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De Curtorum Chirurgia per insitionem.

Libro duo. In quibus ea omnia, quae ad huius Chirurgiae, Narium scilicet, Aurium: ac Labiorum per insitionem restaurandorum cum Theoricen, tum Practicen pertinere videbantur, clarissima methodo cumulatissimè declaruntur. Additis Cutis Traducis instrumentorum omnium, atque deligationum Iconibus, & Tabulis. Cum Indice quadruplici expeditissimo, Capitum singulorum, Authorum, Controuersiarum, Rerum denique & verborum memorabilium.

Venice: Gaspare Bindoni the Younger, 1597 Stock Code: 135968
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"The first book devoted entirely to plastic surgery"

First edition of "the first book devoted entirely to plastic surgery" (Norman), second issue on ordinary paper, with the licence printed on the title page verso. Hook & Norman note the existence of a very few copies which they term the first issue, printed on large and thick paper, without the licence, and suggest that these were intended for presentation.

Gaspare Tagliacozzi (1545-1599) had studied under Girolamo Cardano at Bologna, and later became professor of surgery and anatomy at that same institution. Though earlier Western writers such as Celsus had discussed certain aspects of plastic operations, Tagliacozzi "was the first to work toward establishing their scientific validity by publishing surgical procedures that had for generations been closed guarded secrets, and by improving these procedures in the light of the best medical knowledge of his day" (Norman). His innovative technique, which consisted of reconstructing parts of the face by grafting, is masterfully described in the work that made him famous.

In 1597 Gaspare Bindoni the Younger was granted the exclusive right to print it by the Senate. However, another Venetian printer called Roberto Meietti took advantage of the lack of enforcement of copyright laws in Venice at the time by openly publishing a piracy in the same year at a lower price, using rather smaller paper and slightly less detailed copies of the 22 full-page woodcuts, which must have been particularly galling to Tagliacozzi, as he had gone to great expense to have the illustrations prepared. The artist of the woodcuts, which depict Tagliacozzi's instruments and the individual steps of various reconstructive operations, remains anonymous.

"The volume is divided into two parts: the first, 'Theory of the art of plastic surgery,' is about the structure, function, and physiology of the nose; and the second part, 'Practice of the art,' describes and illustrates the instruments and operative procedures for restoration of the nose, lip, and ear. Tagliacozzi also fully discussed the complications, such as hemorrhage and gangrene, that often occurred during these operations. The numerous full-page woodcuts are well-executed and illustrate many of the techniques described in the text" (Heirs of Hippocrates). The engraved title page, attributed to Oliviero Gatti, includes an homage to the "divine Hippocrates" and the "most wise Galen".

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Folio (322 x 220 mm). Bound c.1900 in half vellum, red spine label, raised bands tooled in gilt, red paper sides. Housed in a custom dark burgundy morocco-backed marbled slipcase and red cloth chemise.


Separately paginated. With the blank H6 and errata leaf, without the blank conjugate to the frontispiece. Additional engraved title page as called for, letterpress title printed in black and red with woodcut printer's device, divisional title page for Boo


Pages 51-52 of Book I misnumbered 53-54. Lightly rubbed, corners gently bumped and one worn; engraved title leaf shaved at bottom edge (just touching one figure in the date but no loss of text), contents occasionally soiled or foxed, some bifolia lightly browned, a few heavily so; occasional faint dampstaining generally to lower outer corners, some minor paper losses at corners not affecting text, three discreet marginal paper repairs (E5, Ee5, and Bbb3); some worming to lower outer corners of gathering Ddd; these flaws generally minor, overall a very good well-margined copy.


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