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15 - 16 June 1998
FABRICI, Girolamo (ca. 1533-1619). De venarum ostiolis. Padua: Lorenzo Pasquato, 1603.
Large 2o (406 x 266 mm). Collation: A4 B-C2 D4. 13 leaves. One double-page and 7 full-page engraved illustrations; printer's woodcut device on title, ornamental woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces. (Slight marginal browning, some show-through of engravings, printing offset to A1r, a few tiny marginal tears discreetly repaired, small mend to upper blank corner of title, A1.4 reinforced at inner margin, small mend to blank area of plate 2, several illustrations cropped to or within plate mark.) Modern crimson morocco.
FIRST EDITION of the first systematic study of the structure, distribution and position of the venous valves. Although the valves of the veins had been observed previously by G.B. Canano and Amato Lusitano, Fabrici studied them anew on the basis of his own observations. Perhaps because he analyzed anatomical structures in terms of their purpose, he interpreted the function of the valves as slowing down the influx of blood in order to distribute it more evenly to the various parts of the body. Although Fabrici's analysis was in part erroneous, De venarum ostiolis became his most influential work, in that it inspired his student, William Harvey, to conceptualize the circulation of the blood. Fabrici's plate illustrating the valves of the arm was the model for the plates illustrating Harvey's De motu cordis (see lot 502).
Garrison-Morton 757; Grolier Medicine 27B; NLM/Krivatsy 3831; Waller 2886; Norman 750.
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