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Medical handbooks by Cartesian physicians and a work on chemistry with a false London imprint

BONTEKOE, Cornelis.
Fundamenta medica sive de alcali et acidi effectibus per modum fermentionis & effervescentiæ. Acedit ... Pharmocopaea ...
Amsterdam, Cornelis Blankaart, 1688.
(2) BLANKAART, Steven. Praxeos medicæ idea nova.
Amsterdam, Jan Claesz. ten Hoorn, 1685.
(3) VIGANI, Giovanni Francesco. Medulla chymiæ, variis experimentis aucta, multisq; figuris illustrata. ...
"London", [= northern Germany?], "Henry Faithorne & John Kersey" [printer and publisher unknown], 1685.
3 works in 1 volume. 8vo. Ad 1 with a divisional title for the Pharmacopaea, woodcut tailpieces, 1 woodcut decorated initial and decorations built up from cast fleurons. Ad 2 with Ten Hoorn's woodcut JCTH cypher monogram on the title-page, the engraved arms of the dedicatee Abraham Johannes Kuffler, 6 engraved illustration plates showing 10 numbered figures, 1 woodcut decorated initial. Ad 3 with 3 numbered engraved folding plates, 1 woodcut decorated initial and a few fleurons. Contemporary blind-tooled vellum, each board with a centrepiece and in each corner a fleur-de-lis, the whole in a frame of double fillets, red sprinkled edges. [8], 228, [11], [1 blank]; [16], 170, [6]; [10], 70 pp.
€ 1,950
Three rare editions in one volume, two by Cartesian physicians on medicine and pharmacology, the third on practical chemistry, also with medical applications:
Ad 1: First edition of a general introduction to medicine and pharmacology by the Dutch Cartesian physician Cornelis Bontekoe (1647-1685), who served from 1682 as physician and advisor to Friedrich Wilhelm I, Elector of Brandenburg in Berlin, and as professor at the university in Frankfurt an den Oder. It reflects the modern scientific method that had made Bontekoe a controversial figure, beginning with matters of chemistry before moving on to medicines, then discussing various ailments. Part 2, with its own divisional title, comprises a 58-page pharmacopoeia.
Ad 2: First edition of a Latin adaptation of a Dutch handbook of practical medicine by the Dutch Cartesian physician, chemist, pharmacologist and entomologist Steven Blankaart (1650-1704), who worked in Amsterdam. It is based on his Dutch Nieuw lichtende praktyk der medicynen, first published in 1678, also by Ten Hoorn, which saw its third edition in 1685. It discusses a wide variety of ailments and their treatment, giving recipes for medicines. Blankaart was an early user of Van Leeuwenhoeks new microscopes, and the blood vessels shown in one of the plates may have been based on microscopic views. The plates are new for this edition, the Dutch Praktyk having shown only equipment. Blankaart dedicated the book to Abraham Johannes Kuffler (ca. 1637-1694?), a follower of Spinoza.
Ad 3: Rare third edition of a Latin treatise on practical chemistry by Giovanni Francesco Vigani (ca. 1650-1712) from Verona, who apparently had no university education but was to become professor of Chemistry at Cambridge in 1703. He published the first edition at Gdansk without illustrations while staying there and the expanded and illustrated second edition in London in 1683, when he was living in Cambridge. The imprint of the present third edition also gives London as the place of publication and names the same publishers as the 1683 edition. The authenticity of its imprint does not appear to have been previously questioned, but it was almost certainly printed in northern Germany and we suspect it was published there as well.
With an early owners name at the head of the title-page struck through and another written below it by the medical writer Jacob(us) lHommart (1666/67-post 1702). All three works somewhat browned, but otherwise in good condition, ad 2 with a small marginal tear in 1 leaf and the foot of the margin of the outer 2 bifolia of its last quire cut 1 to 6 mm short. The binding good. Rare editions spreading what were then considered radical ideas concerning medicine. Ad 1: STCN (6 copies); Wellcome II, p. 201; cf. Krivatsy 1525 (1691 German ed.); ad 2: Krivatsy 1325; STCN (2 copies); ad 3: ESTC R227433? (described as 4to and not noting the plates: 2 copies); Ferguson , Bib. chem. II, p. 510; Wing V373A4 (as ESTC).
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Medicine & pharmacy  >  Medicine & Pharmacy pre 1700
Science & technology  >  Physics & Chemistry