PETIT, Jean Louis.

Traité des Maladies Chirurgicales, et des opérations qui leur conviennent. Ouvrage posthume… Mis au jour par M. Lesne.

Paris: Chez P. Fr. Didot le jeune,... .1774

3 volumes, 8vo, 1 leaf, pp. (viii), civ, 407; 1 leaf, pp. viii, 560; 1 leaf, pp. viii, 343, 142, (2)blank, engraved frontispiece portrait and 90 folding engraved plates. Half-title in each volume. Ink blot on p. 89 of vol. 2, paper flaw in A3 of the supplement affecting the woodcut headpiece but without loss. Contemporary mottled sheep, spines gilt (but a little rubbed, and two spines worn at head), red morocco labels, tips of lower corners worn, but a very good set.

FIRST EDITION, with the rare supplement. G&M 3357 (mastoiditis) and 3577 ( “Petit’s hernia” and “triangle”, named after him). Petit was the greatest French surgeon after Paré, and this book, published posthumously, is one of the major works of surgery of the eighteenth century. It summarised the whole of French surgical practice. Petit invented the screw tourniquet and devised numerous successful surgical procedures, including herniotomy without opening the sac, and improved the circular method of amputation. Volume 2 includes a long chapter on hernia. He also recorded, in volume 1, the first successful operation for mastoiditis, and demonstrated the mechanism of the occlusion of arteries in wounds. The supplement, which comprises material found too late to be incorporated in the main text, is principally on head wounds. The plates comprise a veritable atlas of instruments of the period.


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