Patrick's Rare Books

Maclise, Surgical Anatomy, 1851

Maclise, Surgical Anatomy, 1851

Surgical Anatomy. By Joseph Maclise, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. London, 1851.


Elephant folio, bound in half leather binding with patterned red cloth over boards and rebacked spine. Gold text on spine and front board. Marbled page edges. Marbled boards (admittedly, the pattern reminds me of hyaline cartilage, or perhaps the phisaliferous cells of a chordoma). Hinges reinforced. Mild humidity damage to cloth. Corners bumped and chipped. Ex library copy with stamps on blank versos of plates.  Mild damp stain at lower corner and fore edge affecting all leaves as far as Plate X, not affecting text or images. Repaired tear across bottom of final leaf of table of contents, not affecting text. One small torn corner, and one small tear near gutter on a different leaf, neither affecting plates or text. Plates and text are clean and bright. Binding is tight throughout.


Tear at top edge of commentary on plate xxvi coursing into text.


2 blanks, title, dedication, 2 pg preface, 3 pg contents, 35 plates (each printed on verso behind blank recto) with corresponding commentary, 4 pg concluding commentary, 2 end papers.


Thirty-five color and black and white plates, demonstrating regional anatomy. The style of the plates is pleasantly anachronistic in that they have include depictions of strings tied around portions of some of the bodies, implying that these were holding the cadavers in position. This artistic approach was common in the 18th century but had become far less common by the mid 19th century.


Measures: 21 ¼ x 15 x 1 ¼ inches.


We presently find no other copies available on the market.


Heirs of Hippocrates 954: “Maclise was a student of Samuel Cooper and a prominent London surgeon. The thirty-five large colored lithographic plates were drawn by the author. Together with the text, they represent both fine artistry and fine scholarship.”


Not in Garrison-Morton.