The natural history of the human teeth : explaining their structure, use, formation, growth, and diseases : illustrated with copper-plates.
Hunter, John, 1728-1793
Printed for J. Johnson
, 128; , iv, 128,  p.; 27 x 22 cm
Younger brother of William, John Hunter studied dissection at his brother's school of anatomy in London, where he showed outstanding aptitude as a dissector. He also studied under William Cheselden and Percivall Pott. Hunter's great ability to relate structure to function made him one of Britain's greatest surgeons, and a founder of experimental surgery. Among the innovations he introduced into surgical practice was the treatment of aneurysms without amputation, by the use of a single ligature to tie off the artery in the healthy tissue. Hunter's two treatises on the teeth secured his place as one of the founders of modern scientific dentistry. His first book, The natural history of the human teeth, was published in 1771. It dealt with the structure of the teeth, and classified them according to the system still in use today. He traced the development of the teeth in the fetus and child, and established their structure of pulp, bone, and enamel. He also introduced modern scientific nomenclature for the teeth. His second work, A practical treatise on the diseases of the teeth, published in 1778, was intended as a supplement to The natural history of the human teeth. It examined the pathology of the teeth, alveolar processes and gums. Hunter stated the necessity of removing diseased pulp to ensure the success of filling, and detailed his experiments with tooth transplantation. The two works are often found bound together, usually with a cancel title page to the first part, dated 1778. The combined works are illustrated with sixteen plates, drawn by Jan van Rymsdyk, and engraved by Strange, Ryland, Grignion, Fourgeron, and others. A 'second edition', made up from sheets of the first edition, with cancel title page, also appeared in 1778. In additon to his book on the teeth, Hunter published two other books during his lifetime: A treatise on the venereal disease (1786), and Observations on certain parts of the animal oeconomy (1786). Hunter had also prepared the manuscripts of three more books at the time of his death. The first, A treatise on blood, inflammation and gun-shot wounds, was published posthumously in 1794. The other two works, Observations and reflections on geology, and Memoranda on vegetation, were issued much later, in 1859 and 1860 respectively. Hunter also presented a large number of papers to the Royal Society, which were published in the Society's Philosophical transactions. His collected works, edited by James F. Palmer, were issued in three volumes between 1835 and 1837. They include Hunter's lectures on the principles of surgery, prepared from notes taken by Nathanael Rumsey of Chesham in 1786 and 1787. After Hunter's death his manuscripts were placed under the care of William Clift, his devoted disciple. In 1799 they were transferred to the home of Sir Everard Home, and remained in his possession until July 1823, when Home destroyed them, in order to avoid, it was said, detection of his plagiarism from Hunter. Between 1793 and 1823 Home published 92 papers in the Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society, based largely on Hunter's own work. Like his brother, John Hunter founded a museum with over 13000 specimens, which he bequeathed to the Royal College of Surgeons. He was also a modest book collector, his collection being sold at auction by Christie's on 1 February 1794 (his collection of paintings and drawings were sold on 29 Jan. 1794). Among Hunter's many famous patients, were the Duke of Queensberry, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Haydn, Samuel Foote, Lord Byron, David Hume, Adam Smith, Joseph Farington, the Marquis of Rockingham, and Thomas Gainsborough.
Heirs of Hippocrates 609; Lefanu, Lilly, p. 130-131; H.F. Norman 1116-1122. George Qvist, John Hunter 1728-1793 (London, 1981); Thirty books, p. 84-85; DNB; DSB.
Academy of Medicine Collection
Each plate accompanied by leaf with descriptive letterpress.
Part 2 has title: A practical treatise on the diseases of the teeth; intended as a supplement to the natural history of those parts ...