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HALLER, Albrecht von (1708–1777)

Collection de théses medico-chirurgicales , sur les points les plus importans de la chirurgie théorique & pratique; recueillies & publiées par M. le Baron de Haller, et rédigées en François par M. *** [Macquart]

Paris: chez P. Théophil Barrois le jeune [printed on a slip cancel pasted over the original imprint, chez Vincent], 1757--60
5 volumes 12mo: pp. xi[i] 449 [3]; [4] 414 [2] (last leaf blank); [4] 444 [3]; [2] 480; [2] 435 [1] (last page blank). Vol. II G12 is a cancel signed *Gxi. Woodcut arabesque on title of each volume.
3 folding engraved plates (vol. I, p. 234; vol. II, p. 114; vol. III, p. 135).
Condition: 165 x 95mm. Margins of first and last leaves of each volume stained by acid migration from the turn-ins.
Binding: Contemporary mottled sheep, gilt spines with red lettering pieces, marbled endleaves, red edges. Some minor wear.
Provenance: Early signature, H. Dulay[?], on front endleaves and his contents note on rear endleaf of each volume; nineteenth-century bookplate of Daniel Molliere; recent bookplate of Pierre Amalric (French ophthalmologist, 1923–1999).
First edition in French of Disputationes chirurgicae selectae (5 vols, 4to, Lausanne, 1755–56), abridged and translated by Henri Jacques Macquart (1726–1768).
Bibliography: Wellcome p. 199; Blake p. 195.

A collection of 183 theses gathered from the medical schools of Europe. The dissertations are grouped together in classified sections and there are detailed abstracts of the papers at the end of each volume. Ophthalmology is the subject of 36 theses: Albert, Norton and Hurtes, no. 977, cite only the Latin edition noting 32 on opthalmology.
This was part of Haller's extraordinary survey of medical literature, complementing his series of bibliographies listing over 50,000 titles. In his preface, Macquart points out that medical dissertations are not like the scholastic disputations of other disciplines, bare propositions to be defended in public debate. On the contrary they may contain novel views, useful discoveries and new cures. He pays tribute to the work Haller had done in sifting the few valuable theses from the vast mass of material, and in making available work that would otherwise have been overlooked.
An attractive copy, bound in typical French calf gilt, in which a contemporary owner has added helpful summaries of the main topics of each volume.
Keywords:     ophthalmology    medical education