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Andreae Vesalii Tabulae Anatomicae Sex. Six Anatomical Tables Of Andrew Vesalius. Venetijs Imprimebat B. Vitalis, Venetus, sumptibus Ioannis Stephani Calcarensis M·D·XXXVIII.

Andreas Vesalius

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Tabulae Anatomicae Sex., 1874.]

Variant Title

Six Anatomical Tables


London:: Privately Printed for Sir William Stirling-Maxwell., M·D·CCC·LXXIV.

Physical Description

6 [i.e. 5] f., port., [6] pl.; 660 mm.

General Note

Only the last leaf of the letterpress text carries a number. It is numbered '6', but one of the preceding five leaves is a plate (facsimile of the woodcut portrait of Vesalius). The other six plates do not carry modern numbers, but reproduce leaves (of text and illustration) that carry numbers I-VI at the foot.


[Presentation leaf, title leaf] - Contents - [Port.] - [Notice of the Life of Andrew Vesalius; and of his Tabulæ Anatomicæ] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

In his Notice, Stirling-Maxwell states that 'These facsimiles have been made for me by Mr Carl von Bouel'.


M. Muraro, 'Tiziano e le anatomie del Vesalio', in Tiziano e Venezia: convegno internazionale di studi Venezia (1976), p.307-16; J.B. Saunders and C.B. O'Malley, The illustrations from the works of Andreas Vesalius (1950; repr. 1973).

Summary Note

This is a facsimile of Vesalius's Tabulae Anatomicae Sex (1538), a rare work, of which Stirling-Maxwell thought that 'a small reimpression might be welcome'. This edition consists of 'thirty copies, one on vellum, one on parchment, and twenty-eight on paper'. (The Royal Academy's copy is one of those on paper.)

The original woodcuts were published, partly designed and perhaps cut by Jan Steven van Calcar (c.1499-1546). The first three cuts show human veins and arteries; the last three, the human skeleton.

For this edition Stirling-Maxwell has added other facsimiles - of a woodcut portrait of Vesalius, also by Jan Steven van Calcar and originally printed in the Epitome of 1543 and elsewhere; of Vesalius's signature, from the facsimile in Burggraeve's Etudes; of a border from Vesalius's Fabrica, 1543 (used here to frame Stirling-Maxwell's title); of a border from Jo. Weigel's Habitus praecipuorum populorum, 1577 (used here to frame Stirling-Maxwell's presentation inscription).


The first leaf is a 'Presentation Page'. It consists of a facsimile border, within which is inscribed in ink, 'Presented to The Library of The Royal Academy with the compliments of the Editor William Stirling Maxwell 12th January 1875'.

Binding Note

19th-century quarter red morocco, marbledpapered boards; damaged spine lettered 'And· Ves [...] Anatomicæ·Venetiis·M·D·XXXVIII·London·M·D·CCC·LXXIV·'.

Name as Subject


Anatomy - Human anatomy - Musculoskeletal system
Manuals - 16th century
Pictorial works - Facsimiles (reproductions) - Photolithographs - Great Britain - 19th century


Sir William Stirling-Maxwell Bt., publisher, previous owner, donor
Jan Steven van Calcar, source artist
Carl von Bouel