Smellie, William. A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery. The second edition, corrected.

London, D. Wilson and T. Durham, 1752.

Large 8vo. Title-page, XIV, LXXII, 73-454, (10) pp. Contemporary calf with gilt-stamped red and green labels to richly gilt spine. Edges sprinkled red.


Second edition of this gynaecological classic, in the year of the first printing. The Scotsman Smellie (1697-1763) “contributed more to the fundamentals of obstetrics than virtually any individual. In his ‘Treatise’ he described more accurately than any previous writer the mechanism of parturition, stressing the importance of exact measurement of the pelvis. He was the first to lay down safe rules regarding the use of forceps, and himself introduced the steel-lock, the curved, and the double forceps” (Garrison/M.). - Binding slightly rubbed, but decorative; back hinge beginning to split at upper spine-end. Endpapers slight glue-stained; interior clean. Quire Q (pp. 225-240) is present twice. Title page with autogr. note of ownership by the surgeon Gallus Erasmus Florian Ritter von Hochberger (1803-1901; cf. DBA II 592, 385-393).


Garrison/Morton 6154. Blake 421. Eimas 825. Waller 9013. Norman 1954. Hirsch V, 435. Grolier Medicine 43a. Heirs of Hippocrates 825.

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