Patrick's Rare Books

Bell, Principles of Surgery, 1801

Bell, Principles of Surgery, 1801

The Principles of Surgery, in Two Volumes: Volume First; Of the Ordinary Duties of the Surgeon, Containing the Principles of Surgery, as they Relate to Wounds, Ulcers, and Fistulas; Aneurisms, and Wounded Arteries, Fractures of the Limbs, and the Duties of the Military and Hospital Surgeon, Volume Second; A System of Surgical Operations, Containing the Principles of Surgery, as they Relate to Surgical Diseases and Operations, as Lithotomy, Trepan, Hernia, Hydrocele, Amputation, &c. By John Bell, Surgeon. Edinburgh, 1801. 

Quarto volume (measuring approximately 11 ½ x 9 ½ x 1 1/8 inches), recently rebound (by Vernon Wiering) in period style, full brown leather with blind tooling on boards, gold details on spine, and red and green title and author plates on spine. New end papers. Clean, bright, and tight throughout, with ample margins. Numerous black and white in-text figures, plates, and color plates. Complete in 674 pages. Original ffep has closed tear near gutter. Both original end papers have slightly tattered foredges. Engraved title page is slightly browned. Mild foxing but overall in remarkably fresh condition. A 19th century owner wrote in two additional words on the title page, so rather than reading “by John Bell” it now reads “by the immortal John Bell.” 

Bell is a legendary surgeon. This work, first published in 1801 (Garrison Morton 2926 5581), which we offer here for sale, went through many editions. The plates are the author’s own work and remain highly esteemed today. The brother of Charles Bell, John was the first to ligate the gluteal artery. He also successfully tied the common carotid and the internal iliac arteries. 

This work was issued serially beginning in 1801, with the contents of the planned volume two (which did not appear until 1806) already included on the descriptive and engraved title page of volume one (which is the volume offered for sale here). Curiously, a third volume was also eventually published in 1808, apparently unplanned at the time of the first issue of volume one in 1801. Thus, this volume offered here is complete as issued, and no three-volume set can be found which was not originally a composite set, each volume being acquired by the original owner as the volumes were published.