Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Health Sciences > 143. Hans von Gersdorff

143.  Hans von Gersdorff (1455-1529).  Feldtbuch der Wundartzney. Strasbourg: Johannes Schott, 1528. Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, Archives & Special Collections

First published in 1517, the Feldtbuch was addressed to the military surgeon. It focuses on treating wounds, amputating limbs, and extracting bullets and arrows, though it also has chapters on subjects as varied as anatomy, medications, and leprosy.

The illustrations, attributed to Hans Wechtlin, are well known for their realistic depictions of surgical operations and are often handcolored, as in this copy. Its pictures, along with its practical advice, made the Feldtbuch one of the most popular-and plagiarized-surgical works of its time. The first edition showed the first printed picture of an amputation.

Purchased with the George Sumner Huntington Library, 1928

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