QUAIN'S COMPLETE FIVE-PART SERIES OF ANATOMICAL PLATES IN LITHOGRAPHY, WITH 204 BEAUTIFUL FULL-PAGE ELEPHANT FOLIO LITHOGRAPHS, ALMOST ALL HAND-COLORED
QUAIN, Jones and WILSON, William James Erasmus. A Series of Anatomical Plates in Lithography. London: Taylor and Walton, 1836-42. Text and five suites of illustrations bound as three volumes. Elephant folio (13 by 20 inches), period-style three-quarter tan calf gilt, contemporary marbled boards, endpapers and edges. $16,000.
First edition of this forerunner to Gray's Anatomy, with frontispiece and 203 elephant-folio lithographs by William Fairland, almost all of which are hand colored. Rarely found complete.
Jones Quain's early knowledge of human anatomy was informed by Martinet's Manual of Pathology, which he translated into English in 1826. In 1828, he published his extraordinarily successful Elements of Descriptive and Practical Anatomy—"the standard text-book on the subject in all English-speaking countries" (DNB). While serving as professor of anatomy and physiology at London University, Quain began research on this ambitious series of anatomical illustrations, "with references and physiological comments, illustrating the structure of the different parts of the human body." The work of an "elegant and accomplished scholar," Quain's accomplishments would serve as the basis of all major anatomy books for decades (DNB), including Gray's famous Anatomy (1858). This first edition of the Series, edited by Quain's pupil W.J.E. Wilson, acknowledged founder of modern dermatology, is comprised of a text volume and five plate-volumes (bound in two), each with a separate title page: Vessels (1837) with 50,  plates, Nerves (1839) 38 plates, Bones and Ligaments (1842) 30 plates, Muscles (1836) 51 plates, and Viscera (1840) with 32,  plates. Choulant, 404. See Lowndes 2017; Brunet IV:997; Graesse V:519. Bookplates in plate volumes.
Hand-coloring quite vivid. Occasional scattered foxing as often, minor edge-wear to contemporary marbled boards. An exceptionally good copy.