DUVERNEY, [Guichard Joseph].

Traité de l'Organe de l'Ouie, contenant la structure, les usages & les maladies de toutes les parties de l'oreille.

A Paris: chez Estienne Michallet,…1683

12mo, pp. (xxiv), 210, 3 leaves (blank), and 16 folding engraved plates with letterpress text on 17 sheets (the explanation to plate XI is on a separate sheet). Tear neatly repaired without loss in one plate, a few tiny holes in fold of another. Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt. Tip of one corner worn, but a fine copy.

FIRST EDITION. G&M 1545 and 3351. The first scientific account of the structure, function and diseases of the ear. “Duverney was the first to depict the arteries, veins, and nerve branches of the auricle, the first to demonstrate that the bony part of the external auditory meatus originates from the annulus tympanicum, and the first to describe and illustrate the communication between the tympanic cavity and the cells of the mastoid process. He corrected a long-standing error by stating that the Eustachian tube was not an organ of breathing or hearing…” (Norman). Duverney pointed out that sound is conducted by the bones of the skull, and first suggested the theory of hearing later developed by, and accredited to, Helmholtz. For a full account of this book’s content and importance, see Stevenson & Guthrie, pp. 38–39, and Politzer, History of Otology pp. 117–124: “…a milestone in the science of otology…” Robert J. Ruben, Hear! Hear! Six centuries of otology (2002), 22. Grolier Medicine, 36. Norman Catalogue 674.


In stock

Unsure of some of these terms? Click here to download a copy of Carter & Barker, ABC for Book Collectors (2006), which has full explanations.