Lot 173 of 446:
First colored photographs of skin diseases  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$900
$500 - $800

Photographic Illustrations of Skin Diseases

Fox, George Henry

New York

E. B. Treat



[2], 192 pp. With 48 plates printed by Edward Bierstadt (brother of the painter Albert Bierstadt) colored by hand by Joseph Gaertner. The photos are artotypes, a form of photolithography printed in ink from a photographic plate in bichromate gelatin. (4to) 29.1x22.5 cm (11½x9"), re-backed and re-cornered in modern leather over original cloth-covered boards, spine lettered in gilt, fresh endpapers. First Edition.

First medical book showing accurate, colored photographs of skin diseases. Fox, considered the "Dean of Dermatology," was a co-founder of the American Dermatological Association. He writes in his preface: "The study of skin diseases without cases or colored plaques is like the study of osteology without bones, or the study of geography without maps. Even if a manual is complete or practical , his verbal descriptions cannot be compared. in value with a view of the things described or, at best, his faithful representation...[Moreover] Photographs...have generally lacked an essential element of diagnosis, viz., the color, or have been disfigured by careless daubing, and colored lithographs...in too many instances lacked fidelity to nature both in form and color." G&M 3996. Ownership marks on title page with a few inked corrections in the list of plates.

This was not the first photographic atlas of cutaneous diseases to be published, that honor probably goes to Balmanno Squire for his three part series, Photographs of the Diseases of the Skin published in 1865. Squire was soon followed by Dr.s Hardy and Montmeja in Paris with skin fascicles they began to publish in 1867 and bound together for the first time in 1868. Fox was also preceded by Howard Franklin Damon of Boston with his 1870 volume Photographs of Skin Diseases and there were others who earlier seized on the idea that photographic illustrations would be of immense value for the classification of dermatological maladies. However because of the expense and time required to print and mount albumen photographs, all of these antecedents were limited to editions of a few hundred or less. With the advantage of the cheaper and larger edition runs of artotype reproduction, George Henry Fox could publish for a wider audience and so his Photographic Illustrations of Skin Diseases is important in the medical canon for the clarity and dissemination of its illustrations.

Lot Amendments

Some sunning and a few stains to cloth; mild foxing, leaves mildly toned; artotypes about near fine; overall very good or better.

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