'Most important work on the human body' gets the blood pumping for $43,992
A 17th century medical work on blood circulation in humans has sold for $43,992 in Germany.

Written in Latin, William Harvey's De motu cordis (or The motion of the heart) is widely regarded as one of the most important works on the human body.

Originally published in Frankfurt in 1628, the heavily revised third edition from 1639 sold at Ketterer Kunst is thought to be extremely rare and includes two copper plates not present in the second edition.

Garrison-Morton's 1971 A Medical Bibliography states that, alongside Vesalius's 1543 work Fabrica, De motu cordis "shares the honour as the greatest book in the history of medicine", adding that it is "the cornerstone of modern physiology and medicine".

The barber’s pole was a key feature in 17th century medicine as 'barber surgeons' were commonplace

The English physician is generally regarded as the first man to correctly describe the circulatory system.

Antique medical books often attract investors at auction. A cosmetic surgery manual from 1833 sold for $4,800 at Dominic Winter Book Auctions, earlier this year.


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