BELL, Sir Charles. The
Anatomy of the Brain, explained in a Series of Engravings. London: C. Whittingham for T.N. Longman and O. Rees [et al.], 1802.
Quarto, modern three-quarter calf in sympathetic style over contemporary
marbled boards. $11,000.
First edition of Bell's detailed
work on the anatomy of the brain, with 12 exquisite stipple-engraved
plates, 11 with original hand-coloring.
"In 1802 Charles
Bell published a series of engravings of original drawings, showing the anatomy of the brain and nervous system. These drawings, which are remarkable for artistic skill and finish, were taken from dissections made by Bell for the lectures or demonstrations he gave on the nervous system as part of the course of anatomical instruction of his
brother" (1911 Online Encyclopedia). Bell was a highly
accomplished anatomist whose later work on the brain led to the dramatic
discovery of the different functions of the nerves corresponding with their relations to different parts of the brain.
Bell was trained as an
artist as well as an anatomist, and these drawings of the brain "are among the most beautiful in
neuroanatomy" (Norman 168). Heirs of Hippocrates 1297.
Plates very clean with only scattered light foxing, plate 10 with
browning in upper corner. Contemporary signature of "Benj.
Bell" (possible relationship unknown) on title page. An exceptional
copy of a beautiful and important work. Scarce.