3 p.l., 16, , 153,  pp. 12mo, cont. calf, spine blackened at the time of binding & lettered in gilt. London: Printed by J.M. for G. Sawbridge, 1678.
An absolutely lovely copy from the library of William Constable (all his books are gorgeous) and Harrison D. Horblit, with their bookplates. This is a later edition, which first appeared in 1667.
William Leybourn (1626-1716), was one of the most influential mathematicians/surveyors of his day. This book is a theoretical guide to a logarithmic rule. It “begins with a description of the standard carpenter’s ruler and how it can be used to measure stone, timber and board-measure...
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3 p.l., 16, , 153,  pp. 12mo, cont. calf, spine blackened at the time of binding & lettered in gilt. London: Printed by J.M. for G. Sawbridge, 1678.
Three folding engraved plates. 2 p.l., 84 pp., 32 leaves. Small 8vo, cont. boards. Augsburg: E. Kletts, 1769.
First edition and very scarce. The idea of engraving scales on glass for use in optical instruments originated with the German physicist Johann Tobias Mayer the Elder (1723-62), but was first realized by the prominent Augsburg instrument maker Georg Friedrich Brander (1713-83). In the present work, the famous physicist Lambert (1728-77), gives an account of Brander’s glass micrometers and their application to microscopes and especially telescopes. This is followed by Mayer’s description of his invention and two dissertations by Brander on the application of the...
24 folding woodcut plates & numerous woodcuts in the text of Part I. 12 p.l. (first leaf a blank), 316 pp., one leaf of errata; 205 leaves (incl. added title with woodcut, final three leaves blank). Two parts in one vol. Small 8vo, cont. vellum (carefully rebacked in vellum, later endpapers). Rome: A. Tinassi, 1679.
First edition, presentation copy, with an “Ex dono Auctoris” inscription on front endpaper to an unidentified recipient (in the recipient’s hand). “The Tariffa, perhaps the rarest of all Kircher’s works and his least characteristic, is entirely mathematical. It treats primarily geometrical figures and simple trigonometry. The work is organized in...
Engraved frontis., three folding printed plates (one in red & black), and numerous woodcut diagrams & illus. in the text. 8 p.l. (incl. frontis.), 301,  pp. 4to, cont. vellum over boards, green silk ties. Rome: Varesi, 1665.
First edition of Kircher’s treatise on numerology, the “hidden mysteries” of the origins of numbers. “The Arithmologia, one of Kircher’s more curious works, is a veritable gold mine of curiosities: magic formulas, amulets, and symbolic matrices. For Kircher all knowledge was to some extent bound up in mystery, and this was particularly true of numerology…Kircher did not accept the mysticism uncritically, however. Indeed much of the work...
20 unnumbered leaves. 8vo, attractive antique panelled calf (title & a few leaves with minor & careful strengthenings, minor worming). Cologne: Heirs of H. Quentel, 1501.
First edition of one of the earliest arithmetics; this is an extremely rare book on the market. “This is the earliest treatise on algorism printed at Cologne. It is divided into four ‘tractati,’ and includes the fundamental operations through evolution; a brief treatment of abacus or line reckoning; common fractions; rule of three, partnership, and over twenty miscellaneous rules…In the algoristic treatment of integers Huswirth places ‘duplatio’ (doubling) after multiplication, and ‘mediatio’ (halving) after division; but when he...
Woodcut vignette of the instrument on title, one folding woodcut plate, & numerous woodcut diagrams & illus. in the text. 53,  pp. Small 4to, modern marbled boards. Mainz: B. Lipp, 1605.
First edition of the first work describing the construction of the compass of proportion, the first modern calculating instrument; it is an extremely rare book. The invention of this instrument by Jobst Bürgi (1552-1632), mechanician to Wilhelm IV, Landgrave of Hesse, had been first announced in 1604 by Levinus Hulsius, a full two years before Galileo announced the invention of this own version of the instrument. Because Hulsius offered Bürgi’s instrument for sale...
Each title within the same architectural woodcut border, two folding woodcut plates in the second part (the 2nd plate is numbered p. 33), & numerous woodcuts in the text of geometrical & surveying problems. 8 p.l., 88 pp.; 2 p.l., 33 pp. Two parts in two vols. Small 4to, modern vellum-backed paste-paper boards. Nuremberg: S. Halbmayer, colophon dated “1626.”
First edition, and complete with both parts, of this posthumously published work. Galgemair (1564-1619), who had been a student of both Apian and Mästlin at Tübingen, wrote a series of books on scientific instruments.
The first part of this book describes the precursor to the sector and proportional compass that is today known as the reduction compass; a full-page woodcut of the instrument appears on A2r. There are 100 examples of the uses of the instrument, most with illustrations. The first examples provide geometric solutions to problems of a more abstract nature, while the latter address practical problems, such as how much gold foil a goldsmith needs to cover a round roof at the top of a tower, heights and distances of buildings, etc. The uses for the architect and cartographer are obvious.
Finely engraved frontis. (mounted on a stub at an early date). xvi, ix-xii, 306, lv pp. Small 8vo (165 x 100 mm.), cont. mottled sheep, green morocco lettering-pieces on spine, spine gilt. Paris: P. Prault & J. Barrois, 1747.
The uncommon catalogue of one of Gersaint’s great auctions, with his customary erudite descriptions. The Vicomte de Fonspertuis (1669-1747), “despite a Jansenist education, entered whole-heartedly into the life of the royal court and won the favour of Philippe II, Duc d’Orléans. He developed his love of art through his maternal uncle, Du Vivier, who bequeathed him his remarkable collection, rich in curiosities, East Asian porcelain and...
One folding engraved plate.  pp. Small 4to, attractive modern marbled boards, leather lettering-piece on spine. Augsburg: D. Francken, 1610.
First edition and very rare. Faulhaber (1580-1635), a teacher of mathematics at Ulm and a friend of Kepler, made his most lasting accomplishments in the dissemination and explanation of the logarithmic method of calculation.
This is Faulhaber’s second book and caused him considerable problems with the city’s municipal council, as it was published without the permission of the office responsible for supervision of the schools. This book describes a surveying instrument invented by Daniel Speckle in the Netherlands. The fine plate depicts...
One large & finely engraved folding plate & numerous woodcut diagrams in the text. 4 p.l., 40, 49-72 pp. (but quite complete). Small 4to, modern vellum-backed boards (minor browning). Amsterdam: W. Jansz, 1616.
First edition in German, originally published in Dutch in 1612; both editions are very rare. WorldCat lists no copy of either edition in North America.
In this work, Dou (1572-1635), land surveyor and gauger of wine for the city of Leiden, describes an instrument that is a derivative of the astrolabe. It is known as the “Holland Circle” or vollkreisgerätes, a circular surveying instrument with a compass in the center, two fixed...
Woodcut printer’s device on title, full-page woodcut heraldic device on recto of leaf preceding text, two divisional titles, & woodcut diagrams in the text. 38 p.l., 269, , 343 (i.e., 353)-798 pp. Three parts in one vol. Large thick 4to, cont. vellum over boards, yapp edges, ties gone. Cologne: J. Gymnich, 1591.
First edition, the very fine Bibliotheca Colbertina – Honeyman copy, of this important work on economics, the history of money, and numismatics. Budel (d. 1597), was director of the Bavarian mint.
This massive work is really a collection of texts on economics, money, and the study of coins and paper money by a....
Two fine folding engraved plates (one of surveying instruments). 64 pp. 8vo, cont. green boards (spine a little rubbed). Augsburg: E. Kletts, 1780.
First edition. “This work describes a sighting instrument that could be used for general survey work. It is constructed much like a sector with sights, but some care has been taken in the mechanical arrangements with various locking devices and finely graduated scales. There is also a description of other simple instruments, such as a plane scale.”–Tomash & Williams B232.
Brander (1713-83), a member of the Academy of Sciences in Munich, was one of the most celebrated instrument makers...
Paper cut-out in the shape of two hands (slightly creased at connected fingertips as usual). [Paris: 1953].
The extremely rare and delightful invitation — in the shape of two hands — for a Toyen exhibition held at l’Etoile Scellée in May 1953. With short quotations by Péret, Breton, J. Schuster, J. L. Bédouin, B. Roger, G. Legrand, J. Heisler, and a checklist of the works exhibited.
In very good condition, minor wear to edges.
4 unnumbered pages. Small 8vo (200 x 125 mm.), orig. printed wrappers, staple-bound. [London: Gimpel Fils, 1948].
The very rare exhibition catalogue, with an invitation to the private viewing laid-in. Held at the Gimpel Fils gallery, this exhibition consisted of 13 paintings and 15 drawings by Modigliani. For almost every picture, details are provided of the lenders, exhibition history, and provenance. The art critic and much sought-after lecturer Eric Newton (1893-1965) has contributed a concise biography and analysis of the artist’s life. Sotheby’s auctioned Portrait of Baranowski (no. 1) for just over 16 million pounds in March 2017.
Very good copy.
Engraved frontis.; eight engraved vignettes and head- & tailpieces, 19 finely engraved plates (most folding) & some engravings in the text. 18 p.l., 254,  pp. of index & errata. Thick 8vo (160 x 105 mm.), late 18th-cent. marbled boards (extremities a little rubbed & worn). Dresden: [C. G. Nitzsche], 1765.
An important German edition of Bosse’s Traité des manières de graver en Taille douce (1st ed., in French: 1645), considerably augmented for the German audience. This work was translated and published by Carl Gottlieb Nitzsche from the 1745 Cochin edition. The Cochin edition was the first to promote etching with hard etching-ground (vernis dur), instead of the soft etching-ground...
1 p.l., ii, 152 pp. Small 8vo (160 x 100 mm.), cont. calf-backed paste-paper boards (tail of spine worn), spine gilt, green morocco lettering-piece on spine. [Paris]: L’Imprimerie des Sciences et Arts, [?1801].
The uncommon second printing of this exhibition livret, with 945 works described. The present catalogue has combined the contents of two great exhibitions, the first of French and Flemish pictures, the other consisting of Italian paintings looted from Lombardy and Bologna. Both were held in the grande Galerie of the Musée central des Arts (now the Louvre). As explained in the Avertissement, the artworks from the exhibitions were combined into...
2 p.l., viii, 118 pp. Small 8vo (153 x 100 mm.), cont. pink paste-paper boards (spine sunned), green morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: L’Imprimerie des Sciences et Arts, 1798.
The scarce catalogue recording the paintings seized from Lombardy by the French army. This proved to be an extremely contentious exhibition in France because upon the arrival of the paintings, French experts decided to restore nearly all of them.
“During this hectic period, with works of art coming and going in large numbers, a controversy of major proportions erupted over the way the [Louvre] was run and in particular over the conduct of restorations…Exacerbating...
25 color-printed double-page woodcut illus. & three color-printed full-page woodcut illus. 22; 18; 19; 21; 19; 17 folding leaves (some mis-paginations). Six vols. (numerated “1-6” in the first line of text of each vol.). 8vo, orig. speckled wrappers (rubbed), orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers (labels rubbed), early stitching. Edo: Ochakuya, ca. 1830-31.
First edition of this very rare erotic story of the famous Tamamo-no-Mae, a legendary figure in Japanese mythology. She is based on Huli jing, the nine-tailed fox, a Chinese mythological creature who could be either a good or bad spirit. In Japan, the fox metamorphosizes into the beautiful and intelligent Tamamo-no-Mae. Employing this deception...
1 p.l., 73 pp. Small 8vo, attractive modern marbled wrappers. Göttingen: F.E. Huth, 1824.
The very rare sale catalogue of the library of Suchfort (1747-1824), classical scholar and rector of the Göttingen gymnasium. In 1771, he published a book on Stesichorus (ca. 630–555 B.C.), the first great lyric poet of the West. The catalogue has 1643 lots, and there are multiple items in a number of the lots. The library was very largely devoted to classical studies and philology. The final lot lists Suchfort’s dactyliotheca.
Fine copy. We find no copy outside of Germany.
152 pp. 8vo, orig. pink printed wrappers bound in attractive modern marbled wrappers. [From the upper wrapper]: “Perthes & Besser Buchhandlung Hamburg 1816.”
Following a nine-year apprenticeship, Friedrich Christoph Perthes (1772-1843), established his own book business in 1796. Two years later, he entered into a partnership with his brother-in-law, Johann Heinrich Besser (1775-1826). They soon became one of the leading publishing and bookselling firms of northern Germany. During the Napoleonic period, Perthes experienced many difficulties caused by his public resistance to French influences and was forced to leave Hamburg.
This remarkable priced catalogue lists about 3000 books published in Britain and France from 1812...
1 p.l., 109 pp. Small 8vo, attractive modern marbled wrappers. Berlin: 1815.
The very rare sale catalogue — Loh, Vol. 6, p. 102, locates no copy — of the fine scientific library of Meyer (1739-1811), owner of the Hof-Apotheke in Stettin. He studied chemistry in Berlin under J.H. Pott and A.S. Marggraf, and in 1764 he went to Uppsala University, where he studied botany with Linnaeus and possibly chemistry with J.G. Wallerius. In 1780 Meyer founded a distillery in Stettin to produce French-style brandy and liqueurs according to a process that he had developed in his apothecary shop.
This library of 2227 lots was an important collection of botanical, chemical, medical, and pharmaceutical texts, including all the works of “the chemical revolution.”
1 p.l., 114 pp. Small 8vo, attractive modern marbled wrappers. Würzburg: J.S. Richter, 1827.
The very rare auction catalogue — Loh, Vol. 7, p. 219, locates no copy — of the books, prints, and music offered for sale by the Würzburg bookseller and taxation official Louis. He died on 6 January 1828, two weeks before the sale. The sale was postponed, and his wife later held the auction in the autumn.
The catalogue has about 2000 lots, with excellent collections of medicine, surgery, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pharmacology, botany, natural history, art, and philosophy.
1 p.l., 29 pp. Small 8vo, attractive modern marbled wrappers. [London]: 1816.
A very rare priced catalogue, listing about 500 titles, issued by one of the most important London booksellers of the time. The firm had two locations, joined by a bridge across the street between shops. Black apprenticed for his father from 1781 to 1789 and was succeeded by his son, Alexander. The firm continued until the middle of the 19th century.
Engraved frontis. port. of Jenner, engraved vignette on title, & four folding engraved plates, each finely hand-colored. 223,  pp. Large 4to, cont. vellum over boards (covers somewhat stained, upper hinge cracked but strong), spine gilt, red leather lettering piece on spine. Milan: Tipografia Mussi, 1809.
First edition. Sacco (1769-1836), was Italy’s first and most enthusiastic supporter of Jennerian vaccination and the first vaccinator in Lombardy, where smallpox was eliminated within three years. After Jenner’s own works, this is one of the most important early treatments of the subject and the first major Italian treatise on vaccination. It had an enormous effect in swaying...