29 November 2000
FOX, Joseph (1776-1816). The Natural History of the Human Teeth. London: T. Plummer for Thomas Cox, 1803. 4° (265 x 218mm). 13 engraved plates by I. Parks after G. Kirtland, Franklin, and I. Parks. (Occasional light ink spotting, some light browning, light marginal dampstaining on a few plates and text leaves, skilful marginal repair on title.) Provenance: occasional marks and textual amendments in pencil.
J. FOX. The History and Treatment of the Diseases of the Teeth, the Gums, and the Alveolar Processes. London: James Swan for Thomas Cox, 1806. 4°. 9 engraved plates by I. Parks after Mogdridge. (Variable light browning, light marginal dampstaining on a few plates, Z4 and plate IX neatly reinforced at gutter.) Garrison and Morton 3679.1; Wellcome III, p.50.
2 works bound in one volume, 20th-century brown half calf, spine lettered in gilt.
FIRST EDITIONS OF 'THE FIRST WORK ON ORTHODONTICS' AND 'THE FIRST BOOK TO ILLUSTRATE DISEASES OF THE TEETH' (Garrison and Morton 3679 and 3679.1). Formerly a student of John Hunter, Joseph Fox was the first lecturer on dentistry at Guy's Hospital, the first dental surgeon appointed to a hospital position, and one of the first medical practitioners to devote himself completely to the care of the teeth. Fox's two works - subsequently issued together in two volumes under the title The Natural History and Diseases of the Human Teeth (London: 1814) - employed his surgical knowledge to offer practical diagnoses and treatments: the text and finely-detailed plates describe both the diseases and the corresponding operations (using toothkeys and other instruments), and ensured the treatise's pre-eminence in the following fifty years as 'the most complete work of its kind and ... the first to give specific operative procedures for correcting dental irregularities' (Eimas 1314, of London: 1814 edition). Garrison and Morton 3679; Norman 825; Wellcome III, p.50.
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