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An Abstract of the Patent Granted by His Majesty King George…
An Abstract of the Patent Granted by His Majesty King George…
Patent medicines originated in England in the mid 17th century and were marketed with extravagant claims, offering cures for a host of maladies. Recommendations for dosage were vague, and ingredients (often including opium) were usually not specified. In 1726 Benjamin Okell was granted the royal patent for Dr. Bateman’s Pectoral Drops, a tincture of gambir (an astringent extract from an Asian plant) and opium. Advertisements published in the London Mercury as early as 1721 directed prospective customers to the warehouse and printing shop at Bow's Churchyard, where they could purchase the drops for one shilling. Our copy of the 1731 reprint by Peter Zenger is likely the first piece of medical printing in New York. Zenger, who would later
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Patent medicines originated in England in the mid 17th century and were marketed with extravagant claims, offering cures for a host of maladies. Recommendations for dosage were vague, and ingredients (often including opium) were usually not specified. In 1726 Benjamin Okell was granted the royal patent for Dr. Bateman’s Pectoral Drops, a tincture of gambir (an astringent extract from an Asian plant) and opium. Advertisements published in the London Mercury as early as 1721 directed prospective customers to the warehouse and printing shop at Bow's Churchyard, where they could purchase the drops for one shilling. Our copy of the 1731 reprint by Peter Zenger is likely the first piece of medical printing in New York. Zenger, who would later become famous for printing seditious texts, was instrumental in establishing freedom of the press in America. The Academy has the only known copy. Bound with our copy of the abstract is a copy of A Short treatise of the virtues of Dr. Bateman's Pectoral Drops, also issued by Okell and his printing house partners. Here, Batemans efficacy as a treatment for numerous ailments are described in sections dedicated to each. The last section of the treatise offers testimonials from satisfied customers...READ MORE
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Apicius [De re culinaria Libri I-IX]
Apicius [De re culinaria Libri I-IX]
This manuscript contains 500 Greek and Roman recipes from the fourth and fifth century, both culinary and medical, reflecting the polyglot culture of the Mediterranean basin. Sometimes referred to as the oldest extant cookbook in the West, the manuscript is divided into ten books. It is likely that the Apicius began as a Greek collection, mainly written in Latin, and adapted for a Roman palate. The collection is likely compiled from many sources, as no evidence exists that Apicius (a Roman gourmet in 1st century AD), authored a book of cookery. Our manuscript was penned in several hands in a mix of Anglo-Saxon and Carolingian scripts at the monastery at Fulda (Germany) around 830 AD. It is one of two manuscripts (the other at the Vatican)
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This manuscript contains 500 Greek and Roman recipes from the fourth and fifth century, both culinary and medical, reflecting the polyglot culture of the Mediterranean basin. Sometimes referred to as the oldest extant cookbook in the West, the manuscript is divided into ten books. It is likely that the Apicius began as a Greek collection, mainly written in Latin, and adapted for a Roman palate. The collection is likely compiled from many sources, as no evidence exists that Apicius (a Roman gourmet in 1st century AD), authored a book of cookery. Our manuscript was penned in several hands in a mix of Anglo-Saxon and Carolingian scripts at the monastery at Fulda (Germany) around 830 AD. It is one of two manuscripts (the other at the Vatican) presumed to have been copied from a now lost common source. The Apicius manuscript is the gem of the Academy’s Margaret Barclay Wilson Collection of cookery, acquired in 1929...READ MORE
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Aristotle’s Masterpiece, Or The Secrets of Generation displayed in all the parts thereof
Aristotle’s Masterpiece, Or The Secrets of Generation displayed in all the parts thereof
Published initially in 1684 and popular in both America and England for over two hundred years, this became the most widely reprinted medical book in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The contributions of the Masterpiece were not particularly scientific, but drew largely from Hippocrates, and Galen, as well as other classical and medieval writers. The source material came from two earlier books: Levinus Lemnius’s Secret Miracles of Nature, originally published in Latin in 1599, and The Complete Midwives Practice Enlarged (author unknown). Chapter headings include sections titled, “The Signs of Barrenness” “The Way of getting to a Boy or a Girl,” “How a Midwife Ought to be Qualified” and “A Word of Advice to both Sexes in the
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Published initially in 1684 and popular in both America and England for over two hundred years, this became the most widely reprinted medical book in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The contributions of the Masterpiece were not particularly scientific, but drew largely from Hippocrates, and Galen, as well as other classical and medieval writers. The source material came from two earlier books: Levinus Lemnius’s Secret Miracles of Nature, originally published in Latin in 1599, and The Complete Midwives Practice Enlarged (author unknown). Chapter headings include sections titled, “The Signs of Barrenness” “The Way of getting to a Boy or a Girl,” “How a Midwife Ought to be Qualified” and “A Word of Advice to both Sexes in the Act of Copulation.” The information this title offered on conception, pregnancy, and childbirth wasn’t particularly innovative; many seventeenth century discoveries in gynecology are absent from the text and replaced by Hippocratic pathology, or by superstition. The “Aristotle” of the title was pseudonymous, and likely evoked by the book’s author to give the tome scientific credibility. The book’s true author is unknown, though Culpepper and William Salmon, an English physician and author, are sometimes credited...READ MORE
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De symmetria partium in rectis formis humanorum
De symmetria partium in rectis formis humanorum
Albrecht Dürer, printmaker and painter of the German Renaissance, was equally famous during his lifetime for contributions to the study of mathematics and proportion. In this text, Dürer treats the arithmetic and geometrical constructions of bodies, largely at rest. Numerous woodcuts represent bodies male and female in various sizes and ages, and register their measurements. The ideas expressed in the De symmetria and the two complimentary volumes that followed, also on human proportion, were widely influential on artists and anatomists for centuries to come. This 1532 text in Latin contains the first two books of the results of this research, first published in German in 1528 as Vier Bücher von menschlicher Proportion (Four Books on Human
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Albrecht Dürer, printmaker and painter of the German Renaissance, was equally famous during his lifetime for contributions to the study of mathematics and proportion. In this text, Dürer treats the arithmetic and geometrical constructions of bodies, largely at rest. Numerous woodcuts represent bodies male and female in various sizes and ages, and register their measurements. The ideas expressed in the De symmetria and the two complimentary volumes that followed, also on human proportion, were widely influential on artists and anatomists for centuries to come. This 1532 text in Latin contains the first two books of the results of this research, first published in German in 1528 as Vier Bücher von menschlicher Proportion (Four Books on Human Proportion.) Dürer died shortly after receiving the first proofs of the German edition; the remaining publication details were completed by his friends. Our copy is bound in stamped pigskin, with a front panel illustrating Jacob’s ladder and a back panel depicting the baptism of Christ. The woodcut monogram Dürer developed in 1497 to protect his work from piracy is visible on the title page...READ MORE
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Des aller furtrefflichsten, hoechsten und adelichsten Gschoepffs aller Creaturen
Des aller furtrefflichsten, hoechsten und adelichsten Gschoepffs aller Creaturen
Walther Hermann Ryff was a surgeon employed in Strassburg in the early 16th Century. One of the highlights of this text are the 42 hand-colored woodcuts in the text, compiled from a number of Renaissance sources. Depicted in the counterfeit style, the illustrations in this book would have implied eye witness knowledge and discovery. In this way, Ryff’s book asserted itself as a credible description of anatomy (though its illustrations were far from anatomically accurate). The text of this book relied on lectures in anatomy and physiology, compounded from other sources. His audience was the ‘gemeine,’ or common man, and it’s composition in German, rather than Latin, ensured it would have a wider audience. In this way, Ryff’s book would have
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Walther Hermann Ryff was a surgeon employed in Strassburg in the early 16th Century. One of the highlights of this text are the 42 hand-colored woodcuts in the text, compiled from a number of Renaissance sources. Depicted in the counterfeit style, the illustrations in this book would have implied eye witness knowledge and discovery. In this way, Ryff’s book asserted itself as a credible description of anatomy (though its illustrations were far from anatomically accurate). The text of this book relied on lectures in anatomy and physiology, compounded from other sources. His audience was the ‘gemeine,’ or common man, and it’s composition in German, rather than Latin, ensured it would have a wider audience. In this way, Ryff’s book would have been indispensable to new readers as a compilation of Renaissance knowledge about the body. The book also offers evidence about early printing history. The wood-blocks for this edition were reused for a set of broadsides before they were passed to a Parisian printer for new editions of Ryff’s work, and for a popular work on surgery. This illustrated the practice of passing wood-blocks from publisher to publisher, and shows how work published in one city continued to be published and disseminated in others...READ MORE
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Engravings of the Arteries
Engravings of the Arteries
This early work by the Scottish anatomist Charles Bell was composed for medical students and aimed to offer accurately and simply-rendered illustrations of the arteries. It was used as a preparatory text for surgical study and practice. The ten engravings in this volume were hand-colored, and labelled with letters corresponding to explanatory descriptions of the arteries on the opposite page. Bell was an accomplished medical illustrator; the engravings were done by Thomas Medland after Bell’s drawings. For Bell, true anatomical understanding was aided in pairing accurate drawing with thorough description. Bell believed that a variety of bodies should be used as subjects, and that the artist must choose the most typical anatomical examples
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This early work by the Scottish anatomist Charles Bell was composed for medical students and aimed to offer accurately and simply-rendered illustrations of the arteries. It was used as a preparatory text for surgical study and practice. The ten engravings in this volume were hand-colored, and labelled with letters corresponding to explanatory descriptions of the arteries on the opposite page. Bell was an accomplished medical illustrator; the engravings were done by Thomas Medland after Bell’s drawings. For Bell, true anatomical understanding was aided in pairing accurate drawing with thorough description. Bell believed that a variety of bodies should be used as subjects, and that the artist must choose the most typical anatomical examples to copy accurately. Bell made important inroads in determining the sensory functions of the nervous system, and was an early advocate of the idea that different parts of the brain controlled different functions; his pioneering work on the brain and cranial nerves influenced the work of other important brain researchers for decades. Chief among his achievements are his very fine medical illustrations, unsurpassed in terms of efficiency of presentation and elegance. These are very much on display in this beautiful book...READ MORE
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Feldtbuch der Wundartzney
Feldtbuch der Wundartzney
This manual for military surgeons first published in Strassburg in 1517 was only the second handbook on surgery to be published in Germany in the vernacular. It was reissued at least twelve times, with translations in Latin and Dutch. The Feldtbuch was written and compiled by Hans Gersdorff, an Alsatian army surgeon who had served in the Burgundian war. The book enumerates treatments for the injuries most common to soldiers, including gunshot wounds, loss of limbs, and leprosy. The woodcut illustrations, many by Johann Ulrich Wechtlin, are among the earliest European depictions of surgery. The gaze in these illustrations and throughout the text belongs to the surgeon. Little attention in the text or image is paid to the recovery or long
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This manual for military surgeons first published in Strassburg in 1517 was only the second handbook on surgery to be published in Germany in the vernacular. It was reissued at least twelve times, with translations in Latin and Dutch. The Feldtbuch was written and compiled by Hans Gersdorff, an Alsatian army surgeon who had served in the Burgundian war. The book enumerates treatments for the injuries most common to soldiers, including gunshot wounds, loss of limbs, and leprosy. The woodcut illustrations, many by Johann Ulrich Wechtlin, are among the earliest European depictions of surgery. The gaze in these illustrations and throughout the text belongs to the surgeon. Little attention in the text or image is paid to the recovery or long-term rehabilitation of the patient; the focus is on the squarely on the surgical procedure itself. The last section of the book is devoted to three Latin-German glossaries on anatomy, pathology and the medicinal uses of herbs...READ MORE
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From Basilisks to Bezoars: The Surprising History of Harry Potter’s Magical World
From Basilisks to Bezoars: The Surprising History of Harry Potter’s Magical World
This collection celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the publication of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by showcasing rare books and objects dating back to the fifteenth century that reveal the history behind many of the creatures, plants and other magical elements that appear in the Harry Potter series—from mandrakes to basilisks to Nicholas Flamel and the philosopher’s stone itself. The collection is organized as a fictional study aid for Hogwarts students preparing for their important wizardry exams, the O.W.L.s, with content relating to seven Hogwarts courses. Disclaimer: This exhibition is not licensed or endorsed by Warner Bros. or J.K. Rowling.
Here begyney ye inventorie or ye collectorye in chirurgicale parte of medicene compiled and complete in ye yere of our Lord...
Here begyney ye inventorie or ye collectorye in chirurgicale parte of medicene compiled and complete in ye yere of our Lord...
An illuminated and illustrated manuscript of the Chirurgia magna, or great surgery, by Guy de Chauliac. Attempting in the Chirurgia to collect the best medical ideas of his time, he compiled sources from Arabic and Greek writers, including Rhazes, Avicenna, Hippocrates, Aristotle and others. Guy wrote the first text of the Chirurgia in Latin at Montpellier, in approximately 1363. This text was published in many editions and remained the authoritative text on surgery through the seventeenth century. It consists of 181 pages of English black letter in double columns and lines lightly ruled in red. It is ornately illuminated in gold and silver with finely decorated floral borders and large floriated initials, heightened with gold leaf
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An illuminated and illustrated manuscript of the Chirurgia magna, or great surgery, by Guy de Chauliac. Attempting in the Chirurgia to collect the best medical ideas of his time, he compiled sources from Arabic and Greek writers, including Rhazes, Avicenna, Hippocrates, Aristotle and others. Guy wrote the first text of the Chirurgia in Latin at Montpellier, in approximately 1363. This text was published in many editions and remained the authoritative text on surgery through the seventeenth century. It consists of 181 pages of English black letter in double columns and lines lightly ruled in red. It is ornately illuminated in gold and silver with finely decorated floral borders and large floriated initials, heightened with gold leaf. The manuscript includes 24 drawings of surgical instruments. The calf binding dates to Henry VIII’s reign or to the Elizabethan era. The original brass and leather clasps are engraved with stars and lion heads. There has been dispute about the manuscript’s date, with authorities dating it between the late 14th and second half of the 15th century. The manuscript was sold with the Streeter collection to the New York Academy of Medicine in 1928...READ MORE
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Historia naturalis Brasiliae
Historia naturalis Brasiliae
The Dutch West India Company occupied northeastern Brazil for thirty years, from 1624 to 1654. The first ten years of occupation financially strained the Company, despite considerable profits made from sugar, Brazil-wood, and loot swiped from Iberian ships. In 1636, Johann Maurits arrived to govern, tasked with stabilizing the settlement. Under his leadership (which lasted until 1644), the colony thrived. Among the forty-six artists and scholars Maurits hired as his research staff to promote scientific studies in Brazil were the physician Willem Piso and astronomer Georg Markgraf, who arrived in 1638. The Historia naturalis Brasiliae, their collaborative illustrated folio volume, in twelve books, was published in 1648. Rich in
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The Dutch West India Company occupied northeastern Brazil for thirty years, from 1624 to 1654. The first ten years of occupation financially strained the Company, despite considerable profits made from sugar, Brazil-wood, and loot swiped from Iberian ships. In 1636, Johann Maurits arrived to govern, tasked with stabilizing the settlement. Under his leadership (which lasted until 1644), the colony thrived. Among the forty-six artists and scholars Maurits hired as his research staff to promote scientific studies in Brazil were the physician Willem Piso and astronomer Georg Markgraf, who arrived in 1638. The Historia naturalis Brasiliae, their collaborative illustrated folio volume, in twelve books, was published in 1648. Rich in description of native life, the book contains 446 remarkable woodcuts illustrating local flora and fauna, and comprises the most important early documentation of zoology, botany and medicine in Brazil. The woodcuts are based on an original collection of paintings and sketches, now lost; many of these original depictions were likely done by Markgraf himself. The first four books were written by Piso, and deal mainly with diseases native to Brazil and their remedies. Piso, assigned as Maurits’ personal physician, turns his clinical eye to the ways of the native populations, from whom he makes several important discoveries. He offers a vivid account of a patient in the throes of tetanus, and suggests that the root cause of the ailment may be a minor wound, of the kind that craftspeople incur while working. The remaining eight books, subtitled Historia rerum naturalium Brasiliae and mostly devoted to natural history, were written by Georg Markgraf. These sections were devoted to the medical uses of plants; to fish, birds, insects, quadrupeds and reptiles; and to full descriptions of geographic regions and their inhabitants. Images from two of these books, dealing with quadrupeds, and with insects, are pictured here. Markgraf describes the appearance, habits, and environment of each animal depicted. Some of the four-legged creatures pictured have the names we might still use today: the armadillo, on page 231, would be recognizable as such to a child, as would a short-legged jaguar, on page 235. In other cases, it’s more difficult to link the textual description with the images– the placement of the woodcuts doesn’t always correspond with the text. Is, for example, the shaggy llama on page 244 the Peruvian sheep referenced in the header? Markgraf points out that the creature pictured has a two-toed foot on his back legs, just as a llama does. The lushly illustrated and very beautiful frontispiece features a European traveler, presumably Dutch, reclining before two natives in a verdant green wood, teeming with wildlife. Piso, Willem. Historia naturalis Brasiliae. Leiden, 1648. Photography by Ardon Bar-Hama courtesy of George Blumenthal.
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La methode curative des playes, et fractures de la teste humaine avec les pourtraits des instruments
La methode curative des playes, et fractures de la teste humaine avec les pourtraits des instruments
Ambroise Paré is renowned as the father of modern surgery. In obstetrics, Paré pioneered a new way of turning an infant in the uterus. He also made significant advancements in the treatment of hernias, the fitting of artificial limbs and eyes, and devised a new instrument to reduce hemorrhage after amputation. As with much of his work, the Methode Curative was widely distributed and reached a large audience. Long considered a classic text on the treatment of head wounds, this book contains 74 woodcuts, many hand-colored and adapted from the corpus of Vesalius. The first section, devoted to the anatomy of the head, is illustrated with woodcuts. The anatomical engravings were modified from the woodcuts of Vesalius and completed by
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Ambroise Paré is renowned as the father of modern surgery. In obstetrics, Paré pioneered a new way of turning an infant in the uterus. He also made significant advancements in the treatment of hernias, the fitting of artificial limbs and eyes, and devised a new instrument to reduce hemorrhage after amputation. As with much of his work, the Methode Curative was widely distributed and reached a large audience. Long considered a classic text on the treatment of head wounds, this book contains 74 woodcuts, many hand-colored and adapted from the corpus of Vesalius. The first section, devoted to the anatomy of the head, is illustrated with woodcuts. The anatomical engravings were modified from the woodcuts of Vesalius and completed by the talented Jean le Royer, King’s Printer. The second part of the book details the treatment of head wounds, skull fractures and diseases of the face. Included in this section are drawings of surgical instruments, many fashioned by Paré himself. The book contains the woodcut portrait by Jean Cousin, printed in an oval surrounded by Paré’s motto, “Labor improbus omnia vincit” (hard work conquers all). It is bound in limp vellum, with a gold-tooled vignette on the cover...READ MORE
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Specimen Medicinae Sinicae
Specimen Medicinae Sinicae
The Specimen Medicinae Sinicae is the first illustrated book published on Chinese medicine in the West. It contains an overview of Chinese medical practices including acupuncture and meridian theories, semiology of the tongue, descriptions of Chinese pharmaceuticals and their uses, and an important translation of a Ming treatise on pulse diagnosis. The Specimen includes thirty engraved plates and woodcut illustrations in the text, depicting the Chinese doctrine of the pulse and the semiology of the tongue, along with eight tables showing the variations of the pulses. Explaining Chinese pulse theory to a European audience proved difficult. Insufficient description of the plates, which pictured figures with doubled lines running
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The Specimen Medicinae Sinicae is the first illustrated book published on Chinese medicine in the West. It contains an overview of Chinese medical practices including acupuncture and meridian theories, semiology of the tongue, descriptions of Chinese pharmaceuticals and their uses, and an important translation of a Ming treatise on pulse diagnosis. The Specimen includes thirty engraved plates and woodcut illustrations in the text, depicting the Chinese doctrine of the pulse and the semiology of the tongue, along with eight tables showing the variations of the pulses. Explaining Chinese pulse theory to a European audience proved difficult. Insufficient description of the plates, which pictured figures with doubled lines running through the bodies, confused western audiences, who interpreted these representations as indication that the Chinese didn't know their anatomy. The publication of the Specimen Medicinae Sinicae did little to change the commonly-held belief that the Chinese were crackerjack diagnosticians, with a misguided idea of the body's interior. The tenets of Chinese medicine and diagnostics were also somewhat muddled in the minds of westerners. Nevertheless, the translation did much to introduce pulse lore, acupuncture, and new materia medica to a Western audience of medical practitioners eager to experiment...READ MORE
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