De visione, voce, auditu.

Venice, per Franciscum bolzettam, 1600


FIRST EDITION. three parts in one. Folio. pp. (xii), 133, (xv), 83, (ix), 38, (ii). *, A-R, ), ²A-I, K, , ³A-E. [Without blanks R4 and E4] Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Fine full-page engraved title by Iacobus Valegius, eleven full-page engraved plates, [three fractionally trimmed at outer margin] floriated woodcut initials and grotesque tail-pieces, many woodcut diagrams in the text, woodcut printers device to verso of last of first part. Light age yellowing, minor very light waterstaining, very minor dust soiling to upper margin of a few leaves of last part, the rare mark or spot, tears in lower blank margin of two leaves. A very good copy, in C17th calf, rebacked, remains of original spine laid down, e-ps well renewed.

The beautifully illustrated first edition of Fabrici’s first published anatomical work in three parts; ‘De visione sive de oculo visus organo,’ on the eye; ‘De voce sive de larynge vocis organo’, on the voice and finally the ‘De auditu sive de aure auditus organo’ on the ear. It is illustrated with eleven very fine full page anatomical engravings with multiple parts to each image; 42 for the Eye, 38 for the voice and 17 for the ear. “The major portion of this work on the organs of vision, speech, and hearing is devoted to the eye, and it is clear that Fabricius was one of the first to grasp the true form and proper location of the lens. Although his description of the ear is sound, it contributed no new knowledge about the ear or the sense of hearing. An extremely competent comparative anatomist, he was at his best in dealing with the laryngeal apparatus” Heirs of Hippocrates. Fabrici was a distinguished Italian anatomist and surgeon, who helped found modern embryology. He is best known in English medical literature as the teacher of Harvey, who gives him the entire credit for the discovery of the valves in the veins which meant so much for Harvey’s own discovery of the circulation of the blood. He became the favourite pupil of Fallopio, being his demonstrator in anatomy at Padua when scarcely twenty. Though he was only twenty five when Fallopio died, Fabricius was chosen his successor and a little later became professor of surgery, occupying both chairs for nearly half a century (1562-1609). In 1594 he revolutionised the teaching of anatomy when he designed the first permanent theatre for public anatomical dissections. By dissecting animals, Fabricius investigated the formation of the foetus, the structure of the oesophagus, stomach and intestines, and the peculiarities of the eye, the ear, and the larynx. He was the first to describe the membranous folds that he called “valves” in the interior of veins. These valves are now understood to prevent retrograde flow of blood within the veins, thus facilitating antegrade flow of blood towards the heart, though Fabricius did not understand their role at that time. This work, together with his many other anatomical studies were intended to form a monumental ‘Totius animalis fabricae theatrum’, which however never appeared in print.

A very good copy of this rare work with excellent impressions of the plates.

BM STC It C16th. p. 241 Heirs of Hippocrates 365. Durling 1415. Wellcome I, 2118. Adams F100. Osler 2558.



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