2 SACCO, Luigi./ cowpox vaccination / Virtual Book Fair 106


Description: One of the major advocates of cowpox vaccination

SACCO, Luigi.
Trattato di vaccinazione con osservazioni sul giavardo e vajuolo pecorino.

ilan, Dalla tipografia Mussi, 1809. Large 4to. Contemporary half calf, spine gilt. Engraved portrait of Dr. Jenner by J.R. Smith, engraved by P. Anderloni, engraved medallions on title by Bordigna, engraved medallion portrait of Dr. Sacco by G. Benaglia and 4 engraved folding plates depicting the different skindiseases in a very lifelike fashion, all beautifully coloured by hand. 224, (2) pp.

Beautiful copy of work on vaccination of smallpox, by the initiator of this vaccination in Italy and the East Indies, Luigi Sacco.
The discoverer of this vaccination was Edward Jenner (1749-1823), a well-known English surgeon. In the 18th century smallpox was a widespread disease and occasional outbreaks of special intensity resulted in a very high death rate. Jenner discovered that a person who had suffered a attack of cowpox, a relatively harmless disease that could be contracted from cattle, could not take smallpox. So he started to inoculate people with cowpox to avoid them from suffering the much more severe and often lethal results from smallpox. This procedure rapidly proved its value.
The Italian physician and surgeon Luigi Sacco (1769-1836) found a spontaneous cowpox stock in the neighnbourhood of Vares in Lombardy and he used this stock to inoculate himself and many others. He became the initiator of this vaccination in Italy on a large scale. As a general director of vaccination of the government he had succeeded in vaccinating a million and half people by 1809 when he published this work. Shortly after this publication, a French and a German edition appeared. Sacco became one of the major advocates of cowpox vaccination and his stock was, via Jean de Caro in Vienna, sent to Baghdad, where the first vaccinations of the East Indies were given.
Our large-paper copy is of the original edition and printed in a beautiful typography with some finely engraved medallions and 4 very detailed engravings depicting the smallpox and cowpox as they appear on both animals as on humans. Due to the beautifully hand-colouring of the illustrations, they give a very lifelike picture of this life-threatening disease of the 18th and 19th century.

Beautiful, large-paper copy with bookplate of Henry Barton Jacobs.
Waller 8375; DSB 12, p. 57; Whitcomb, Immunology to 1800, 3406.
  • Number: 1060301
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum