STENSEN, Niels (1638-1686). De musculis & glandulis observationem specimen cum epistolis duabus anatomicis. Copenhagen: Matthias Godicchen, 1664.
4o (193 x 158 mm). Fine additional engraved title of fruits and flowers enclosing four small anatomical figures, woodcut initials. (Occasional light spotting or browning, some staining in quires H and I.) Bound with four other works (see below) in late 18th-century German half vellum and marbled paper over pasteboard, spine title ink-lettered (paper torn in places and rubbed).
Provenance: Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), the founder of scientific anthropology (signature on title-page of first work in this volume); a few 18th-century marginalia in last work; E. F. G. Herbst, by descent to Robert M. Herbst.
FINE ASSOCIATION COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. In this survey the Danish anatomist enumerates the new discoveries and observations that he made between 1662 and 1664, among them the earwax duct, ducts of the cheek, sublingual glands, and the glandular ducts of the palate and epiglottis. The work above all "shows an abundance of new observations and discoveries concerning the anatomy and physiology of individual muscle... He described the role of the diaphragm and several other muscles during respiration... From [his] research Stensen drew comprehensive conclusions concerning the structure of the muscles: that in each muscle there are arteries, veins, fibers and fibrils, nerves, and membranes; that each muscle fiber ends in a tendon on both sides... and that the contractibility lies in the muscle substance proper [and not in the tendon, as Galen had believed]. He then applied all his findings to the heart and proved its muscle structure... The automatic movement, independent of the will, is shared by the heart with other muscles. The findings were new, and even ten years later [Thomas] Bartholin, in a new edition of his [and his father Caspar's] Institutiones anatomicae... did not accept them" (DSB). A duodecimo edition was published the same year in Amsterdam. Garrison-Morton 576; NLM/Krivatsy 11429; Waller 9217.
[Bound with the following:]
1) BARTHOLIN, Caspar (1585-1629). Specimen historiae anatomicae partium corporis humani, ad recentiorum mentem accomodatae, novisque observationibus illustratae. Copenhagen: Widow of Johann Philipp Bockenhoffer, 1701. 4o. Title printed in red and black, 4 engraved plates. (Some browning, heavy offsetting to plates.) Waller 711.
2) VIEUSSENS, Raymond (1641-1715?). Epistola nova quaedam in corpore humana inventa exhibens... ad D.D. Silvestre D.M.M. scripta. Leipzig: Thomas Fritsch, 1704. 4o, 8 leaves. Woodcut initials, title device, head- and tailpieces. (Browning). Waller 9959.
3) KRUGER, Barthold (b. 1653). Anatomicus curiosus KeKoKdKiKdKaKkKtKoKs hoc est methodus secandi cadavera Hippocratica democritaea. Brunegg: Heinrich Kesler, 1700. 4o. Woodcut skull and bones vignette on title, woodcut initials, letterpress tables. (Slight browning.) NLM/Krivatsy 6497.
4) PAULLI, Simon (1603-1680). Anatomisch- und Medicinisches Bedencken ber ein Knigliches Reit-Pferd. Frankfurt: Daniel Paulli, 1674. 4o. Half-title, errata on verso of last leaf, woodcut initials. (Marginal repair to D2 catching a letter, some soiling and spotting.) A curious work combining comparative anatomy with medical advice for laymen and general reflexions on medicine, by the botanist and physician to the King of Denmark. Steno's De musculis et glandulis is mentioned on p. 58. Rare. BM/STC German 17th-century P-253; Wellcome IV, p. 318.
An interesting Sammelband of late 17th and early 18th-century treatises on human anatomy, probably bound for Blumenbach, a pioneer in comparative anatomy, upon which subject he was the first public lecturer in Germany. Norman 2011.