Studien über die Anatomie des Canalis Eustachii.

Munich: E. Stahl for J.J. Lentner, 1866.

8vo (220 x 150mm), pp. VIII, 58; 2 mounted albumen photographic prints by Joseph Albert and 3 lithographic plates; p. VII misnumbered as ‘IIV’; contemporary crimson morocco gilt with ornamental oval frame blocked in blind on boards within blind and gilt gouges and gilt ruled borders, all edges gilt, moiré-effect white endpapers; extremities lightly rubbed and bumped causing minimal surface loss at spine ends, spine slightly darkened, nonetheless a very good copy in an elaborate binding.


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First edition. Studien über die Anatomie des Canalis Eustachii, written by Bavarian court physician Ludwig Mayer (1839-1878), analyses the anatomy of the Eustachian tube based on observations on specimens provided by Munich anatomist Dr Nikolaus Rüdinger. Rüdinger had refined the method for making specimens, making it possible for the first time to produce photographs of specimens that were clear, accurate and instructive to practising surgeons. The two albumen prints of cross-sections of the head included towards the end of the Studien, originally published in Rüdinger’s Atlas des menschlichen Gehörorganes (Munich, 1866-75), were made by Rüdinger’s photographic associate, Joseph Albert, Bavarian court photographer and inventor of the Albertotype, and included here with their permission.

Ludwig Mayer received his medical degree in Munich in 1862 and soon after became personal physician to the duke of Bavaria. He specialised in surgery and diseases of the ear, and his promotion to a lectureship at the medical faculty was based on the present work, Studien über die Anatomie des Canalis Eustachii. Mayer later served as a hospital director during the Franco-Prussian war, taught nurses, and published monographs and articles on, among other things, wounds of the spleen, liver and gall bladder, foreign objects lodged in the ear, Lister’s treatment of wounds, on transfusions and vivisection.

The binding is elaborate for a medical publication of this type, and it is likely that this is one of a number of copies bound up for Mayer for presentation, for example to a patron. The dedication leaf identifies one Hofrat Dr Heinrich von Fischer, the knighted and widely acclaimed medical professor at Munich, as Mayer’s main benefactor.

This work is scarce: OCLC only lists 10 copies, of which 6 are in Germany and none in the US. No copies can be traced at auction since 1975 in Anglo-American auction records and only one, likely this copy, at German auctions.

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