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Description:This large original copper-plate engraved antique print of a human skull eaten by Syphilis was published by William Henry Hall in the 1798 edition of The new royal encyclopedia; or, complete modern universal dictionary of arts and sciences on a new and improved plan.... printed by Charles Cooke, London.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: -Colors used: -General color appearance: -Paper size: - 15in x 9in (380mm x 230mm)Plate size: - 15in x 9in (380mm x 230mm)Margins: - Min 1/2in (10mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - Age toningPlate area: - Light age toningVerso: - Age toning
Background:The origin of syphilis is disputed. Syphilis was present in the Americas before European contact and it may have been carried from the Americas to Europe by the returning crewmen from Christopher Columbuss voyage to the Americas, or it may have existed in Europe previously but gone unrecognized until shortly after Columbuss return. These are the Columbian and pre-Columbian hypotheses, respectively, with the Columbian hypothesis better supported by the evidence.The first written records of an outbreak of syphilis in Europe occurred in 1494 or 1495 in Naples, Italy, during a French invasion (Italian War of 1494–98). Since it was claimed to have been spread by French troops, it was initially called the French disease by the people of Naples. In 1530, the pastoral name syphilis (the name of a character) was first used by the Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro as the title of his Latin poem in dactylic hexameter describing the ravages of the disease in Italy. It was also called the Great Pox.In the 16th through 19th centuries, syphilis was one of the largest public health burdens in prevalence, symptoms, and disability, although records of its true prevalence were generally not kept because of the fearsome and sordid status of sexually transmitted diseases in those centuries. At the time the causative agent was unknown but it was well known that it was spread sexually and also often from mother to child. Its association with sex, especially sexual promiscuity and prostitution, made it an object of fear and revulsion and a taboo. The magnitude of its morbidity and mortality in those centuries reflected that, unlike today, there was no adequate understanding of its pathogenesis and no truly effective treatments. Its damage was caused not so much by great sickness or death early in the course of the disease but rather by its gruesome effects decades after infection as it progressed to neurosyphilis with tabes dorsalis. Mercury compounds and isolation were commonly used, with treatments often worse than the disease.
Hall, William HenryHall was responsible for a significant publication in the middle of the 18th century The new royal encyclopedia; or, complete modern universal dictionary of arts and sciences on a new and improved plan . containing a digest and display of the whole theory and practice of the liberal and mechanical arts comprising a general repository of ancient and modern literature . including all the material information that is contained in Chamber s Cyclopedia, the Encyclopædia Britannica, and the French Encyclopædie . first published in 1788 going into many re-issues over the next 50 years.The three volume set contained 153 copper-plate prints and maps, including some folding maps. Contained many brief encyclopedic entries in alphabetical orders plus longer, mainly illustrated, sections (systems or treatises) on a variety of subjects: Aerology; Aerostation (hot air balloons); Agriculture; Algebra; Amphibiology; Anatomy; Annuities; Architecture; Arithmetic; Astronomy (includes plates of telescopes); Book-Keeping; Botany; Brewing; Chronology; Chymistry; Comparative Anatomy; Concology; Dialling; Distillation; Drawing; Earth; Earthquakes; Electricity; Entomology; Farriery; Fencing; Fluxions; Fortification; Gardening; Geography (this section includes six folding maps); Geometry; Globes; Grammar; Heraldry; Hydrostatics and Hydraulics (one plate included a diving bell); Icthyology; Knighthood; Logic; Mammalia (included a plate showing whales); Mechanics; Medicine; Mensuration and Gauging; Miscroscopic Apparatus (microscopes); Midwifery; Military Affairs; Music; Natural History; Naval Affairs; Navigation (includes a folding map showing Cooks voyages); Optics; Oratory; Ornithology; Peerage; Perspective; Pneumatics; Projectiles; Steam Engines; Surgery; Surveying; Trigonometry; Vermeology; Volcanos; and War. Hard to find a complete set, as many have been broken up for their handsome copper plate engravings and maps.