First edition of Anatomia Humani Corporis by Govard Bidloo, published in 1685, complete with 105 engraved plates after Gérard de Lairesse.
Elephant folio. Full period leather, rebacked with original spine laid down, raised bands, title in gilt over red morocco spine label, decorative gilt compartments. Rubbing to tips, bumped corners, solid text block. Full piece measures 15.25″ x 25.5″. Bookseller’s label on front pastedown endpaper, early ownership notation on front flyleaf. Some soiling to top edge of text block. Archival repairs to closed tears along lower quarter of title page and frontispiece, a handful of small archival reinforcements at various points, two wormholes with limited impact to illustrations or text. Includes an additional engraved title page, a frontispiece portrait of Bidloo engraved by Abraham Blooteling after Gérard de Lairesse, and 105 numbered full-page engravings. Fold-out Plate 10 is lacking the lower portion of plate, occasional finger marks, faint soiling throughout.
(Choulant-Frank, pages 250-253) (Hook & Norman, 231)
An exceptional example of this landmark work in medical history.
Gérard de Lairesse (1641-1711) was inspired by Rembrandt while working on this landmark piece on early human anatomy. The figures are displayed realistically, with dissections contrasted against natural flesh, and an occasional book, inkwell or other object appearing in the composition. Govard Bidloo (1649-1713) began this project with de Lairesse around 1676 while writing plays in Amsterdam, studying for his medical degree, and working as a surgeon. The work was completed about 1682 and published in 1685. In 1698, William Cowper issued an expanded English edition of this work with new text and using the original plates but without crediting Bidloo, resulting in one of the most controversial plagiarism disputes in medical history.