Sunday, September 1, 2013

Anatomical Lecture Certificate Engraved by Paul Revere (!), 18th Century

In a random image search today, I stumbled upon this lovely anatomical lecture certificate featuring an engraving by 18th century American patriot Paul Revere. It turns out that Mr. Revere, in addition to his famous midnight ride--as explained by the Illustrated Inventory of Paul Revere's works at the American Antiquarian Society website--also worked in dentistry, iron, and engraving. The design on the certificate above, wherein a "man with rolled sleeves operates on a corpse on a round table" is said to be one of his works.

Full details follow; You can find out more about the image and Paul Revere's engravings more generally by clicking here. Click on image to see larger, more detailed version.
Anatomical Lectures Certificate.
[mss. 1785]; sheet: (23.5 x 19 cm). plate: (19 x 15 cm). Link to record. 
Brigham plate 48. Link to Brigham.

Engraved certificate featuring a bust portrait of a bald Galen (AD 129 – 199/217) facing right surrounded by a medallion-shaped Chippendale border. Additional Chippendale bordering and two surgical skeletons flank the manuscript and engraved text in the center. Beneath the text is an anatomical scene where a man with rolled sleeves operates on a corpse on a round table; the corpse has a rope, presumably the remains of a noose, around his neck. On the table, accompanying the body are a blanket and surgical tool.

The certificate reads, both engraved and manuscript text, “These may certify that Mr Levi Bartlett has diligently attended an entire course of my Anatomical Lectures & Demonstrations; together with Physiological & Surgical observations at the dissecting Theatres in the University at Cambridge whereby he has had an opportunity of acquiring an accurate knowledge in the structure of the human body and the surgical branch of his Professions. John Warren Prof. of Anat[omy] and Surgery University Cambridge. Boston June 8th 1785.” Engraved initials in lower right “PR [Paul Revere].” On verso: Purchase information, 1951.

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