Lot 23
  • 23

Remmelin, Johann

2,000 - 3,000 USD
2,375 USD
bidding is closed


  • A Survey of the Microcosme. Or the Anatomie of the Bodies of Man and Woman ... London: Joseph Moxon, 1675
  • paper, ink, leather
4to (387 x 311 mm). 4 engraved anatomical plates, 3 with various layers and internal organs of the body represented by multiple, superimposed movable overlays and flaps; title-page plus 4 pages of explanatory text, one mounted to the first plate, another to the second; margins with multiple small tears and fraying, strengthened and repaired but affecting a few text letters, title-page trimmed, just clipping text, some marginal dust-soiling. Disbound, housed in a quarter red morocco portfolio.


acquisition: Michael Phelps (1989)


Choulant-Frank, pp. 232–233; ESTC R232301; Russell, British Anatomy, 694; Wellcome 4:504; Wing S4793A (incorrectly attributed to Michael Spaher); cf. Heirs of Hippocrates, 456 (1619 Latin edition)

Catalogue Note

Second English edition of the first anatomical atlas making extensive use of the flap method to depict the structure of the human body.

The first edition is virtually unobtainable (we can trace no copies at auction over the last century, only one other copy of the present edition has appeared in the rooms since 1986). The plates of this edition were re-engraved after Remmelin's Catoptrum microcosmicum (Augsburg, 1619), and augmented by a fourth plate after the work of the anatomist Juan Valverde de Amusco. The first depicts the bodies of a man and a woman (presumably Adam and Eve) flanking the trunk of a pregnant woman, the second depicts a man, the third a woman, and the fourth shows the venous system on two figures, front and back, without any overlays or flaps. "The three principal plates, and the many smaller pictures superimposed, totaled, before they were cut out and pasted together, five copperplates" (Choulant-Frank, p. 233).  A mixture of anatomy, physiology, and theology, the text was clearly intended for lay persons interested in a better understanding of the human body rather than as a good source of anatomical instruction. Nevertheless, the work was well received, and later translated into German, French, Dutch, as well as English.