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Titel: La commare o riccoglitrice. Divisa in tre ...
Verlag: Venice, G. B. Ciotti, 1601
3 parts in one vol, 4to (201 x 143 mm), pp [xl] 356 [recte 384], with engraved title, 6 engraved and 25 woodcut illustrations, and woodcut ornaments and printer's device (on title to third book); a few gatherings lightly browned, a fine copy in contemporary limp vellum, from the Colbert library with inscription 'Bibliothecae Colbertinae' on title, gilt arms of Aremberg family on upper cover. £6000Second edition, revised (first 1595-6, impossibly rare), of the 'first Italian book on obstetrics. It is a work of importance for the study of the history of Caesarean section; in it Mercurio advocated the Caesarean operation in cases of contracted pelvis' (Garrison and Morton 6144). It is notable for containing the first illustration of Caesarean section, as well as an illustration and description of the 'Walcher position' and a description of bimanual version. 'The numerous illustrations are particularly striking, especially those depicting caesarean section, an operation on the living advocated by Mercurio for patients with a contracted pelvis. The uterine pictures are crude and uninformative, but those showing the postures favorable for delivery are remarkably vivid and realistic' (Cutter and Viets, A short history of midwifery, p 220).'La Commare is divided into three books, the first dealing with natural labour, care of the pregnant woman and of the new born child. The second book takes up abnormal presentations and their management, and the third section deals with various maladies which may occur to the parturient woman and the new born child.' (Thoms, Classical contributions to obstetrics and gynaecology, pp 105 et seq.).The first edition, 1595-6, is exceptionally rare, with no North American locations in OCLC, nor is it in Wellcome or Waller. The second is rarer than assumed. This is because the third edition, with title-page also dated 1601, is not normally distinguished from the second. The second edition, the only edition revised by Mercurio, has pagination as above, with the title-page to the third part dated 1600. The third edition is paginated xxxvi 407, the dedication is dated 1604, and the title to the third part is dated 1606. OCLC conflates the two.Provenance: Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), Louis XIV's minister of finance and the creator of the Académie des Sciences and other cultural institutions of France. His library was the greatest private collection of its time.Krivatsy 7804; Wellcome 4259; OCLC: Yale, Chicago, Michigan, NLM, Miami, New York Academy of Medicine, Pennsylvania, College of Physicians Philadelphia, and Toronto (although some of these are probably the third edition, see above). Buchnummer des Verkäufers 684
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