TRAITÉ DE MÉDECINE LÉGALE Troisième édition, revue, corrigée et considérablement augmentée; suivie de plusieurs memoires sur deux questions importantes de Médecine légale, La Suspension et l’empoisonnement par l’acide arsénieux. Tome 1 - [Tome IV]. Paris, Béchat Jeune, Libraire de la Faculté de Médecine, Place de l’Ecole-de-Médecine, n. 4. 1836.
1836. Together two works in four volumes, together with atlas 8vo; pp. [ii], xx, 582,  blank, with one engraved plate; [iv], 715,  blank; [iv], xiv, 706, -885,  blank ‘Supplement au Traité Médecine Légale’; ‘Traité des Exhumations Juridiques’, in two parts [iv], 388, 387,  blank, with folding table and five lithograph plates, four in colour; ‘Atlas’ pp. [ii], with twenty six engraved plates (nos 1-21), seven of which are hand coloured; all four volumes lightly foxed and browned with occasional soiling, small ink stain in Vol II affecting pp. 665-6, with small paper flaw at gutter affecting pp. 326-336 of second part of Vol IV; plates in the atlas volume all cropped close along outer margin with some loss, quite pronounced on a couple of plates; Third edition, considerably revised and expanded, of Orfila’s noted treatise on legal and forensic medicine, first published in 1821-1823 as Leçons de Médecine Légale. The present edition is of particular appeal, however, containing as it does in the fourth volume his other noted work on the study of the putrefactive changes produced in cadavers when exposed to earth, water, air, and fumigation ‘Traité de exhumations juridiques’. First published as two volumes in 1831, this appears to be only its second appearance, and from what we can tell was merely a reissue of the first edition with a cancelled title. This detailed medico-legal treatise describes and graphically illustrates in colour, the processes of human decomposition and destruction - one of the earliest, if not the first, work dedicated to this topic. 'Interested in all aspects of forensic medicine, Orfila here collaborated with Octave Lesueur in this study of the putrefactive changes produced in cadavres ... Lesueur was a fellow physician colleague of Orfila's who shared the latter's interest in medico-legal toxicology' (Heirs 1434).
Orfila, a Spaniard naturalized in France, was the leading medico-legal expert of his time and a pioneer toxicologist. He was born in Minorca, studied at Valencia, Barcelona, and Paris, and was one of the founders of the Académie de Médecine. A popular teacher, he was professor of botany and pharmacology in Paris, and is best remembered for laying the foundations of experimental and medico-legal toxicology.
Condition: in contemporary green morocco backed boards, spines attractively lettered and tooled in gilt, vols I and II with some scuffing to spine with some minor loss, a couple of nicks in rear cover of vol I, with some further light wear and rubbing to surfaces, extremities and corners; still a good set.