FrontRunners: Body Work

Physician and anatomist Andreas

Vesalius’ 1543 work De

humani corporis fabrica libri septem is among the most

important medical books in history. But Dr. Dean Edell, who is known more for

hosting a radio talk show than for collecting books, likes his first edition for

another, less obvious reason: He regards its illustrations of the human body as

works of art. He will sell the Vesalius and about 250 other pieces from his

collection of medical books and antiquities at Christie’s

(www­.christies.com) in New York on October 5. The auction might fetch as

much as $1.5 million. . . . Medical textbooks, even the most valuable ones,

might seem downright mundane next to the otherworldly item that Bonhams

(www­.bonhams.com) will offer October 28 in New York. The auction house will

present for sale a 30-pound piece of the Willamette Meteorite, which was

discovered in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 1902. The chunk has an estimated

value of $1.1 million to $1.3 million. The auction also will include the only

meteorite documented to have killed an animal—a cow in Venezuela.

“It really was a gap in art history,” Falconer says...
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