COWPER, WILLIAM.  1666-1709.

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Lot 3048
COWPER, WILLIAM. 1666-1709.

Sold for US$ 10,157 inc. premium
COWPER, WILLIAM. 1666-1709.
The Anatomy of Humane Bodies … to which Is Added, an Introduction, Explaining the Animal Oeconomy, with a Copious Index. Oxford: printed at the Theater, for Samuel Smith & Benjamin Walford, 1698. a3, b-c2, d1, A-Mmm1, [1], *2. Illustrated with supplied full-page mezzotint frontispiece portrait of the author, two engraved titles, one with pasted label in cartouche with English title, the second with allegorical vignette, and 114 plates (the first 105 engraved by Pieter van Gunst or Abraham Blooteling after drawings by Gerard de Lairesse and the 9 plates in the appendix are engraved by Michiel van der Gucht after drawings by Henry Cook), two of the plates are folding, one of which is printed on two joined sheets, woodcut tailpieces and floriated initials. Folio (567 x 342 mm). Contemporary full brown and tan paneled calf, neatly rebacked, gilt-lettered red leather spine label. Mezzotint frontis with margin extended, repaired tears and with some creases, some light offset from and to plates, repaired tear to one plate, a few stray spots, but a very clean copy, covers with restoration to corners and a few other areas, stray marks and wear, but attractive overall.

First edition. “The most elaborate and beautiful of all 17th century English treatises on anatomy and also one of the most extraordinary plagiarisms in the entire history of medicine. Cowper purchased sets of the van Gunst [or Blooteling] copperplates used to illustrate Bidloo’s book [Anatomia humani corporis…] , and issued them under his own name with an English text and a new illustrated appendix. For the frontispiece Cowper had a small printed flap with his own name pasted over Bidloo’s title and name” (G&M). The illustrations, whomever the engraver, are considered masterpieces of Dutch baroque art. Garrison & Morton 385.1.
See illustration.
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