Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2018 Issue

Historic Medical Books and Instruments from James Tait Goodrich

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Primarily medical works.

James Tait Goodrich Antiquarian Books and Manuscripts has issued their Catalogue Y-79, featuring the History of Medicine and Science, Pre-Columbian Artifacts, Medical Instruments and Antiques. Offered are just over 500 items, and the great majority are books describing medicine and medical advances over the past several centuries. Since this is a site about collectible books and paper, you will need to get a copy of the catalogue itself to find out more about the Congo baboon skull in a weaved basket, or the walrus penis bone that was used as a club. Instead, we will present a few examples of the printed material to be found in this catalogue.

 

Speaking of skulls, Armand de Quatrefages and Ernest Hamy conducted an extensive study of them, publishing their theories and numerous illustrations on 100 lithograph plates in 1882 in Crania Ethnica Les Cranes Des Races Humaines. Hamy was a doctor, but joined his mentor, Quatrefages, in a career devoted to anthropology, with a focus on comparative cranial anatomy. They studied ancient and recent skulls, and helped identify Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal men. However, some of their racial theories based on skull shape proved controversial and have since been discarded. Item 436. Priced at $795.

 

Sometimes science requires us to go to great lengths, even into rather ghoulish behavior. It's all for science. Item 26 is Essai Theorique et Experimental sur Le Galvanisme... by Jean (Giovanni) Aldini, published in 1804. Aldini was the nephew of the noted scientist, Luigi Galvani. Galvani made important discoveries concerning the effect of electricity on the muscles of animals. It is known as "Galvanism." Galvani didn't get everything right, but he devised the experiment you probably undertook in high school biology where an electric current is applied to the legs of a dead frog and it makes the frog's legs kick. Well, Aldini did some of the same sorts of experiments, except he did them on dead humans. Aldani visited England where he performed his demonstrations on the executed body of a criminal. Goodrich informs us he also used to hang around French guillotines to collect decapitated heads for his experiments. He succeeded in getting the body parts to twitch as if they were still alive. Aldini also experimented with running electric currents from ear to ear, through the brain, of mentally ill patients. It was the first attempts at electroshock treatment, though it does not appear it produced much more than pain. $2,500.

 

Goodrich notes that this article introduced "perhaps the greatest single medical innovation of the 20th century" to the world. I think that may be an understatement as it is hard to think of anything ever of more significance than this one in terms of curing illness. It announces the discovery of the first antibiotic and I can't even imagine how many millions of people have been saved by these since then. Item 197 is On the Antibacterial Action of Cultures of a Penicillium with Special Reference to Their Use in the Isolation of B. Influenza, by Alexander Fleming. It appears in a 1929 issue of the British Journal of Experimental Biology. Fleming actually stumbled onto his monumental discovery. He was looking for a more powerful antiseptic, which he was testing on a culture of staphylococci. However, his environment was not sterile, and some mold came through the window and settled on his culture. Fleming noted that the bacteria was destroyed by the mold. He had discovered penicillin, the first antibiotic. Fleming did not know how to produce the substance in sufficient quantities to be of much practical value, but the urgent need for such a substance in the war a decade later led to intense research that made large scale production possible. $6,750.

 

Next we have "an American surgical classic." Joseph Pancoast's name was practically synonymous with surgery in 19th century America, particularly in the field of plastic surgery. A physician himself, Pancoast spent most of his career as a department chairman at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. This is his most notable work, A Treatise on Operative Surgery... published in 1844. It went through three editions (this is the first), and is noted for not only its writing but the 486 clear illustrations it provides. They were so good that in some copies, religious purists removed the two plates depicting female genitalia. The book is divided into four sections, covering elementary and minor operations, general operations, special operations, and plastic and subcutaneous operations. Item 410. $1,675.

 

Kenelm Digby was a man who dabbled in all sorts of fields. At one time he was a privateer, but then became a diplomat, part of the court, philosopher, Catholic apologist (not always the best career in 17th century England). He had no medical training, but that did not stop him from publishing this work – A Late Discourse Made in a Solemne Assembly of Nobles and Learned Men at Montpellier in France, by Sir Kenelme Digby, &c. Touching the Cure of Wounds by the Powder of Sympathy, a second edition from 1658. The powder of sympathy was vitriol (copper sulfate) that had been dissolved in water and recrystalized in the sun. He applied this to the bloody bandage of his secretary who suffered from gangrene. The wound was miraculously healed. This healing was truly miraculous since your assumption, that the the bandage to which the substance was applied was then placed on the wound, is incorrect. In sympathetic medicine, the cure is placed on some related object or cause of the illness, in this case the bandage, but not to the wound itself. Digby was no scientist, but then again, medical science was still quite primitive at the time. Item 168. $795.

 

James Tait Goodrich Antiquarian Books and Manuscripts may be reached at 845-359-0242 or James.Goodrich@Einstein.yu.edu.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s New York<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts Online<br>Ending December 17</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, Now - Dec 17:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies…</i> The Second Impression. 1632. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, Now - Dec 17:</b> GEORGE CURZON, 1ST MARQUESS CURZON OF KEDLESTON. “Curzon Tiger Hunt.” [India: circa 1901]. 120 albumen photographs. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, Now - Dec 17:</b> (CASSADY, NEAL). Kerouac, Jack. <i>On the Road.</i> New York: Viking Press, 1957. Inscribed. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, Now - Dec 17:</b> VEGA, JOSEPH PENSO DE LA. <i>Confusion de Confusiones. Dialogos curiosos entre un Philosopho agudo, un Mercader discrete...</i> Amsterdam, 1688. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, Now - Dec 17:</b> RACKHAM, ARTHUR — [WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE]. "The Moon Like to a Silver Bow New-Bent in Heaven," original illustration for <i>A Midsummer Night's Dream.</i> $12,000 to $18,000
  • <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> KNIGHT, HILARY. The Original Portrait of Eloise that Hung at the Plaza Hotel. $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> WARHOL, ANDY. "Iced Lemon Delight," an Original Watercolor Presented to Hilary Knight's cat, Phoebe $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SENDAK, MAURICE. <i>Where the Wild Things Are.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED with drawing to Hilary Knight in the month following publication. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> NOLAND, KENNETH. Original circle painting, untitled, acrylic and ink on cloth, for cover of monograph $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> TOULOUSE-LAUTREC. <i>Histoires Naturelles,</i> 1899. With 22 original lithographs. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>A Collection of Poems,</i> [1711]. The first authoritative and complete collected Sonnets.$15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> LONDON, JACK. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> 1903. First edition, first state jacket. $2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> FROST, ROBERT. Autograph Manuscript of "Build Soil," 12 pp, 1932-1936. $15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> GOULD, GLENN. Glenn Gould's extensively annotated copy of Bach's Goldberg Variations $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> PLATH, SYLVIA. EARLY Autograph Letter Signed, about her beginnings as a writer, Northampton, MA, 1951. $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> HOUDINI, HARRY. A collection of 11 cast iron shackle and lock items from Houdini's personal collection. $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> M4 ENGIMA MACHINE, with very rare RARE HYDRA KEY ENVELOPE. $400,000 to 600,000
  • <center><b>Doyle: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson<br>Online Only Auction ending Dec. 18</b>
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> WETZEL, CHARLES M. American Fishing Books. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> BISSELL, ALFRED E., <i>In Pursuit of Salar.</i> $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> <i>The Settler and Sportsman in Anticosti.</i> $400 to $600
    <center><b>Doyle: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson<br>Online Only Auction ending Dec. 18</b>
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> CARLETON, HENRY GUY, <i>Advice to Young Anglers.</i> $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> ROBINSON, ROLAND EVANS, <i>Forest and Stream Fables. By Awahsoose the Bear.</i> $300 to $500
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> SAWADA, KEN, <i>The Art of the Classic Salmon Fly.</i> $300 to $500
    <center><b>Doyle: Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake” Johnson<br>Online Only Auction ending Dec. 18</b>
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> SOUTHARD, CHARLES ZIBEON, <i>The Evolution of Trout and Trout Fishing in America.</i> $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, Arnold “Jake” Johnson Online-Only Auction, ending Dec 18:</b> SOUTHARD, CHARLES ZIBEON, <i>Trout Fly-Fishing in America.</i> $400 to $600
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jean de Mandeville, <i>Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land,</i> Strassburg, 1488. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> José González Cabrera Bueno, <i>Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica,</i> Manila, 1734. Sold for $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. Sold for $65,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Louise Bourgeois, <i>He Disappeared Into Complete Silence,</i> portfolio with complete text & 9 engravings, 1947. Sold for $413,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Erich Maria Remarque, <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first American edition, Boston, 1929. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sir William Russell Flint, gouache & watercolor illustration for Homer's <i>Odyssey,</i> 1924. Sold for $22,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters, signed to his family, 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>Lady Windermere's Fan,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, London, 1893. Sold for $27,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Emil Cardinaux, <i>St. Moritz,</i> 1918. Sold for $17,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> R.J. Waters, 3 panoramas of the San Francisco earthquake & fire, 1906. Sold for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Album with 200 cartes-de-visite, including images by Felice Beato, John Thompson & F.W. Sutton, Japan & China, 1863-69. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. Sold for $40,000.

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