper, one or two tiny wormholes touching image on ca. 5 plates, double plates mounted on guards.) Modern vellum over pasteboard, preserving all deckle edges.
Provenance: Brooklyn NY, Medical Society of the County of Kings and Academy of Medicine of Brooklyn (library stamp, title page verso).
FIRST EDITION. Fabrici's studies in embryology place him among the most important biologists of his time. De formatione foetu, the last of his embryological treatises, "illustrates the way in which nature provides for the necessities of the fetus during its intrauterine life. It treats specifically of the umbilical vessels, the urachus, the fetal membranes, fetal waste products, the 'carnea substantia' (placenta), and the uterus. The treatise includes comparative studies of morphological details in dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, sheep, cattle, goats, roebuck, horses, pigs, birds, sharks, and man... (DSB). This comparative aspect is represented in the 34 engraved plates, which illustrate, in some instances for the first time, various aspects of the anatomy of the uterus and of the fetus in humans and animals. Although some of Fabrici's theories were erroneous, he studied the placenta more thoroughly than any of his precedessors and was the first to record the dissection of embryos.
Garrison-Morton 465; NLM/Krivatsy 3827; Wellcome 2119; Norman 751.