The appeal of collecting beautiful, old medical books is strong for many book collectors. Medicine has been practised - in one form or another - since the beginning of mankind and many of these practises have been documented in book form.
Some of the medical authors who are avidly collected include William Harvey (1578-1657) who discovered the circulation of blood, Thomas Willis (1621-1675) who coined the term neurology, Sir Charles Bell (1774-1842), a famous surgeon known for his books with gorgeous illustrations, Edward Jenner (1749-1823) who discovered the vaccination for smallpox and many other medical practitioners from years gone by.
According to Jeremy Norman's History of Science, an AbeBooks bookseller and one of the leading experts in the field of collecting rare medical books, "specialties in which collecting is currently popular include neurology and neurosurgery, ophthalmology, cardiology, dermatology, orthopedics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, plastic surgery, general surgery, otolaryngology, urology, and psychiatry." Jeremy Norman also notes that the history of anatomy and anatomical illustration is very appealling to collectors as many of the major anatomy books were illustrated by famous artists.
From anatomy to early methods of obstetrics to the study of phrenology, the Victorian pseudoscience of skull measurement, and the art of plastic surgery - these beautiful, collectible medical masterpieces would be a wonderful addition to any book collector's collection.