In the past couple of weeks, an old medical book from 1766, Nova Nosographia Ophtalmica, written by Dr. Johannis Taylor (1703 - 1772) has been under my conservatorhands here at @medicalmuseion #medmus The book contains colored tablets with the eye affected by a number of diseases. These are described in 243 diagnoses divided into 27 chapters.
It has been a slow conservation- and stabilization process with cleaning the book and subsequent stabilization of pages and covers.
The most exciting in the process has been, that I have been able to follow the various eye diseases closely, while thinking about the story of Dr. Johannis Taylor works as an eye surgeon.
Johannis Taylor was an early British eye surgeon, most famous for being a medical Charlatan with flair for self-promotion and amazing oratory skills that brought him wide around in the high society of 18th century Europe. The great popularity and recognition he achieved also led to Taylor becoming the self-proclaimed personal surgeon to King Georg II, the Pope and a number of European royal families and famous people, of which Taylor named himself "Chevalier" or "Royal Optical Maternity":
Taylor performed violent painful eye surgery. He was a coucher or a cataract surgeon who performed the removal of cataracts by breaking them into pieces, which was not a succes even though he claimed it. He conceived to blind a hundred of patients, including allegedly the well-known composers Bach and Händel, who allegedly also received violent infection complications after the surgery. Taylor also claimed to be the cause of the Bach's death, which died of complications due to Taylors surgery. It should be mentioned that the doctors of these times do not have a concept of bacteria or anesthetic knowledge.
So when you here in the sweet Christmas times hear the hallelujah choir from the Bachs and Händel's works here, you can look forward to the fact that the standards of medicine and, in this case, ophthalmology have improved significantly since 18 th century. #medicalhistory #ophalmology #eyesurgery #cataract #conservator #conservation #collection #oldbook #johannistaylor #chevalier #blind #eyes #bach #händel #composer