Rare, Handsomely Bound in Contemporary Red Morocco, and with 29 Obstetrical Engravings

DE LA GROSSESSE ET ACCOUCHEMENT DES FEMMES . . . AVEC UN TRAITTÉ DE L'IMPUISSANCE, PAR CHARLES GUILLEMEAU. [bound with] BURY, JACQUES. LE PROPAGATIF DE L'HOMME ET SECOURS DES FEMMES EN TRAVAIL D'ENFANT.

(Paris: Abraham Pacard, 1621 [1620]; Paris: Melchior Mondière, 1623). 175 x 107 mm. (6 7/8 x 4 1/4"). 10 p.l., 1049, [1] (blank), 42 pp., [1] leaf (blank), [34] leaves (index); 4 p.l., 3-6, 1-120 pp. Two separately published works in one volume. Second Edition of the first work; FIRST EDITION of the second work.

ATTRACTIVE CONTEMPORARY RED MOROCCO, covers and flat spine with mitered gilt frame, oblique fleurons at corners. First work with 17 engravings (six of obstetrical instruments, 11 of infants in utero); second work with 12 engravings in the text showing various positions of the child in the womb. Front flyleaf inscribed in ink "Ex Libris Francisci Guillemot 1713"; title page and recto of leaf A inscribed "Ex Libris Petri Guillemot." NLM/Krivatsy 5133. A few minor stains to leather, spine a touch crackled, a little rubbing to extremities, but the binding quite sound and well preserved. Leaves a little yellowed with age (a dozen or so gatherings a bit browned), occasional rust spots or minor smudges, otherwise an excellent copy internally, clean and fresh.

In an unusually distinguished binding for a work on medicine, this is an important early treatise on obstetrics, with an added section by the author's son on the treatment of impotence and infertility. First published in 1609 and based on Guillemeau's experience in delivering newborns, it reestablished procedures for extracting babies in breeched position without damage to the infant, and firmly advocated maternal breastfeeding in an age when many affluent women hired wet nurses. Jacques Guillemeau (1550-1613) was a pupil and son-in-law of the famous surgeon Ambroise Paré and succeeded him as surgeon to Charles IX, Henry III, and Henry IV. In addition to his books on childbirth and the diseases of children, newborns, and their mothers, he was also well known for his works on dentistry and diseases of the eye. His son Charles (1588-1656) followed in his father's footsteps. In "Obstetric Treatises" (2007), Worth-Stylianou observes, "with the work of Guillemeau, father and son, we are in the presence of one of the most important contributions of surgery to obstetric medicine before the Mauriceau era." The first part of "De la Grossesse" deals with problems of pregnancy (for example, the woman's craving for certain foods); the second part discusses the ways to help a woman deliver, including the first description of a method of assisted breech delivery; and the third section covers the care and feeding of the mother and her newborn in the months following birth. The second work in this sammelband is an uncommon guide to dealing with difficult deliveries. French surgeon Bury offers a "vade mecum" for a successful and safe outcome in cases where the infant is breech or in a similarly challenging position for birth. The illustrations of these various presentations are charmingly naïve. Practical works on medicine were not generally bound in full red morocco at this (or any other) time; perhaps our volume was bound in this fashion for presentation or some other special commemoration. The first work here is not particularly common, and the second work is quite rare, with no auction records for the past 40 years. This volume was once in the library of Jean Blondelet, the greatest collector of medical books in the 20th century.
(ST14434)

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PJP Catalog: RBMS19.024

DE LA GROSSESSE ET ACCOUCHEMENT DES FEMMES . . . AVEC UN TRAITTÉ DE L'IMPUISSANCE, PAR CHARLES GUILLEMEAU. [bound with] BURY, JACQUES. LE PROPAGATIF DE L'HOMME ET SECOURS DES FEMMES EN TRAVAIL D'ENFANT. MEDICINE - OBSTETRICS, JACQUES GUILLEMEAU.
DE LA GROSSESSE ET ACCOUCHEMENT DES FEMMES . . . AVEC UN TRAITTÉ DE L'IMPUISSANCE, PAR CHARLES GUILLEMEAU. [bound with] BURY, JACQUES. LE PROPAGATIF DE L'HOMME ET SECOURS DES FEMMES EN TRAVAIL D'ENFANT.
DE LA GROSSESSE ET ACCOUCHEMENT DES FEMMES . . . AVEC UN TRAITTÉ DE L'IMPUISSANCE, PAR CHARLES GUILLEMEAU. [bound with] BURY, JACQUES. LE PROPAGATIF DE L'HOMME ET SECOURS DES FEMMES EN TRAVAIL D'ENFANT.
DE LA GROSSESSE ET ACCOUCHEMENT DES FEMMES . . . AVEC UN TRAITTÉ DE L'IMPUISSANCE, PAR CHARLES GUILLEMEAU. [bound with] BURY, JACQUES. LE PROPAGATIF DE L'HOMME ET SECOURS DES FEMMES EN TRAVAIL D'ENFANT.