Lot 136 of 196:
Rare work on Scurvy 1753  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$66,000
$25,000 - $35,000

A Treatise of the Scurvy. In three parts. Containing an inquiry into the nature, causes, and cure of that disease. Together with a critical and chronological view of what has been published on the subject

Lind, James


Printed by Sands, Murray and Cochran. for A. Kincaid & A.D. Donaldson



xv, [1], 456 pp. (8vo) 20.6x12.5 cm (8¼x5"), period calf ruled in gilt, rebacked in matching modern gilt-ruled and tooled calf, raised spine bands, morocco lettering piece; custom cloth clamshell box. First Edition.

Rare presentation copy of this seminal work on scurvy, inscribed "From the Author" on the blank leaf facing the title-page. Britain's first acknowledged expert on naval health, with no scientific knowledge of vitamins, provided evidence that a costive and bodily-destructive diet of unleavened bread, ship's biscuits and salted meat could be remedied by oranges, lemons and green vegetables. Among a wide-range of recommendations "Lind showed that in preserved form citrus juices could be carried for long periods on board ship, and that, if properly administered, they would prevent the disease. The application of this knowledge by naval surgeons who followed led to the eventual elimination of the disease from the British Navy" (Garrison-Morton). James Lind was born and educated in Edinburgh, and served as a royal naval surgeon between 1738 and 1748, graduating MD from the university on his return. He moved to Gosport in 1758 to be physician in charge of the Haslar Royal Naval Hospital. John Clevland, the recipient of this copy, also of Scots descent, rose to a position of considerable importance in the admiralty, and by 1753, was in the lucrative post of secretary to the Admiralty. While Lind's dedication in the book was to Lord Anson, then first lord of the Admiralty, the gift of this copy to the secretary suggests that it may have been Clevland as much as Anson who obtained the position at Haslar for him. The imprint "For A. Kincaid & A. Donaldson" is not found in any recorded copies in the British Isles, most having the alternative and presumably later imprint "For A. Millar, London". Dibner Heralds of Science 126; Garrison-Morton 3713; Grolier Medicine 44; NLM/Blake p. 272; Norman 1354. With rectangular piece of old, blank paper pasted over the errata on verso of p.xv, which has been observed in other copies. The page number xv has been punched through, evidently a printing defect.

Lot Amendments

Some light foxing and darkening to contents, faint marginal darkening to title-page; a very nice copy, a rare presentation copy of a scarce and important work.

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