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Saturday 7 January 2023

Abraham Blooteling & Pieter Stevens van Gunst's engraving, “Plate 70: Dissected Hand and Forearm Showing the Tendons”, 1685

Abraham Blooteling (aka Abraham Bloteling; Abraham Blotelingh; Abraham Blootelingh) (1640–1690) and Pieter Stevens van Gunst (aka Pieter van Gunst) (1658/59–c1731)

“Plate 70: Dissected Hand and Forearm Showing the Tendons”, 1685, after a drawing in the Ecole de Médicine, Paris, by Gerard de Lairesse (1640/41–1711), engraved illustration to Govard Bidloo’s (1649–1713) famous anatomical atlas, “Anatomia humani corporis/ Ontleding des menschelyken lichaams", first published by the widow of Johan van Someren (1622–1676) (de Weduwe van Joannes van Someren [fl. after 1679]) in 1685 in Amsterdam.

Note that this impression has the 3 cm chainlines of the first edition of 1685, whereas the later edition of 1734, published by Jacob van Poolsum (1701–1762) in Utrecht has 2.5 cm chainlines. offer a view of this print in its context in the publication:

The accompanying Latin text on the facing page to this print offers the following explanation of the lettered index: (transl. and my apologies for any errors) “Seventieth Table: Besides those already recited A. of the index finger, B. of the ear, C. of the thumb, and of the fingers, there are those produced from the extremity of the apophysis of the humerus D. of four or three of the fingers, E. both second and third, by means of the tendinous ligaments of the envelope, F. are attached to the internode. With these tendons, as well as Perforates and Perforants, the capsules or sheaths of the Membranaceous-Cartilage are attached to the External Radius. These same muscles, separated from each other, are shown […]”

For a marvellous description of the history behind the Bidloo’s anatomical atlas relating to another plate from the publication, see:

Engraving on laid paper (3 cm chainlines) with full margins as published.

Size: (sheet) 50.6 x 35.4 cm; (plate) 47.5 x 33.1 cm.

Lettered in plate: (upper-right corner) “T. 70.”; (index lettered) “A” to “F”.

Condition: strong and well-printed impression in an excellent condition for its age with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, losses, significant stains or handling marks.

I am selling this large and famous masterpiece of anatomical engraving that is not only superbly executed, but also displays exceptional ingenuity in displaying an anterior view of the forearm muscles and tendons attached to the wrist, for AU$485 (currently US$333.61/EUR313.29/GBP275.87 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this extraordinary and technically magnificent print, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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