London: The Sydenham Society, 1851. Text in Latin and English. Folio; unpaginated. Bound in full dark green cloth, with gilded lettering and coat of arms on a label on the front cover and a matching gilded coat of arms on back cover. The volume is profusely illustrated, and is complete with 34 plates. William Hunter (1718-1783) was a Scottish anatomist, obstetrician, author, and teacher. He spent most of his career in London, where he became Physician Extraordinary to Queen Charlotte (the wife of George III), and supervised the delivery of fourteen of her children. Through his ties to the royal family, he gained a favorable reputation among the London upper classes, and provided similar services to many elite and noble families. Hunter also ran a prestigious anatomy school where dissections were a prominent part of the curriculum. He commissioned the engravings in this work based on dissections completed at his anatomy school, drawn in an anatomically accurate manner and in real time rather than from memory. The resulting publication was groundbreaking: Hunter was one of the first to study the anatomy of the uterus during pregnancy, and as a result of his research he was able to correctly describe several features which were either unknown or misunderstood by his contemporaries. Condition: Good. The binding shows light smudging and rubbing to corners and edges. There are small tears to the half title page, title page, and preface, and a small hole on all of these pages extending through the first several pages of the Description of Plates. This is an ex library copy; two small library “withdrawn” stamps and a few numbers appear in the footer of the preface. There is some foxing throughout, including to the plates. The final page has a minor chip at the fore-edge. Dimensions 14 x 19.125 x 1 inches.
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