An Anatomist Collects
Catalogue des Bronzes et autres Curiosités Egyptiennes, Etrusques, Indiennes & Chinoises; Médailles & Monnoies d’or & d’argent; Bagues & Boutons de diamants; Pierres gravées, Agates, Jaspes & Coquilles, dont la Scalata; Polypiers, Animaux, Oiseaux & Insectes: Pieces anatomiques & nombres d’autres morceaux curieux. Du Cabinet de feu M. Morand…Cette Vente se fera le Mercredi premier Décembre [1 December 1773] [Expert: P. Remy].
2 p.l., 66,  pp. Small 8vo (180 x 105 mm.), late 19th-century cloth-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: P. Remy & Musier, 1773.
([BENARD, —]). Catalogue des Bronzes, Marbres, Porcelaines, Meubles, & autres objets de curiosité. Provenant du Cabinet de M.*** Dont la Vente se fera…le Jeudi 26 Mai 1774, & jour suivans… 9 pp. Small 8vo. Paris: Chariot, 1774.
I. The very rare auction catalogue of Morand’s important cabinet of anatomical curiosities, natural history specimens, art, and antiquities (see below). Morand (1697-1773), the esteemed surgeon and contributor to the Encylopédie, possessed an eclectic collection, but focused principally on anatomical specimens for his research, and antiquities.
“Morand sought to be a scholar-surgeon rather than a mere surgeon at a time when many still thought that occupation closer to barbering than to medicine. He taught anatomy and surgery at the Paris College of Surgery, the Charité, the Invalides, and his home. Also, for some fifty years he published articles and books on such varied scientific subjects as cataracts, the anatomy of the brain, the medical uses of electricity, the differing size of humans in the morning and evening, and extra-fingered humans.”–Kafker & Kafker, The Encyclopedists as Individuals: a Biographical Dictionary of the Authors of the Encyclopédie (1988), p. 270.
This catalogue describes 539 lots of sculpture, ceramics, furniture, medals and coins, weapons, tools, clothes, minerals, shells, petrified wood, fossils, bird and insect specimens, human specimens (many with deformities), Morand’s anatomical teaching collection, jewelry, etc. His anatomical collection constitutes just over 100 lots, which are meticulously inventoried and described. For example, we find two fetal skeletons connected at the head, a hand with six fingers, two boxes filled with human and animal teeth, the wax model of a female skeleton assembled by Morand, artificial eyes, etc., etc. A number of the other curiosities come from India, China, Egypt, Greece, and Africa.
II. A choice collection of 47 lots of ancient sculpture, weapons, and ceramics. Lugt was able to confirm only the consigner’s last name as “Benard.”
Two rare and interesting sale catalogues, the first thoroughly detailing a fascinating anatomical cabinet. Engraved bookplate of G[eorges] P[annier] (1853-1944) on the front paste-down. Natural paper flaw touching text on Biii of the Morand catalogue. Title-page of the Benard catalogue a little browned. We locate no copy of this second catalogue in North America.
❧ I. Lugt 2208. N.B.G., Vol. 36, cols. 446-47 (Morand). R. Taton, Enseignement et Diffusion des Sciences en France (1986), pp. 185 & 691. II. Lugt 2294.
Item ID: 6702