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    Henry Gray. Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical. The Drawings by H. V. Carter, M.D. The Dissections Jointly by the Author and Dr. Carter. London: John W. Parker and Son, 1858. First edition. Octavo (9.75 x 6 inches; 248 x 153 x mm.). xxxii, 750 pages (note: age 369 incorrectly numbered 367). With 363 wood-engravings in the text after drawings by Henry Vandyke Carter. Slightly later half calf, decoratively tooled in blind, over marbled paper boards, spine ruled in blind with five slightly raised bands, dark brown leather label ruled and lettered in gilt, and publisher's name in gilt at foot of spine; marbled edges and endpapers. The boards are quite rubbed. Slight browning, especially at the edges; some faint bleedthrough or offsetting; occasional marginal smudging; a few faint, mostly marginal stains. Upper corner slightly creased through page 128; small piece torn from upper edge of pages 749/750; a few tiny edge nicks or dings. Neat pencil annotations throughout, mostly in the outer margin, but also in the text and in the lower portion of page 750. Previous owner's faint ink gift inscription at head of title: "Charles E. Hagner / from Dr. Charles H. Smith." A very good copy. Protected in a matching quarter calf over marbled paper board clamshell case lined with felt. Garrison-Morton 418 ("Gray's textbook of anatomy remains today a standard work on the subject in the English-speaking world"); Grolier, Medicine, 68; Heirs of Hippocrates 1914; Lilly Library, Notable Medical Books, page 211; Norman Library 939.

    More Information: "Henry Gray [1825-1861] began the preface to the first edition of his Anatomy thus: 'This work is intended to furnish the Student and Practitioner with an accurate view of the Anatomy of the Human Body, and more especially the application of this science to Practical Surgery.' Such was the success of this enterprise that the first edition, seven hundred and fifty copies was sold out within two years, and the book has continued to appear in revised editions up to the present...The first American edition was published in June 1859 by Blanchard and Lea in Philadelphia, utilizing a complete set of wood blocks imported for the illustrations" (Grolier, Medicine).

    "The work was superior to other treatises on anatomy in three areas—the lucid and logical arrangement of a mass of detailed description; clear new drawings based on dissections by the surgeon-author and the artist, a physician; and sections on the surgical anatomy of defined areas, such as the axilla, the elbow, the popliteal space, the perineum, and the laryngotracheal region" (Lilly Library, Notable Medical Books).

    "The success of the book was not due to an absence of rivals. There were already several texts on anatomy...Gray's Anatomy, however, eclipsed all others, partly for its meticulous detail, partly for its emphasis on surgical anatomy, but most of all perhaps for the excellence of the illustrations, based on drawings by H. V. Carter [1831-1897], who assisted Gray with the dissections, and engraved by Messrs Butterworth and Heath with remarkable skill. The design of the book, and the skill with which the illustrations were interpolated in the text, could hardly have been improved. For a man in his early thirties it was a remarkable achievement" (ODNB).


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2020
    4th Wednesday
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