6 December 2004
WILLIS, Thomas (1621-1675). Dr. Willis's Practice of Physick, being the Works of that Renowned and Famous Physician. London: Printed for T. Dring, C. Harper and J. Leigh, 1684.
2o (318 x 190 mm). 35 engraved plates [see note]. (Some pale browning.) Contemporary calf (rebacked). Provenance: C. Stanhope (early signature on pastedown).
FIRST EDITION. The number of plates seems to vary: Russell calls for 36 plates based on the copy at the Royal College of Surgeons, while the Hardman copy is described as having 37 plates. Other copies to have appeared at auction have contained 35 plates (e.g. 2 copies from the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Aberdeen and a copy sold Sotheby's London, 26 November 1987). The confusion may arise from the fact that plates VI and VII in the final part are one leaf (here counted as a single plate). The statement on the title-page that the work contains "forty copper plates" appears incorrect.
In treatise III, pp. 128-158 is found Willis's description of the intercostal and spinal nerves. He described the ganglion chain as the "intercoastal nerve" and thought it came from the head. The practice of Physick contains translations of all his works except his Affectionum quae dicuntur hystericae, 1671. Garrison-Morton 1311; Russell 876; Wing W2854. Sold not subject to return.
WILLIS. A Medical Philosophical Discourse of Fermentation or, of The Intestine Motion of Particles in Every Body. London: Clark for Dring et al., 1684.
2o (308 x 197mm). (Some staining to text.) Later quarter calf, maroon morocco spine label (some light scuffing to joints and corners). Provenance: Otto Orren Fisher (bookplate, his sale, part II, Swann, 5 April 1979, lot 1002). FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. "Contains the earliest suggestion that fermentation is an intestinal or internal motion of particles; the analogy between putrefaction and fermentation is also noted" (Garrison-Morton 2464, first edition). Wing W2840. (2)
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