Amsterdam: Jansson-Waesberg, 1721-1729. Second edition. Hardcover. Quarto. 9.5x7.5". Book I: 36pp. [+ 1 folding plate and 3 others], Book II: 46pp. [+6 plates], Book III: 36pp. [+ 1 folding plate and 3 others], Book IV: 28pp. [+ 2 plates], Book V: 28pp. [+ 3 plates], Book VI: 56pp. [+ 6 plates], Book VII: 22pp. [+ 2 folding plates and 2 others], Book VIII: 32pp. [ + 1 folding plates and 2 others], Book IX: 43pp [ + 5 plates], Book X: 42pp. [ + folding plate and 2 others], Curae Maximus: 31 pp. [+ 3 plates], Curae Novus: 22pp. [+ 1 folding plate and 2 others]. Rebound in modern brown mottled leather over marbled paper boards, with gilt stamped motifs and lettering over a red label on the spine. Red edges of the book block.
This intriguing and bizarre work contains a complete collection of the second editions of all the 10 parts of pioneering Dutch anatomist Dr. Frederik Ruysch's Thesasurus Anatomicus (originally published 1701-1716), plus the first printings of his two supplemental parts (1724-1728), all bound in together in one volume. The volume contains a total of 47 plates (7 being larger fold-outs) containing amazingly detailed and high quality engravings (mostly by Cornelius Huyberts) which provide illustrated figures to accompany Ruysch's detailed descriptions of his work, and attempt to reproduce the experience of viewing his famous (and now no longer extant) biological dioramas and preserved anatomical specimens. A number of the folding plates are quite large, folding out to as much as 16x17". Each part published has its original title page, illustrated with a decorative woodblock vignette and its own running pagination. Some parts include illustrated initials and a woodblock endpieces. Text in Latin.
The collection, which at one point included more than 2000 botanical and anatomical specimens, preserved via then newly devised and novel preservational and embalming techniques, devised by Ruysch himself, showcased and celebrated life and biology in rather grotesques and morbid ways. Presented as a museum of anatomy, in the style of a cabinet of curiosities, the content included infant and fetal skeletons or bodies, posed in strange positions, dressed in clothing (and some with glass eyes), various human body parts, organs, anatomical and biological abnormalities, animals, sea life and plants. Many of the specimens in jars were able to be viewed by the public in greater detail than previously possible, and provided an educational experience. Subjects rendered and studied in exceptional detail throughout the book include organ tissue, eyes, bone, teeth, hair, venation in leaves and coral.
Interior with sporadic minor to light stains or smudges to pages throughout, mostly to the edges and not affecting the text or images. A few of the plates contain more significant damp staining and/ minor chipping the corners or edges, with little to no affect on the images, which are for the most part in great condition throughout the book. Binding in fine, interior in very good+ condition overall. vg+ to fine. Item #44497
* Ruysch's collection was eventually sold to Peter the Great of Russia in 1717.