64 full-page & 101 small woodcuts in the text. Woodcut printer's device on title. Criblé initials throughout. 8 p.l., 405,  pp., 1 blank leaf. Folio, 18th cent. fine marbled sheep (small portion of title a little browned with an early ownership inscription has been erased, joints very carefully repaired), stamp in gilt in center of upper cover "Marco Antonio Petit et Amicis" surrounded by a wreath of leaves, spine gilt. Paris: S. de Colines, 1546. First edition in French of one of the most magnificent illustrated anatomical works of the 16th century -- second only to Vesalius's Fabrica of 1543 -- and one of the great woodcut books of the French Renaissance; this copy belonged to Marc Antoine Petit (1766-1811), the renowned surgeon, who was in charge of the surgery department of the Hôtel-Dieu at Lyon for nine years. He formed a famous collection of medical books which were sold after his death. "Although this work was published two years after Vesalius's Fabrica, Charles Estienne had begun composing it long before -- possibly as early as 1530... "Charles Estienne's great work has the distinction of being the first published work to include illustrations of the whole external venous and nervous system, and is of crucial importance in the history of neurology as containing the earliest detailed illustrations of pre-Vesalian brain dissections: 'His eight dissections of the brain, made in 1539, give more anatomical detail than had previously appeared, particularly the first graphical presentation of the difference between the convolutional patterns of the cerebrum and cerebellum' (McHenry, Garrison's History of Neurology , 37-40)... "This French edition (which, incidentally, is considerably rarer than the Latin one [of 1545]) contains two full-page woodcuts which were not included in the Latin edition; these include the famous skeleton plate on p. 13, signed by Mercure Jollat."-Schreiber 125. Estienne's editions of the Dissection are books seldom found in fine condition, and copies have usually been washed, so that the plates have lost all strength and sharpness. The present copy is in fresh and unpressed condition. A few careful repairs to title in the gutter and some faint dampstaining. Sidenotes on pages 9-12 strengthened at folds. Bookplates of Piergiorgio Borio, M.D. ❧ Choulant-Frank, pp. 152-55. En Français dans le Texte, 48-(Latin ed.) Garrison-Morton 378-(Latin ed.). Lilly Library, Notable Medical Books, pp. 32-33. Mortimer, French Books, 213. . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5105)
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