Monday, May 22, 2006

Anatomical Curiosities

Wilhem ten Rhyne was a physician for the Dutch East India company and spent a couple of years in Japan in the 17th century. During his stay he exchanged medical information with Japanese and Chinese health workers. In 1683 he published Dissertatio de Arthritide: Mantissa Schematica: de Acupunctura. This was the original first-hand published account of eastern medicine and introduced the western world to the concept of acupuncture.

I haven't been able to source this beyond it being
labelled 'Hattori 1815'. Very 'diagrammatic'.

I was very surprised to find that I haven't actually mentioned the name Ambroise Paré (1510-1590) anywhere in the archives. He was a battlefield surgeon who published pivotal works on anatomy and wound treatment and made advances with respect to amputation surgery.

He "also invented upper and lower extremity prostheses that show knowledge of basic prosthetic function. "Le Petit Lorrain" was a hand operated by springs and catches made for a French Army Captain, which he then used in battle. He also invented an above knee prosthesis that was a kneeling peg leg and foot prosthesis. It had a fixed equinas position, adjustable harness, knee lock control, and other engineering features used today."

After uploading the above prosthetic images I finally came across larger (different) versions of the hand illustrations. But I'm pretty sure that's the best version of the leg protheses online (note the little creatures down the bottom!)

I was surprised at not finding Ambroise Paré's name here because I know I've posted images that have in some way been associated with him. He was also a leading obstetrician and it's my understanding that he published works relating to monsters, some of which are wonderfully bizarre but those of the human deformity genre are not really to my taste. There was a whole body of work particularly in the 17th century devoted to birth defects and the like.

And for those so-inclined, I've been meaning to dump these links for ages:
All the illustrations above come from Kyushu University in southern Japan [link updated 27.9.06] - it's a 13 page exhibition of works from rare eastern and western medical texts. Most of the images are unfortunately either poorly digitized, photocopy quality, small or freely available elsewhere (see this previous post for a large list of anatomical image sites and also the excellent Anatomia site at the University of Toronto [via]) but there are occasional gems.


Maria Eugenia said...

wonderful blog, beautiful and interesting stuff!

peacay said...

Jenny, 'Hattori 1815' is Japanese - see this page at Kyushu University.
Thanks for the links!

nomadez said...

great text, and great links, specially about 'monsters'! It will be very usefull ;)

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