Nummorum veterum populorum et urbium, qui in Museo Gulielmi Hunter. . .Inscribed by Baillie to Cruikshank
Inscribed by Baillie to Cruikshank
Hunter, William (1718-83). Nummorum veterum populorum et urbium, qui in museo Gulielmi Hunter asservantur, descriptio figuris illustrata. Opera et studio Caroli Combe . . . 4to. xi, , 354, [2, errata]pp. 68 engraved plates. London: J. Nichols; sold by T. Cadell; P. Elmsley, G. Nichol & J. Murray, 1782. 286 x 228 mm. Red crushed morocco gilt ca. 1784, a.e.g., slight wear at edges, evidence of bookplate removal inside front cover. Fine copy apart from some foxing to the plates. Inscribed by Matthew Baillie (1761-1823) to William Cruikshank (1745-1800) on the front flyleaf: "To Mr. Cruikshank with Mr. Baillie's best Compliments." 19th cent. ownership signature of Edward Thomas, dated Sept. 14, 1839, and later note, presumably by a Thomas descendent.
First Edition of the first and only published installment of the catalogue of William Hunter's magnificent collection of coins, a collection regarded as one of the finest in the world. Hunter began collecting coins around 1770, and by the time of his death had spent over £22,000 on this pursuit-an enormous sum of money by the standards of the day. After Hunter's death, by the terms of his will, the coin collection, together with Hunter's books, pictures and anatomical models, remained in the care of three trustees for thirty years, after which time they became the property of the University of Glasgow. In 1807 the collections were sent to Glasgow, where they now represent the core of the University's Hunterian Museum.
Nummorum veterum populorum et urbium was compiled by Charles Combe (1743-1817), a physician and coin dealer who became acquainted with Hunter in 1773, and greatly assisted Hunter in forming his collection. Combe was one of the three trustees appointed in Hunter's will to administer his collections, the other two being Dr. George Fordyce and Dr. David Pitcairne. Combe had originally intended to prepare a catalogue of the complete Hunterian coin collection, but was able to publish only this installment. The work is illustrated with 68 plates that Combe took care to make "more faithful to the original coins than the illustrations in previous numismatic works" (Dictionary of National Biography).
Our copy of Nummorum veterum populorum et urbium has an outstanding association, being inscribed by Hunter's nephew Matthew Baillie to Hunter's assistant William Cruikshank. Baillie and Cruikshank took over the administration of Hunter's Windmill Street anatomy school after Hunter's death. Hunter bequeathed the use of his collections to Baillie for a term of thirty years; had Baillie died during this time, the use of the collections would have passed to Cruikshank. Both men made lasting contributions to medicine. Baillie is best known as the author of The Morbid Anatomy of Some of the Most Important Parts of the Human Body, the first systematic study of pathology and the first publication in English on pathology as a separate subject (see Garrison-Morton 2281). Cruikshank, together with John Hunter and William Hewson, laid the foundation of modern knowledge of the lymphatic system, as described in Cruikshank's Anatomy of the Absorbing Vessels of the Human Body (1786; see Garrison-Morton 1103). Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Simmons and Hunter, William Hunter 1718-1783, ed. C. H. Brock, p. 27. 40362
Book Id: 40362