AN ATLAS OF TOPOGRAPHICAL ANATOMY After plane sections of frozen bodies. With forty-six woodcuts in the text. Translated by Edward Bellamy, F.R.C.S. Philadelphia, Lindsay and Blakiston,
1877. 4to, pp. xii, 200; with 34 plates nos 1-XXXI; outer margin of plate Tab IIB neatly repaired, with slight glue residue along outer margin of plate IX, pp. 100-4 a little loose, lightly browned and soiled throughout; First English edition, American issue (published in the same year as the London edition), and published in a smaller and more compact format, of the iconic anatomical work ‘Topographische-anatomischer Atlas’ (1872), by the noted German anatomist Wilhelm Braune (1831–1892). The original work consisted of over 30 colour lithographs, the majority life-sized, of frozen cross sections of human anatomy, and which soon gained recognition as being amongst the finest of the genre. ‘The great success of Professor Braune’s Atlas abroad has induced him to publish a smaller edition of his large work, with photographs of the original plates reduced to half-scale. It has been considered advisable to take advantage of this to reproduce the volume in English. The immense expense of producing such plates and the persistent dearth of material have, in all probability, been the cause why no original English work on topographical anatomy has as yet been placed within the reach of the generality of students’ (p. ix). It was Braune’s hope that the work would ‘assist in extending and increasing the knowledge of the human form, and of the position of the different organs to each other. The necessity for such plates for the clinic has repeatedly been expressed, and especially for military surgery’ (p. vii).
Braune studied at the universities of Göttingen and Würzburg, and in 1872, became professor of topographical anatomy at the University of Leipzig. His works are renowned for his excellent use of lithography and chromolithography to depict cross-sections of the human body, and he was a pioneer in the use of frozen cadavers for anatomical investigations. In addition to the present English translation, Braune also reproduced a number of the illustrations from his 1872 work as separate works, thus increasing their accessibility to a wider audience.
One of the most striking developments in 19th-century anatomical illustration was made possible not by a scalpel, but by a saw. Topographical anatomy, in which cadavers were sawed into slices to reveal a cross-sectional view of the organs and tissues inside, was attempted as early as the Renaissance. But, not surprisingly, the sawing motion distorted the placement of the body’s innards. It wasn’t until the early 1800s that Dutch anatomist Pieter de Riemer began to freeze the cadavers in order to harden tissues and ensure that organs stayed put when being sawed. Russian anatomist Nikolay Pirogov was one of the first to use the technique. He took advantage of Russia’s long, cold winters to deep-freeze bodies below -18 °C before slicing them up to create the illustrations that filled his four-volume Topographical Anatomy, published in 1851–54. This approach was subsequently adopted by other prosectors, such as E. Q. LeGendre at the anatomical theatre of Paris, but the most accurate topographical anatomist, and the man who did more than anyone else to popularize the approach, was Christian Wilhelm Braune. Garrison-Morton 424; OCLC: 10208716.
Condition: in the original brown pebble-grained publisher’s cloth, ruled in blind, spine lettered in gilt, head of spine a little nicked and worn, tail lightly bumped, with further light wear to surfaces and extremities.