16th century diagrams detail world's first ever nose jobs
London: Cosmetic surgery is a modern luxury for celebrities like Heidi Montag and Joan Rivers.
But an auctioned book has revealed details of the world's first ever nose jobs done in the 16th century, reports the Daily Mail.
The surgery - known as rhinoplasty - is considered a modern phenomenon but this book shows it was used over 400 years ago.
The incredibly rare work, titled ‘De Curtorum Chirurgia Per Insitionem’ - meaning ‘The Surgery of Defects by Implantations’- was published in 1597, and was written by Gaspare Tagliacozzi, professor or surgery and anatomy at the University of Bologna.
It describes operations carried out to repair faces that had been wounded in battle.
The tome is written in Latin and illustrated with diagrams of the process in which the patient's nose was attached to a flap of skin from his upper arm.
In one diagram, a patient is seen in bed with his forearm attached to his head and a flap of skin from his bicep region stuck onto his nose.
He stayed like that for about three weeks until the skin from his arm had attached itself properly.
After a further two weeks the bit of skin was shaped so it resembled a nose and the process was complete.
The book was sold for a whopping 11,000 pounds to a modern-day plastic surgeon.
“It's a wonderful and rare book. The typography, illustrations and book design are of a fantastically high standard that would put most modern publishers to shame,” said Chris Albury from Dominic Winter auction house, which sold the book at its saleroom in Cirecester.
“What is strange is that the techniques and ideas in the book were clearly well-thought of at the time and yet all was so quickly forgotten following Tagliacozzi's death,” he added.
“This might have been because it was not approved by the religious authorities at the time who might have considered him interfering with God's work,” said Albury.
“We knew the book was extremely rare with copies hardly ever coming to auction so we were prepared for a battle between dealers and collectors,” he added.
Though the book was the first to document any kind of cosmetic surgery, there is no evidence of any other such operations until the late 18th century when similar treatments were recorded.