Lot 507
  • 507

Bulwer, John

2,000 - 3,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Bulwer, John
  • Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform'd: or, the artificial changling historically presented, in the mad and cruell gallantry, foolish bravery, ridiculous beauty, filthy finenesse, and loathsome loveliness of most nations, fashioning and altering their bodies from the mould intended by nature... William Hunt, 1653
  • paper
4to (180 x 136mm.), second edition, engraved allegorical frontispiece by T. Cross, engraved frontispiece portrait of the author by W. Faithorne, title within woodcut border, woodcut head-pieces and initials, unsigned leaf bound after S2 with woodcut illustrations on both sides, many woodcut illustrations throughout the text, advertisement leaf at end, eighteenth-century mottled calf gilt, red edges, marbled endpapers, modern slipcase, frontispiece cut close, some slight browning or spotting, embossed stamp to title-page, wear to edges of binding, slightly chipped at head and base of the spine, joints partially cracked


The Library of the Earls of Macclesfield, removed from Shirburn Castle, sale in these rooms 13 March 2008, lot 3900 (bookplate)


Wing B5461; Pforzheimer 115

Catalogue Note

An extraordinary work on the semiotics of the human body by the medical practitioner and writer on deafness and gesture John Bulwer, whose long neglect as a serious thinker began to be rectified at the end of the twentieth century. One of four books he wrote on the theme of the human body as a medium of communication Anthropometamorphosis surveys the "artificial deformations of the body practised by various people from head to toe" (Graham Richards, ODNB), with accompanying woodcuts in this, the second edition (the work first appeared in 1650). The moral agenda is uppermost in this work, with a pronounced emphasis on the natural as morally superior to the artificial.