Sunday, May 13, 2007

Scurvy Treatise at Christies

The Daily Record reports that a first edition of Scottish physician James Lind's A Treatise on the Scurvy (Edinburgh: Sands, Murray and Cochran for A. Kincaid and A. Donaldson, 1753) will sell at Christie's on London on 6 June as Lot 155 of a sale of Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts.

Lind's book was the first to recommended citrus fruits/juices and green vegetables be added to sailors' diets to combat scurvy. Lind served as a Royal Navy surgeon for ten years before attaining the post of physician in charge at Haslar Royal Naval Hospital. This copy of his book, with the early Edinburgh imprint, was presented to John Clevland, secretary to the Admiralty in 1753, according to Christie's lot description.

The presale estimate: £10,000-15,000.

Other interesting lots from this sale:

- Autograph manuscript fair copy of T.F. Dibdin's book An Introduction to the Knowledge of Rare and Valuable Editions of the Greek and Roman Classics (1802), his first bibliographic work. £3,000-4,000. Lot 65.

- Four Samuel Johnson letters to his stepdaughter, Lucy Porter; 1761-1780. £5,000-8,000 each. Lots 89-92.

- First edition, first issue of Isaac Newton's Opticks (London: 1704). £15,000-25,000. Lot 160.