Blankaart, De nieuw hervormde anatomie, 1696, complete with 84 full-page plates
Steven Blankaart. De nieuw hervormde anatomie, ofte ontleding des menschen lighaams [...] Als ook een verhandeling van het balsemen der lighamen. Nooit voor desen dusdanig bekend gemaakt [...] Den derden druk.
Amsterdam, Jan ten Hoorn, 1696. 8vo (18,5 x 11,5 cm). , 761, , [3 blank] pp. With engraved frontispiece, portrait of the author and 84 full-page engraved plates.
Contemporary vellum. In very good condition, with the spine slightly soiled, paste-downs not pasted down, initials "HL" on flyleaf, paper browned.
The third, greatly expanded edition of Blankaart's extremely influential anatomical manual, profusely illustrated with 84 detailed plates.
The Dutch pharmacist, physician, anatomist and prolific author Steven Blankaart (1650-1704) followed the mechanical school. He was an early empiricist and did important research on the capillary system. But perhaps his significance lies elsewhere: through his many books in the vernacular he helped disseminate and popularize medical knowledge previously reserved for well-educated Latin readers.
He teamed up with Jan ten Hoorn, a noted Amsterdam publisher of popular books, who spread Blankaart's work in handsome little 8vo's rather than costly folios. His Anatomie, first published in 1678, went through several editions and was available in Dutch, Latin, German, English and even Japanese, serving as an indispensable reference tool for many decades.
Interestingly, Blankaart's Anatomie even had a lasting impact on Japanese medicine: it was the main source of Rangaku-sha Genshin Udagawa's Ihan Teiko. Indeed, the revised 1808 edition of Udagawa's ground-breaking work featured "fifty-two copper-plate etchings reproduced by Aodo Denzen from Stephen Blankaart's De nieuwe hervormde anatomie" (Goodman, Japan: The Dutch Experience).
The Anatomie is structured after the human bloodstream, starting with the anatomy of the heart, followed by the arteries, the lungs, the brain, the nervous system, the eyes, etc, ending with the bones and skin. Added at the end is an account of embalming, describing a method newly invented by Blankaart. It closes with a publisher's stock catalogue.
"The finely engraved plates in this profusely illustrated work attest to Blankaart's keen observational powers" (Heirs of Hippocrates).
Very rare on the market.
Kritvatsky 1311; STCN (2 copies); cf. Dictionary of Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Dutch Philosophers I, pp. 106-110; Goodman, Japan: The Dutch Experience, p. 135; Heirs of Hippocrates, 676 (1695 Latin edition); Thijssen-Schoute, Nederlands cartesianisme, passim.