Quan ti xin lun. [New Treatise Concerning the Whole Body].

HOBSON Benjamin (1851.)

£12500.00  [First Edition]

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First edition, first issue. 17 lithograph and woodcut plates (5 folding) as well as a folding lithograph sheet "Note to the Foreign Reader". Small folio measuring 28x17cm. Original printed wrappers with title-slip. Overall a very good copy preserved in a custom-made half-calf drop-back box. Ms. presentation on front free endpaper to Rev. Vincent Stanton. [Canton], Hui ai yi guan, printed in the first year of the Xianfeng reign, i.e. 

The present is the earliest treatise on Western medicine in Chinese written for the use of Chinese medical staff. Benjamin Hobson (1816-1873) came to China in 1839 as a medical missionary in the service of the London Missionary Society. In 1843 he was co-founder of the Medical Missionary Hospital in Hong Kong which was one of the first to provide Chinese residents with Western medical care. On the way back to Britain his first wife died and Hobson subsequently married Rebecca Morrison, the daughter of the famous missionary Robert Morrison. In 1847 he moved to Canton where he founded the Hui ai yi guan who were also the publishers of the present first edition. The content mostly relates to anatomy and physiognomy and most of the illustrations are based on William Cheselden's (1688-1752) 'Anatomy of the Human body' (1712) and his 'Osteographia' (1733).

The "Note to the Foreign Reader" by Hobson states: "This is an humble attempt to put the interesting and well established truths of Human Physiology into Chinese and illustrate them to a small extent by Comparative anatomy. The work is divided into three parts... The last chapter contains a short account of the history of man, varieties of colour, height &c. and concludes with remarks upon his moral nature, and proofs of the unity, wisdom, and design of God in creation [...] The diagrams, taken from various sources, have been drawn  in transfer paper (the greater part by a kind friend) and lithographed and printed at the press attached to the Hospital [...] The work is printed from wooden blocks after the Chinese style, and can throw off several thousand impressions. The first issue is 1200." Very rare. 

In the same year Mohai Shuguan issued a Shanghai edition followed by a 2vol. edition in a smaller format by the Haishan xianguan [unknown location] publishing house but the printing of the latter is clearly inferior and it is likely to be a pirated edition. Provenance: Collection of Reverend Vincent John Stanton (1817-1891), one of the first Westerners to settle in Hong Kong. 

Stock Code: 242532

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