A superb set with the often-missing portrait of Ruysch

Ruysch, F.

Alle de ontleed- genees- en heelkundige werken van Fredrik Ruysch. In zijn ed. leven vermaard geneesheer en hoog-leeraar in d'ontleed- en kruydkunde tot Amsterdam; als mede lid der Keyserlyke, Londensche en Parysse genootschappen. Met veele koperen plaaten. Eerste - Tweede - Derde deel. [Complete].

Published 1739-1744
Item ID 75647

excl. VAT

Amsterdam, Janssoons van Waesberge, 1739-1744. Three volumes in three. 4to (26.2 x 21.7 cm). Engraved frontispiece and engraved portrait of Ruysch. Three half-titles, and three titles in red and black, additional title in black; 1575 pp. (104; 1280, [183], 554[bis], 547-552[bis]); 133 engraved plates (Neerd 8-139, 93*), of which 18 large to very large, folding, and eight (groups of) numbered text illustrations, numbered I-IX, 3-4, but with III-V in one figure. Contemporary uniform full calf with blind-tooled borders. Spines with five gilt-bordered raised bands, and red morocco labels with gilt title. Speckled edges.

A very rare complete copy, including all the spectacular plates and the fine portrait of Fredrik, or Frederik, Ruysch (1638-1731) by the Dutch artist and engraver Jan Wandelaar (1690-1759), who, for instance, also engraved the allegorical frontispiece and plants in Linnaeus's Hortus Cliffortianus, and the anatomical plates of Albinus's Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani. Central to this work are the bizarre, but anatomically correct illustrations of foeteses and anatomical preparations. "Ruysch drew on his art not only for strict medical science but also for flights and fancy. He often made up preparations in a rather romantic, dramatic way. He prepared the corpse of a child as if it were still alive so that Peter the Great was inclined to kiss it. A hydrocephalid child was prepared, seated on a cushion and with a placenta in its hands. Ruysch displayed these preparations ... and this 'cabinet' became a major attraction for foreign visitors. ... In 1715 he announced the sale of his collection but no buyers presented themselves before 1717 when Peter the Great bought it for 30,000 guilders" (DSB). The work consists of three main parts, and an index, or Breedvoerige blad-wyzer van alle uytgegevene zoo ontleedt- genees- als heelkundige werken van Frederik Ruysch, compiled by Bavius Baarda (183 unnumbered pages). The main part is preceded by a 104 pp. Verhaal van 't leven en de verdiensten [story of the life and merits] van Frederik Ruysch, written by J. F. Schreiber. The extended titles of the three parts, which describe the contents, are as follows. Eerste deel: Behelzende, het leven van den autheur, d'ontdekking van de klapvliesen, d'anatomische en chirurgicale aanmerkingen, en catalogus van rariteyten; als mede all d'ontleedkundige voorgestelde brieven met verscheide geleerde lieden gewisselt. Tweede deel: Behelzende, alle d'anatomische cabinetten, beneffens de laatste en vernieuwende oeffeningen [i.e. the description of Ruysch's 'Wunderkammer' artefacts]; Derde deel: Behelzende, het eerste, tweede en derde tiental van ontleed- genees- en heelkundige oeffeningen, d'otleedkundige verhandelinge van een spier in de grond des baarmoeders en briefwisseliinge[sic] daar over van A. Vater en Hequet, d'ontleedkundige verhandelingen over het maakzel der klieren in 't menscheliyke lichaam door Hermanus Boerhaven, Bohlius over het gebruik der spruyten van de holader, en het cabinet der dieren, beneffens een generaal register. All are translated in Nederduytsch (Low German, i.e., Dutch) by the Dutch medical doctor Ysbrand Gysbert Arlebout. A few pages are misnumbered, as always: page 296 as 395, p. 351 as 315; p. 1252 as 252, and between p. 552 and 553, there are eight (extra) pages, numbered 554, 546-552. Text, however, is continuous. Several book dealers and libraries report 134 plates, but then include the frontispiece and portrait, and, apparently, overlook or miss Plate 93*. read more
Some include the text illustrations in their tally; however, the two text illustrations on p. 46 of the main work are often overlooked. Our set is absolutely complete, skilfully and attractively bound in contemporary full calf. Plate folds are avoided, there is hardly any offsetting. Very slight wear to the bindings; in- and externally an excellent, clean set. DSB 12, pp. 39-42; Faerrington, Rooms of Wonder, 43 [Latin ed.]. read less

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