GIFFARD, William (d. 1731). Cases in midwifery. Edited by Edward Hody (1698?-1759). London: B. Motte and T. Wotton, 1734.
4o (232 x 178 mm). 3 engraved plates (2 folding), the first showing 5 different forceps, woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces. (Small stain to 3O4v obscuring 6 or 7 letters, title a bit soiled, occasional light marginal foxing.) Contemporary blind-panelled calf (rebacked, rubbed, a few scrapes to covers).
Provenance: Samuel [Bard?] (1742-1821) (largely eradicated signature on title); David Hosack (1769-1835), American physican and botanist, partner of and successor to Samuel Bard; Thomas Sacketts (1762 inscription); Wilh. Saunders; George Hamilton (inscriptions); H. S. Heath; Gordon W. Jones (bookplates).
FIRST EDITION, LARGE-PAPER ISSUE, of Giffard's series of 225 case histories of difficult deliveries, containing the FIRST PUBLISHED DESCRIPTIONS OF THE USE OF OBSTETRIC FORCEPS, which are illustrated here for the first time. Forceps, known at this period as "extractors," had been in limited use in the 17th century as the "secret instrument" of the Chamberlen family of London physicians, but by the 2nd quarter of the 18th century they were coming into more widespread use. Giffard's case histories refer repeatedly to his use of the instrument. One of Giffard's most frequently reiterated complaints targets the "self-sufficiency" of midwives, which, "joined with an idle notion that they suffer in their Character if they send for a Man's assistance... generally prevents most Midwives from sending early, by which they too often endanger the lives both of Mothers and children, and give no small trouble to the Man-midwife" (pp. 305-306).
A FINE ASSOCIATION COPY. David Hosack was one of the most enlightened physicans of his time as well as an eloquent and effective teacher of medicine. "He was one of the first physicians in America to use the stethoscope, to advocate vaccination, and to limit the use of the lancet" (DAB). He very probably received this copy from his colleague Samuel Bard, founder of New York's first medical school at King's College [Columbia] and author of the first American obstetrical handbook (see lot 274), whose practice he shared before inheriting it.
Garrison-Morton 6156.3; Wellcome III, p.114; Norman 902.