John Tinney's Compendium Anatomicum and its publishers.


During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a number of books dealing with anatomy for the use of artists were published not only on the Continent, but also to a more limited degree in England. The illustrations in these books were sometimes original, but probably more frequently were based on those of Vesalius either as direct copies or with some minor modifications. After the publication of William Cowper's Myotomia reformata: or a New Administration of all the Muscles of Humane Bodies, London, 1694, and particularly the edition prepared by Richard Mead in 1724, this also became a source of inspiration for some of those who engraved the plates for the artistic anatomies. That these works, which were of varying degrees of quality, filled a need is shown by the publication of more than one edition of an individual title, and some were still being produced in the nineteenth century. One such work was John Tinney's Compendium anatomicum, called in later editions A Compendious Treatise of Anatomy which was first published in 1743 and last appeared in 1842 some eighty years after the death of the original engraver and publisher. Copies of the early editions of this work are rare and hard to find, and this was responsible for the incomplete, and partly incorrect, entries in my British Anatomy 1525-1800. A Bibliography published in 1963. What is entered there as 816 is an undated edition in the British Museum Library catalogued as being published about 1750. In fact, for reasons which will be shown later, this was printed in either 1823 or 1824. Richard Holmes Laurie took over the cartographic and printselling business at 53 Fleet Street in 1818 when his partner James Whittle died. Hence with the imprint given it would have been printed after that date. Study of the watermarks on the paper in other copies of this edition give a better indication ofthe true date ofpublication. It was to correct the entry dealing with John Tinney in my bibliography that the present study was undertaken. Not only were other editions found including a previously unknown one of 1743, which is almost certainly the first, but the fascinating side-line of the rather complex cartographic trade was explored in order to find details ofthe life and business careers ofthe various publishers ofthe book. In the preface to Compendium anatomicum Tinney gives the reasons behind his preparation of the plates and also gives sound advice to the young painters and statuaries to whom the work is directed.

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@article{Russell1974JohnTC, title={John Tinney's Compendium Anatomicum and its publishers.}, author={Katherine F. Russell}, journal={Medical History}, year={1974}, volume={18}, pages={174 - 185} }