Publisher Information: Frankfurt: G. Raben & heirs of W. Hanen, 1562.
Paracelsus, Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541). Erster [Ander; Dritter] Theil der grossen Wundartzeney . . . von allen Wunden, Stich, Brendt, Thierbissz, Beinbrüch . . . 3 vols. in 1, 4to. , 115, [1, blank]; , 129, [1, colophon]; ff. Titles in red and black. Large woodcut vignettes on the titles of each volume, each illustrating a different medical or surgical procedure; woodcut illustration of surgical instruments on leaf **4 of the Erster Theil; astrological woodcut on f. 64 of the same volume. [Frankfurt: G. Raben and the heirs of W. Hanen, n.d. (1563)]. 198 x 150 mm. 16th-century blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards, brass clasps, corners worn, some age-darkening, small wormhole in front cover. Light marginal dampstaining, edges frayed, some toning, title of first part soiled, but very good. One or two marginal annotations, some notes in different hands on the front and rear pastedowns.
Rare Early Illustrated Edition of Paracelsus’s Der grossenn Wundartzney (first ed. 1536), his first book on surgical technique, and the only major book by him published during his lifetime. “Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bonbastus von Hohenheim, also known as Paracelsus, remains one of the most controversial and remarkable personalities of the Renaissance. He has been described as a quack, a magician, and astrologer, and an alchemist, as well as a brilliant physician, prophet, and genius. Sir William Osler called him the ‘Luther of medicine,’ and Fielding Garrison lauded him as ‘the most original medical thinker of the sixteenth century.’ He was perhaps all of these . . . Unlike his contemporaries, Paracelsus regarded surgery as no less worthy than medicine, writing on both subjects and signing himself Doctor beider Arznei (doctor of both medicines). As a surgeon, he treated wounds successfully using conservative methods, in contrast to the common practice of cauterization with boiling oil. He was the first to agree with the fourteenth-century surgeon Henri de Mondeville that wounds must be kept clean, and Garrison described him as ‘almost the only asepsist between Mondeville and Lister’” (Grolier Club, One Hundred Books Famous in Medicine, pp. 61-62).
The Grosse Windartzeney provides comprehensive instructions in all areas of surgery and wound management. Treatments are described for wounds caused by arrows, bullets, burns (including those caused by gunpowder and by freezing), animal bites (including poisoned ones), cuts fractures, etc. The second book discusses the treatment of open wounds, and includes instructions for the preparation of chemical prescriptions for treating venereal diseases, sores, ulcers, fistulae, cancerous growths, etc. The third book is on syphilis (including hereditary syphilis), its origin, causes, symptoms and cures.
This edition appears to have been issued at the same time or before Sudhoff’s nos. 49-51. The first and second volumes (Erster and Ander Theil) have the same collations as Sudhoff nos. 49-50, except that the preliminary gatherings are signed with typographical symbols instead of lower-case letters. The first signature of the third volume is the same as Sudhoff 51, with the remainder coming from Sudhoff 29 (1553); the publishers Raben and Hanen had taken over the unsold copies from the original publisher Herman Gülfferich and printed new preliminary leaves. Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 52.Book Id: 45126