News | January 16, 2024

Vesalius’s Own Annotated Copy of De humani corporis fabrica to Auction


Vesalius’s annotated De humani corporis fabrica

The top lot of Christie’s' Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts including Americana online auction features Andreas Vesalius’s own heavily annotated copy of the second edition of his groundbreaking anatomical atlas De humani corporis fabrica.

With an upper estimate of $1.2m, his magnum opus is regarded as the greatest anatomical atlas of the Renaissance and a masterpiece of medical science, pedagogy, and typographical design. This is a unique copy of an unrealized third edition, essentially the author’s last words on his anatomical inquiry”. Very little of 
Vesalius’s autograph material is extant

Other highlights of the sale, which runs January 17 to February 2, include:

* a beautiful and unusually annotated copy of the editio princeps of Euclid’s Elements (estimate: $300,000 - $400,000), translated from Arabic into Latin by Adelard of Bath and Robert of Chester. Edited by Giovanni Campano da Novara. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, May 25, 1482

* Second Folio (estimate: $200,000 - $300,000) and Fourth Folio (estimate: $80,000 - $120,000) of the works of Shakespeare 

* the most celebrated edition of La Fontaine’s iconic Fables, illustrated by Jean-Baptiste Oudry (estimate $60,000 - $90,000