Apparatus medicaminum ad usum nosocomii Ticinensis anno MDCCXC.

Pavia, Joseph Bolzani, [1790].

8vo, pp. 101, [1 blank]; woodcut device of the Ospedale Grande di San Matteo, Pavia to title, elegant woodcut head- and tail-pieces; blank lower margin of title cut away (very neatly repaired), a little light spotting; a very good uncut copy in contemporary light brown sprinkled paper wrappers; a few neat repairs; initials ‘G.V.’ and 19th-century ownership inscription of Dr Lorenzutti at head of title (see below).


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Very rare first edition of this pharmacopoeia for use at the Ospedale Grande di San Matteo, also known as the Pietà, in Pavia, one of the foremost medical schools in Europe at the time of this publication. Founded in 1449, the Ospedale remained the centre of healthcare in the city for almost five centuries, the buildings now forming part of the University of Pavia. Opening with a list of materia medica, the Apparatus contains 161 receipts, arranged alphabetically, detailing the ingredients and measures for all manner of poultices, electuaries, elixirs, plasters, draughts, mercuries, oils, pills, powders, spirits, syrups, tinctures, and unguents.

Provenance: inscription to title ‘Al Gabinetto di Minerva il socio Dr Lorenzutti’ i.e. most likely from the library of Dr Antonio Lorenzutti (b. 1806). Lorenzutti studied medicine and surgery at Vienna, Pavia and Padova, before working in Trieste hospital and serving as director, librarian and archivist of the Gabinetto di Minerva. Lorenzutti gave a funeral oration for Dr Giovanni Vordoni of Trieste (d. 1830), and it may be his initials ‘G.V.’ that appear here on the title.

No copies on COPAC (a different edition of the same year printed ‘apud Joseph Galeatium’ is at the Wellcome); OCLC shows University of Wisconsin only in the US.

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