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Original price £450.00 - Original price £450.00
Original price
£450.00 - £450.00
Current price £450.00

[Chemistry] Gastaldy, Jean-Baptiste: Institutiones medicinae physico-anatomicae, juxta neotericorum mentem & nuperrima clarissimorum Physicorum ac Medicorum experimenta. Avenione [Avignon], apud Josephum Carolum Chastanier. 1713.

First edition of this handbook to medicine for students at the University of Avignon, where the author (1674-1747) was professor. Of particular note is the work's illustrated section on chemistry. A chapter with title "on elements" (15-76) contains six woodcut illustrations, four of different salts, and two of sulphur. The images and related text combine elements of close observation, and structural analysis.

This study of chemicals was an integral part of the medicine. "In the 1710s and 1720s [Gastaldy] had built his course around the iatrochemical theories of physiology and pathology developed in the seventeenth century by Van Helmont and Syvlius, which were all the rage in France at the turn of the century [...] Health and disease, it was believed, was the result of benign or malign ferments in the bodily fluids, and the key to the perfection of medical science was chemical analysis. Gastaldy first nailed his coiours publicly to the iatrochemical mast in the textbook he published in 1713" (Brockliss).


One volume, 14.5 cms. x 8.4 cms. in binding, duodecimo, pp. [20] 280 [4]. Woodcut headpieces and initials, typographical decoration. Woodcut illustrations, pp. 38, 47, 57, 58, 61, 62. Light or medium browning, staining at top outer corners at beginning and at some top margins, bound in contemporary sheep, spine, with five raised bands, spine and sides decorated in gilt, label of red goatskin stamped in gilt, marbled pastedowns, edges speckled red (binding rubbed and scuffed with slight wear to corners, slight loss to head and tail of spine).


Blake p. 168. OCLC shows copies outside France at BL, Wellcome; University of Barcelona; Cornell, NLM, Penn.

Brockliss, Laurence: Calvet's web: Enlightenment and the Republic of Letters in eighteenth-century France (Oxford, 2002).