VESALIUS, Andreas. Humani Corporis Fabrica Epitome: cum annotationibus Nicolai Fontani…

Amstelodami: apud Joannem Janssonium,1642

Folio, 7 leaves, 112 pages, and 40 engraved plates (the first one double-page) numbered A-Z and a-r. Including the fine engraved title, engraved portrait of Vesalius aged 28, and 3 engravings in the text (1 full-page). Eighteenth century mottled calf, triple gilt fillet on sides, spine richly gilt in compartments, brown morocco label (ends of spine and tips of corners neatly repaired), marbled edges and endpapers. Pale dampstain in upper margin, small wormhole in first few leaves, but a very good, large copy (even the two wider plates are not shaved as in other copies). Provenance: engraved bookplate of the Parisian military surgeon [Georges] Delafaye (1699–1781); early signature of De Faucamberge, Parisian doctor, on front endpaper; early signature of Genssac, medical officer of the Imperial Guard, on rear endpaper. A few plates with early annotations in the upper margin.

A handsome edition of Vesalius' Epitome, edited by the Dutch professor of anatomy Nicolaas Fonteyn. “A new edition of the Bauman-Geminus plates with text following the Botter editions of 1600–01 and 1617. There is an elaborate engraved title border, and in Fontanus’ annotations to the Epitome there are three new figures (p. 14, showing the omentum of an infant; p. 20, a full-page plate of the viscera; p. 33, uterus and adnexa); otherwise the figures are all taken from Bauman’s copperplates. In the preliminary matter there is a diverting piece entitled ‘Drama Cercopithecium’. It has to do with a wise but petulant monkey which put mankind to ridicule in the best Rabelasian, or better, Jan-Steenian, manner. The Vesalius-Sylvius controversy is brought in by implication and Vesalius is made out [to be] a man who, unlike Galen who created men of monkeys, made monkeys of men…” (Cushing). Cushing VI.D.-13. Cockx-Idestege 61.


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