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Important 1639 handbook for the medical use of animals and animal products

BOSSCHE, Guilielmo vanden.
Historia medica, in qua libris IV. Animalium natura, et eorum medica utilitas exactè & luculenter tractantur. Cum iconibus eorum, ad vivum delineatis.
Brussels, Ioannis Mommart II, 1639. 4to. With woodcut printer's device on title-page and a larger one on the final page, and 80 woodcut illustrations in text (a few with the monogram I.C.I. of Cristoffel Jaeger (1596-1653)). 18th-century calf, with red morocco title-label; rebacked with original backstrip laid down, modern endpapers. [16], 422 [= 434], [20] pp.
€ 4,500
Rare first and only edition of a well-illustrated handbook on medicinal uses of animals and animal products, by Willem vanden Bossche in Dendermonde (East Flanders). The wild and domesticated animals are arranged in four sections: birds and other winged animals (pp. 1-140, including a bat, eagle, falcon, vulture, owls, swan, goose, peacock, pheasant and parrot), mammalian quadrupeds (pp. 141-318, including a camel, horse, lion, elephant and macaque(?)), fish and other marine animals, edible and inedible (pp. 319-386, including an eel, sea urchin, turtle, crustaceans, snails, frogs, otter and beaver), and insects, arthropods, reptiles, worms, etc. (pp. 387-434, including a spider, lizard, lice, scorpions, snakes, leeches and worms). The lice are shown with their host scratching his head and the leeches in use for bloodletting on a womans arm. The beaver looks rather like a wolf with a fish body for a tail. The woodcut of a hedgehog is reused to illustrate the sea urchin! Bossche gives a description of each animal, quoting sources from antiquity to the seventeenth century, and then discusses its medical uses.
Only four of the woodcuts are signed, all with the initials "ICI", identified as the Antwerp woodblock cutter Jan Christoffel Jeghers (1618-1666/67), son of the woodblock cutter Christoffel Jeghers (1596-1652/53) who worked in Rubenss shop in 1630 and continued to work closely with Rubens to his death in 1640.
With the bookplate of the Gouda pharmacist Elize Grendel (1899-1986) on the first blank. A few leaves slightly loosening, slightly browned and some foxing, otherwise good. Rebacked, as noted, and slightly rubbed. Krivatsy 1603; Nissen, ZBI 481; Wood, p. 250; Wellcome 994 (lacking final leaf); Waller 1325; cf. Thieme & Becker XVIII, pp. 487-488.
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Related Subjects:

Medicine & pharmacy  >  Medicine & Pharmacy pre 1700 | Veterinary Medicine
Natural history  >  Agriculture & Animal Husbandry | Zoology (General incl. Faunas)