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Lot 0254
Author: Read, Alexander
Title: Chirurgorum Comes: or, the Whole Practice of Chirurgery. Begun by the learned Dr. Read; continued and completed by a member of the College of Physicians in London.
Place Published: London
Publisher:Printed by Edw. Jones for Christopher Wilkinson
Date Published: 1687

[xxiv], 672, 683-714 (i.e. 704) pp . Engraved plate. (8vo) 18.5x12 cm (7¼ x4¾") period full calf. First Edition.

A collections of translations and adaptations into English of various early medical works, including 'Of Supplying Defects in the Body' a summary of Tagliacozzi's work on plastic surgery, first published in Venice in 1597. Cushing R41; NLM 9426; Osler 3766; Walleriana 7781; Wellcome IV (pg. 483); Heirs of Hippocrates, No. 459.6.

"Collected edition of the works of the renowned Scottish anatomist, Alexander Read, containing the first English translation of Tagliocozzi's pioneering work on plastic surgery, De Curtorum Chirurgia, 1597 (GM 5734). This translation is found in the fourth and last section of this work between pp. 645-704, 'Of Supplying Defects in the Body', and translates the second and part of Tagliacozzi, dealing with the practice and techniques of surgical restoration of defects by grafting and plastic surgery including grafting of the nose, ear and lips, incision of the bridge, harelip etc. No complete translation into English of Tagliocozzi's great work has been published, and the original work is itself, of great rarity. Practised in India and ancient Rome, plastic surgery in Christian Europe was firmly frowned upon, with the families of surgeons keeping the secrets of their methods to themselves. Tagliocozzi was the first to openly publish his methods, in particular on rhinoplasty. For his pains he was removed from his Christian grave-site and buried in unconsecrated ground. Alexander Read was a distinguished Scottish anatomist, surgeon, teacher and author. He obtained his medical degree at Aberdeen after 1600, and later lived in the borders of Wales. His work on surgery, however, remained incomplete on his death and an anonymous member of the College of Physicians undertook the posthumous completion of the work. The material Read had already published or left behind in the form of notes was amplified by the anonymous editor who included supplementary material from other noted authors, hence the inclusion of Tagliocozzi. In addition to its importance in the history of plastic surgery, the work is of interest in providing insight into the surgical practice and knowledge of a distinguished Tudor surgeon. It also contains two appendixes, one "concerning Chirurgeons Reports before a magistrate, upon their view of a wounded person" which is one of the earliest works in English on forensic medicine, discussing what signs distinguish a person having been beaten to death, suffocated, struck by thunder etc. This is followed by a large section on midwifery, based upon the writings of Chamberlen." - Heirs of Hippocrates, No. 459.6


Spine leather chipped, bookplate removed from front pastedown, hinges cracked; a few ink notes in margins, foxing; very good.

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1st English translation of Tagliocozzi on plastic

Estimate $800 - $1,200Feb 22, 2018