Bibliotheca Meadiana; sive Catalogus Librorum Richardi Mead, MD.London, Samuel Baker, 1755
FIRST EDITION. 8vo. Pp. (iv) 242. Roman letter, some Italic. Pages ruled with contemp autograph of sale prices. Contemp autograph of Edward Aubery, 1774, to tp. Last page has ms sale totals. Yellowing, a few marks, small oil splash to foredge tp, a good clean copy in modern calf, title gilt on spine.
Attractive copy of this important record of the 1754-1755 sale of Richard Mead’s impressive library. Mead (1673-1754) was an English physician and prolific book collector. He studied both classical literature and antiquities before completing his degree in medicine at the Universities of Leyden and Padua. His library reflects this dual-interest: it contains both medical books and early editions of the classics. Mead set up his medical of practice in the late 1690s in Stepney, and went on to publish a number of works describing various medical treatments and procedures. He achieved a number of honours at the College of Physicians and was appointed in 1727 as physician to King George II. Mead’s most popular published work was his 1744 ‘A Discourse on the Plague’, although all his works underwent several editions. On top of collecting books, Mead was an avid accumulator of pictures, coins and antiquities. His collection of these sold after his death for £10,550.17.10.
This work contains a catalogue of his library and its sale. His library was stored during his later life in his Great Ormond Street home, and this catalogue lists a total of 6,827 items. These sold for £5,496.15.0 in this posthumous auction, which was attended by a number of notable scholars, medical figures and other important men from 18th century London. The majority of the works are multiple editions of important literature by classical authors including Euripides, Ovid, Horace, Virgil, Lucretius and Homer. The medical books in his collection are predominantly anatomical topics, and were mainly those published during Mead’s lifetime and probably presented to him. Mead also had a collection of older anatomical works by Bellini, Pacchioni, Peyer, Tarin, and others. The most notable volumes are those by Andreas Vesalius (1514-1565), known as the father of modern anatomy.
This copy belonged to Rev. Edward Aubery of Middlesex who was rector of West Cammel, Somerset. He died in 1786 whereupon his library was auctioned by Benjamin White.BM English book sales, 1676-1900, p. 65-66; Grolier \\\\*05.42\\\\1754\\\\1118.