Item #4868 The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte. Giovanni da Vigo, 1450?-1525.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.
The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.

The most excelent worckes of chirurgery, made and set forth by maister Iohn Vigon, head chirurgien of oure tyme in Italy, traunslated into Englishe. Wherunto is added an exposition of straunge termes and vnknowen symples, belongynge vnto the arte.

London: Imprynted by Edwarde Whytchurch, wyth the Kynges moste graciouse priuelege for seuen yeres. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum, 1550.

Price: $18,000.00

Folio: 28 x 20 cm. [6], cclxx, [15] leaves. Collation: [¶]6, A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, [et]6 Aaa4(final blank leaf Aaa4 present). Leaves ¶3-6, Ff4, and the final three gatherings supplied from another copy.

SECOND EDITION IN ENGLISH (1st ed. 1543) of Vigo’s “Practica in arte chirurgica copiosa”(1514) and “Practica in arte chirurgica compendiosa”(1517), translated by Bartholomew Traheron (?1510-?1558).

Bound in contemporary blind-ruled and tooled English calfskin over wooden boards, lacking the clasps but with the original catches present. The binding has been rebacked with sheepskin, preserving the original calfskin spine, with some wear and flaking to the sheep at the hinges. A small section of the leather on the lower board has also been underlaid with sheep. The leather of the boards is a little crackled and there is wear at the corners. Modern endpapers with the original 16th c. endpaper (with 16th c. inscriptions) pasted inside the upper board. The final blank, with further 16th c. inscriptions, is also preserved. Rare. 7 copies in the U.S.: Countway, Folger, Huntington, Wisconsin, NYAM, Morgan Library, Kansas. (The first edition is equally rare.).

A good copy, with some cosmetic faults and supplied leaves, and with contemporary inscriptions, in its original binding. Leaves ¶3-6, Ff4, and the final three gatherings have been supplied from a slightly shorter (.5 cm.) copy. There has been some careful restoration to the title page, with a small part of the upper woodcut border supplied in ink. There are mild to moderate damp-stains through gathering I and intermittently thereafter; a few mended marginal tears, a small marginal flaw at the head of leaf Z1, an old repair in the margin of c4 affecting a couple of words on the recto, a repair obscuring some text on leaf U5, staining in the gutter of gathering Mm; leaf Ff4 stained, leaves Yy3 and YY4 re-margined at foot with loss to a few words, and some small light wax spots. There are 16th c. annotations on leaves T6, U2, U4, Gg6, Pp2-4 ,Zz, and [et][et]1, as well as on the front pastedown and both sides of the final blank leaf, including 17th c. signatures of “Johannes Russell, 1658” (on leaf Zz5v and the final blanks) and the 16th c. signature of the surgeon John Smart “Liber iste est Johannis Smarti chyrurgi, 1566”(final text leaf and final blank).

The annotations: While not profuse, the annotations are of interest for their variety. The reader draws our attention to passages on purgation (“in somer it is more convenience to use vomyte”; “preservative purgation of the body, that it fall not into disease”, “chosynge of the tyme of a disease, when the medicine shall be given to the patient”, “who ought not to be purged with a strong medicine”, etc. (Fol. Ccxxv), a plaster for dislocated joints (Fol. Clxxvi), diseases affecting the skin such as erysipelas, herpes, and impetigo (leaf [et]1), “an electuary to resolve bloode” and the use of a “shepes skynne newly slayne” to wrap the loins when treating certain internal injuries (Fol. Cxii), unguents and plasters for animal bites; different types of corrosive ulcers. He gives the English name (“Swete bryer”) for bedeguar, with the note “Some take it for the thistle with spekled leaves.”

Bartholomew Traheron’s English translation of Giovanni da Vigo’s surgical works, the first English translation of a comprehensive Renaissance surgical text. Henry VIII himself owned a copy of Traheron’s “Chirurgery”, and the translation further popularized a work already widely-used in England.

The Italian surgeon Giovanni da Vigo’s surgical writings, “Practica in arte chirurgica copiosa”(1514) and his shorter “Practica in arte chirurgica compendiosa”(1517), were two of the most important surgical treatises of the 16th century. Vigo served as personal surgeon to Pope Julius II and attended him on the battlefield. His “Practica copiosa” was the first complete system of surgery after that of Guy de Chauliac and the chief surgical textbook until the time of Ambroise Paré.

To assist his readers, Traheron included a 30-page glossary titled “The interpretation of straunge words, used in the translation of Vigon”. Printed only four years after Sir Thomas Elyot’s “Castel of helth”, the glossary played a role in the ongoing adaptation of non-English vocabulary (including scientific and technical words) for use in English.(See McConchie, English Medical Dictionaries and Lexicographers 1547 to 1796, pp. 50-53)

“The ‘Practica in arte chirurgica copiosa’ consists of nine books ranging from a consideration of anatomy necessary for a surgeon, to sections on abscesses, wounds, ulcers, benign and malignant tumors, fractures and dislocations, pharmaceuticals, ointments and plasters, as well as sections on dentistry, exercise, diet, syphilis, among others.

“Da Vigo introduces a novel approach for treating mandible dislocations and describes a trephine he invented, as well as a number of new instruments. Examination of his work demonstrates that he had a broad knowledge in surgery, based in part on the ancient Greek and Arabic medical literature but mainly on his personal experience. Vigo contributed significantly to the revival of medicine in the sixteenth century, and he can be considered as a bridge between Greek medicine of antiquity, Arabic medicine, and the Renaissance.”(Gurunluoglu)

Vigo’s “Practica” met with enormous success. Within thirty years it achieved twenty-one editions and was translated into Italian, English, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese. It was “the chief surgical textbook until the time of Paré. Part of its great popularity was due no doubt to Vigo’s discussion of two major problems of his time: gunshot wounds and syphilis. He recommended cautery and boiling oil for treating gunshot wounds and mercury-based ointments and inunctions for syphilis. Vigo was also interested in dentistry and was one of the first to use gold leaf to fill cavities of the teeth. In spite of the fact that his works were widely published, early editions are rare.”(Eimas)

Three years after publishing the “Practica Copiosa”, and “possibly stimulated by the ‘Compendium in chirurgia’ (1514) of his pupil Mariano Santo da Barletta, Vigo published the five-book ‘Practica in arte chirurgica compendiosa’, in which he amplified and made more precise his teaching on certain topics, particularly on trephination. He was the first in the [Renaissance] to describe the crown saw for removing a bone disk from the skull, an instrument known to Hippocrates but long fallen into oblivion.”(Talbot, Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography).

Durling 4616; ESTC S117847 (STC 24721); Wellcome I 6621 (Ff. 19-240 only); cf. Garrison-Morton 5559.1. On Henry VIII’s copy, see David Starkey, ed. The Inventory of King Henry VIII: The Transcript, (London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 1998), p. 72, no. 2369; (From Society of Antiquaries MS 129 and BL Harleian MS 1,419)