GERSDORFF, Hans von (c. 1455-1529). Feldtbuch der Wundartzncy. Strassburg: J. Schott, 1517.
Small 2° (254 x 161mm). Double column in Fraktur type. 27 full-page or half-page woodcuts attributed to Hans Wechtlin, the first on the title-page. Smaller woodcut of a scribe on d1. Large woodcut historiated and ornamental initials. TWO FULL-PAGE WOODCUTS AND SEVERAL INITIALS WITH CONTEMPORARY HAND-COLOURING. (Lacking the 2 folding plates, title-page torn at upper margin with loss of the title which is supplied in manuscript facsimile, title repaired at both upper and inner margin, a1 with repairs to margins, c2 with closed tear slightly affecting illustration on recto, i6 with internal tear affecting illustration on verso, repaired tear at foot of m5, marginal waterstains on last quire.) Recent dark red morocco over bevelled wooden boards, covers panelled in blind, plain spine with raised bands, red speckled edges.
THE RARE FIRST EDITION OF THIS POPULAR SURGICAL MANUAL, written on the basis of Gersdorff's 40 years experience as a military surgeon. A summary of the available knowledge of human anatomy is followed by a guide to the surgical treatment of wounds, with a subsidiary part on the treatment of leprosy, followed by three Latin-German glossaries at the end -- one of anatomic terms, one of diseases, and one of simples. 'The book was so popular that it went through twelve German editions between 1517 and 1606, was translated into Latin and Dutch, and was widely quoted, referred to, and plagiarised in subsequent medical texts' (William Lefanu, Lilly Library, p. 19). The woodcuts, which are highly praised by Herrlinger (History of Medical Illustration, p. 142), demonstrate medical operations and instruments, and include the first printed picture of an amputation. Durling/NLM 2059 (also lacking the 2 folding plates); Garrison & Morton 5560; Waller I, 162 (calling for one plate only); cf. Heirs of Hippocrates 149 (1530 edition); Wellcome I 2760 (1527 edition).