“Quand au Médius et à l’Annulaire = il y a plus d’avantage à couper les têtes des métacarpiens”
[When at the middle or ring fingers, there is greater advantage in cutting off the heads of the metacarpals]
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF AN UNPUBLISHED SURGICAL TRACT WITH HAND-DRAWN ANATOMICAL FIGURES.
The manuscript contains sections largely concerning the amputation and disarticulation of hands and fingers, with chapters on various methods of incision and one titled “Amputations particulières” [Particular amputations]. The accompanying illustrations, “delin[eavit] ad nat[uram]” [drawn from nature] by Dr Frédéric Lépine, depict hands, forearms and digits in various poses (some delineated with incision marks), bone fragments and skeletal sections as well as surgical equipment. The two pages of medical implements also records the names of each device’s inventor: Sedillot, Dupierris, Roux, Guyot and Colombat.
One tipped-in leaf, titled “Main prisé dans un engrenage de Battoir à Blé” [Hand caught in a gear of a wheat thresher], presents a case study of a mangled hand with two semi-graphic depictions of the injured patient before and after surgery. The final two illustrations, in a deviation from the common theme of the manuscript, relate the appearance of “Testicule tuberceuleux syphilitique” [syphilitic tuberculosis testes].
In the case study of the hand, Lépine notes that he reconstructed the hand in 1844 with the cicatrisation process being complete by 1845, giving an approximate date for the manuscript.
Dr Lépine authored several books of Burgundian local history including on the region’s capital and location of his publishers, Dijon. However, he does not appear to have published any of his works on medicine and surgery. Possibly intending to complete a thorough survey of surgical operations for all parts of the body, the incomplete work—preserved likely in the present manuscript only—records Lépine’s multiple studies of hands and fingers.
FRÉDÉRIC, LÉPINE. Opérations chirurgicales. [?Dijon]: n.p., [?c. 1845]. Folio (11 x 16.5 in), 14 pp. with 5 leaves tipped-in; 20 pencil sketches, 11 ink sketches. Autograph manuscript bound in blue patterned boards backed in sage-green reversed calf, typed paper label to spine, large ornate label on upper board inscribed with title and author name. Some soiling to base of spine, scratches across upper label, some toning and foxing throughout with occasional water stains; all pages intact and illustrations largely unaffected; text neat and legibly written in a fine cursive hand.
A UNIQUE DOCUMENT PRESERVING MEDICAL SKETCHES OF REMARKABLE DETAIL.
Price: $7,500 .