The First Accurate Description of Clubfoot

MEMORIA CHIRURGICA SUI PIEDI TORTI CONGENITI DEI FANCIULLI E SULLA MANIERA DI CORREGGERE QUESTA DEFORMITA DI ANTONIO SCARPA.

(Pavia: Appresso Giuseppe Comini, 1803). 309 x 225 mm. (12 1/8 x 8 7/8"). 42 pp. (without the blank called for by Norman). FIRST EDITION.

Contemporary paper boards patterned to look like tree calf, smooth spine. WITH FIVE ENGRAVED PLATES, THREE OF THEM FOLDING, BY FAUSTINO ANDERLONI. Norman 1900; Garrison-Morton 4308. See also: Heirs of Hippocrates, p. 292; DSB XII, pp. 136-39. ◆Two-inch dampstain to upper right corner of front cover, also slightly affecting margins of first 10 leaves, extremities a little worn, but still a nearly fine copy--clean, fresh, and bright internally, with excellent impressions of the plates, in a sturdy contemporary binding.

In excellent, unsophisticated condition, this is a rare copy of the first edition of what Garrison-Morton tells us is the "first accurate description of the pathological anatomy of congenital club-foot." In addition to correctly describing the anatomy of this common birth defect, surgeon Antonio Scarpa also devised a brace for treating the malformation--detailed engravings of which are shown on the accompanying plates. A student of Morgagni, Scarpa (1852-1932) quickly rose to prominence, becoming a professor at the age of 20, and authoring several important works in the fields of otology, cardiology, ophthalmology, and neuroanatomy (among others). As DSB relates, "his fame was so great that in 1805 he was personally complimented by Napoleon." According to Heirs of Hippocrates, Scarpa was "a brilliant artist as well as a brilliant anatomist" who included his own anatomical drawings (engraved by Faustino Anderloni) in many of his published texts, including the present work. The images here go beyond simply depictive to evoke an emotional response from the viewer, who is invited to identify with the distress of the afflicted. Our first edition is a rare book: we could trace just two copies sold on RBH.
(ST18718)

Price: $3,000.00