Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1574. First Edition in Italian. Folio.  ff., 296 pp. Collation: *8 **6 ***4 A-Z6 AA10, COMPLETE. Ziletti's device on title, 5 large woodcuts showing operations (2 on the battlefield), numerous woodcut illustrations of surgical instruments and heads with incisions, occasional staining or soiling; title with outer corners extended; fol. f5 with marginal infill, gathering AA at end with old ink stain to top margin, extending perhaps 5 mm and not affecting text, N1-2 with old ink stain in the lower margin, likewise not affecting text; Interesting early annotations to the first 35 pages. Recent full vellum. Item #2600
Recognized as one of the foremost sixteenth century accounts of surgery in Italy, this is the scarce First Edition in Italian (the first in any Vernacular language). It is preceded only by this publisher's Latin edition of the previous year, and contains MORE woodcuts of surgical instruments and illustrations of the removal of bullets by field surgeons. The "Cirugia" is justly celebrated for its profusion of fine woodcuts, some half- or full-page. It includes original illustrations for cranial surgery. "Croce improved the instruments for trephination, and published classic woodcuts depicting the operation, including the first illustrations of a neurological surgery actually taking place. The work is also important for Croce's description of cranial and cerebral diseases. In hundreds of woodcuts of instruments and procedures Croce illustrated all of the instruments used before and during his own time" (Garrison-Morton). "The various types of arrows, spears, and bullets used in warfare of his day are also illustrated as well as several scenes of the typical operating room of the sixteenth century" (Heirs of Hippocrates). Concerning the trepan, Croce used a brace and drill stock, to which the circular saw or a sharp perforator was fixed with a screw (see: C.J.S. Thompson, History of Surgical Instruments, 1942, p. 40, with illustration). Giovanni Andrea della Croce (1514-1575), a native of Croce d'Ampugnani in Corsica, practiced at Venice and played an important part in the rise of surgery during the Italian Renaissance. He was certainly familiar with Pare's methods, and probably learned of them through Guido Guidi of Paris. Of this first Italian edition, only one other copy has sold since 2012 according to Rare Book Hub, unless we consider the gravely defective copy that was offered on three different occasions by Kiefer, which with good reason always failed to sell. Ours is the only copy currently on the market, complete or otherwise. Wellcome I, 1668 (inexplicably fols. *3v-*4r in their online surrogate are not reproduced). This edition not in Waller, Osler, or Adams.