Traité de la Plique Polonaise, suivi d'observations sur cette maladie. Ouvrage auquel on a joint des Notes et une Liste de tous les Auteurs qui ont écrit sur cette affection. Avec Figures.
Octavo: XXII-135 pages with bibliography.
Half dark green shagreen and boards, probably bound in around 1850, with some scuff marks on the spine. This is the first French translation of the German text by Leopold Lafontaine (1756-1812) on a strange malady affecting hair and skin (it appears in Balzac's work). It results in the hair sticking together in 'dreadlocks'. The book is translated by the important French surgeon Antoine-Jacques-Louis Jourdan (1788-1859).
With 9 exceedingly curious images on 7 engraved plates.
Strange thing, this is an invented medical complaint. Mentioned very frequently until the 19th century, this supposed disease seems to have been the most frequent in Poland and nowadays seems to have strongly regressed, but is still considered as a rare phenomenon, periodically identified and for example associated with pediculosis and / or with scabies, or in neuropathic forms, possibly associated with hysteria (Simpson in 1969 noted that out of 7 women with Polish Plique, five had hysteria) or schizophrenia.
The Polish plique seems to have been very frequent formerly in Poland (and not always in pathological forms) when the care of the hair was neglected; mainly affecting peasants, but without being rare among the upper social classes.
The most famous person to have been afflicted by this disease is King Christian IV of Denmark (1577-1648) whose plique was a pigtail-shaped braid hanging on the left side of his head, decorated with a red ribbon. His courtiers adopted the hairstyle to flatter the king. It became fashionable.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, one hypothesis was that plique was the external symptom of an internal disease. A growing pluck was supposed to take the disease out of the body, and therefore it was rarely cut; moreover, it was believed that if it were cut, the plique could take revenge and cause an even more serious illness...
This wonderful work covers all this and more...
Bibliotheca Walleriana, 5506.
- Number of Books
- Esotericism, Illustrated, Medicine
- Author/ Illustrator
- Leopold de Lafontaine
- Book Title
- Traité de la Plique Polonaise, suivi d'observations sur cette maladie
- Publication year oldest item
- 1st Edition
- Original language
- Paris, chez Méquignon l'Aîné
- Binding/ Material
- tipped in plates