Medical, gynecology, pediatrics. 1586 Gynaeciorum sive de Mulierum Affectibus edited by Caspar Wolf.


The first and second books of Gynaeciorum, first compiled in 1566 by Conrad Wolf (after a discussion with his teacher Conrad Gessner, per the 1566 dedication), then here, in 1586, expanded by Caspar Bauhin; an illustrated 16th century guide to gynecology drawn from many sources. These two volumes are wearing their contemporary bindings; provenance unknown (stamped "I.P.D. 1596").

Both works are illustrated, with plates showing the parts of the female body, orientations of babies, 16th century medical tools, etc..

There was a third book issued in 1586 (Gynaeciorum, Tomus III), a commentary on Hippocrates regarding gynecology; this book is not included in this set.

About the Work -

In 1566, Caspar Wolf gathered manuscripts, (from the Greek, Latin and Barbarian), and edited a compilation work on "de gynaeciis" after a discussion with his teacher, Conrad Gessner, regarding a female patient.

In 1586 Bauhin added contemporary authors including lectures by Girolamo Mercuriale and Alebertino Bottoni.

The title can be (roughly) translated as:

"Commentary on Gynecology, or on the affections of women, by the Greeks, Latins, and Barbarians, formerly and now recently published: divided into three volumes, and illustrated here and there with the necessary pictures"

About the Provenance -

Clear, but unknown, provenance; both bindings are stamped with "I.P.D. 1596", both title pages have an "Ex bibl." of (Joan de'Auffrey?), and both books have a Hebrew stamp on the title page that my tools translate as either Song of Songs or Song of Life. I can't find a corresponding owner for any of the three ownership marks, unfortunately.

Bibliographic Details -

Tome I Universal Short Title Catalogue number 606362; not rare.

Tome II Universal Short Title Catalogue number 606364; not rare.

Physical Attributes -

Each volume measures approx. 24.5 x 16.5 x 3 cm, quarto. Vellum bindings with a blind stamped double fillet frame around boards and "IPD 1596" blind stamped on the front boards. Strangely, the second volume has been painted white. Both have printer's marks of their respective printers. Both have illustrations. Book one includes Greek text passages.

Pages Tome I: xxviii, 55, 1 blank, 423, [17]

Collation Tome I: *-**4, ***6, 6 gatherings signed in Greek in 4, a-z4, A-Z4, Aa-Ii4

Pages Tome II: xvi,

Collation Tome II: )(-):(4, AA-ZZ4, Aaa-Zzz4, AAa-ZZz4, AAaa-FFff4

Condition -

See pictures. Period bindings still retain flexibility; the parchment has not hardened. The bindings are also relatively flat with little cockling. At some period, the second volume was painted white, which has been eroded. The fore-edge ties of both bindings are expired. There are a some rust spots on the bindings. The titling on the spines has largely faded away and there's a chip at the head of V1's spine. They have no front flyleaves. Bookseller notes on pastedown and library shelfmarks. At gutter, some of the spine bands have lifted where they extend to the boards and there's a little evidence of worming just around the spine bands.

Both title pages have ex libris in manuscript, and a Hebrew stamp. Throughout the books there is toning, occasional page-edge tears, dog-eared pages, deckled edge to paper, candle ember spot, thumbing, etc. I see some underlining, occasional fox spots, etc.

Mostly, a fairly clean set with nice wide margins though.

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