Basel: Ludwig König for Conrad Waldkirch, 1614.
A fine copy of this important medical work by one of the foremost pathologists of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It contains “the first known case report of the death from hypertrophy of the thymus (in an infant) and an account of a meningioma” (Norman). “The work also contains the first mention of the thickening of the palmer fascia which results in retraction of the fingers and later called Dupuytren’s contracture”. (Heirs of Hippocrates).
Norman 1716; Heirs of Hippocrates 373; G&M 3789 (endocrinology), 4297.9 (the earliest book listed on orthopaedics), and 4511.1 (neurology).
A disciple of Eustachi, Falloppio and Vesalius, Platter was one of the foremost pathologists of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, occupying a place midway between Fernel (1497-1558) and Bonet (1620-89).
“Platter proposed a classification of diseases based on symptoms, a system very different from that followed by contemporary practitioners. He performed over 300 dissections, making numerous significant pathological observations, including sublingual calculi, giantism, intestinal parasites, and cystic liver and kidneys associated with terminal anasarca. Platter also made the first attempt to classify mental diseases, grouping them under mental weakness (caused by heredity, trauma or physical illness), mental consternation Oistlessness, stupor, paralysis, agitation or catalepsy), deep sleep (comatose or torpid states) and mental alienation. He gave one of the earliest accurate clinical descriptions of cretinism, at that time commonly found in the Swiss mountains.
“Platter’s Observations contains concise but vivid descriptions of a wide variety of diseases, including all the then known psychiatric disorders together with accounts of their treatment. Platter was one of the first to study mental illness scientifically, seeking their origins in physiological rather than supernatural causes; his descriptions of mental illnesses frequently include enough information to recreate the physical and environmental factors involved” (Norman).
“Platter is credited with performing the first public dissection of a human body in a Germanic country and is said to have dissected over 300 bodies during his career. He was widely respected as a teacher and was a physician of great courage who remained in Basel to treat the sick on five occasions when the plague struck the city. As one of the early nosologists, he recognized three classes of diseases based on their natural history and postmortem findings, and distinguished four types of mental illness.” (Heirs of Hippocrates).
8vo (174 x 108 mm), pp.  1-845 [3:blank], contemporary vellum with yapped edges, manuscript lettering to spine, a very fine, clean, and large copy without restoration.