Item #68972 De conceptu et generatione hominis. Jakob RUEFF.
De conceptu et generatione hominis
De conceptu et generatione hominis
De conceptu et generatione hominis
De conceptu et generatione hominis

With a Remarkable Series of Woodcuts by Jost Amman. “First True Anatomical Pictures in an Obstetrics Book”

De conceptu et generatione hominis. De matrice et eius partibus, nec non de conditione infantis in utero, et gravidarum cura et officio.

Frankfurt: [Peter Schmidt for Sigmund Feyerabend], 1587.

Full Description:

RUEFF, Jakob. De conceptu et generatione hominis, De matrice et eius partibus, nec non de conditione infantis in utero, et gravidarum cura et officio., Frankfurt: [Peter Schmidt for Sigmund Feyerabend], 1587.

Third Latin edition and second edition to contain the woodcuts of Jost Amman which are the “first true anatomical pictures in an obstetrics book." (Garrison and Morton). These woodcuts were first used in the 1580 edition. Small quarto (7 3/8 x 5 1/4 inches; 190 x 135 mm.). [6], 92 leaves. Without blank leaf at end of preliminaries [B2} as usual. Title printed in red and black. Large woodcut title vignette and numerous woodcut illustrations, some of which are full-page.

Full vellum. All edges speckled red. Vellum with a few spots and marks. Leaves are a bit toned throughout. Some sporadic dampstaining. Previous owner's bookplate on front pastedown. Still a very good copy with intricate woodcuts.

“[The 1580 edition] was the first edition to contain the woodcuts of Jost Amman(1539-1591), the Swiss-born illustrator. They include two scenes of a pregnant noblewoman and of a woman giving birth with the midwife in attendance, 26 cuts of the uterus and developing foetus, 5 of obstetrical instruments and 3 of abdominal organs. A large number of cuts are also devoted to human deformities and monsters. Although there is still some religious basis to the latter, Rueff's was the first obstetrical book to contain meaningful anatomical illustrations, and remained in use for the best part of a century.” (Christie’s)

Rueff (1500-1558) was a physician and professor of medicine in his native Zurich. “Based on Rösslin’s best-selling Rosengarten, but intended for physicians and scholars as well as midwives, De conceptu was more than a practical handbook of midwifery. Among its illustrations are three full-page woodcuts of the female reproductive organs derived from Vesalius’s Fabrica, a correct representation of the birthing stool, the toothed ‘duck-bill’ pincer for removing a dead fetus and a series of smaller cuts depicting both real and imaginary monstrosities, which Rueff believed to be the work of the devil. Of greater interest, however, is the series of seven woodcuts illustrating contemporary ideas of mammalian embryology, which provide a unique and valuable insight into how early writers envisioned the process of embryonic development. Rueff’s illustrations, based upon the writings of Galen and Aristotle, show the mixture of blood and semen coagulating in the womb into an egg-shaped mass; the subsequent development of organs and blood-vessels (taken from observations of chicken embryos); the arrangement of these into an outline of the human form; and the completed fetus” (Norman Library regarding the First Edition).

Garrison and Morton. NLM/Durling 3982. Norman Library 1856 (First edition).

HBS 68972.

$4,500.

Price: $4,500.00

Item #68972

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