Publisher Information: Birmingham: John Baskerville, 1774.
Hunter, William (1718-83). Anatomia uteri humani gravidi tabulis illustrata. The anatomy of the human gravid uterus exhibited in figures. Double folio. 21 unsigned and unpaginated leaves, each leaf a single sheet. 34 engraved plates prepared by 17 engravers from drawings by Jan van Rymsdyk (fl. 18th cent.), Edward Edwards (1738-1806), Alexander Cozens (d. 1786) and Blakey. Birmingham: John Baskerville, 1774. 651 x 475 mm. Half calf, marbled boards in period style, leather label on front cover. Some mold- and dampstaining (extensive in places), small holes in title repaired, uneven toning. Good copy.
First Edition. Hunter’s Gravid Uterus, on which he labored for thirty years, is one of the great artistic achievements in medicine. “It is indeed a remarkable book, not the least important aspect of which is the large size of the plates, which Hunter took care to defend in the preface. For him, the technical quality of the plates was of great importance; they combine descriptive clarity with beauty. The work contains thirty-four plates of different kinds; some depict several objects, others a life-size section of the human body—the female trunk between the abdomen and the middle of the thighs. Some plates are packed with detail, others are more schematic, showing large parts in outline only. Facing each plate are a short description and a key. . .” (Jordanova, p. 386). The Gravid Uterus was the largest book printed by John Baskerville, and one of two medical books issued from his press; it is also among the very few medical books issued from a private press. The original drawings from which the engravings made are preserved in the Hunterian Collections at the University of Glasgow Library. Cutter & Viets, History of Midwifery, pp. 33-37, 183-184. Garrison-Morton.com 6157. Jordanova, “Gender, generation and science: William Hunter’s obstetrical atlas,” in William Hunter and the Eighteenth-Century World, ed. Bynum and Porter, pp. 385-412. Norman 1125.Book Id: 44333