Tractat vom machen und Gebrauch eines Neugeordneten Mathematischen Instruments. Inn welchem underschiedliche Künstliche stuck, die Geometriae betreffende, verfasset und begriffen seind…in unserer Hochteutsche sprach, ubergesetzt und Transferiert, durch Sebastianum Curtium…. Jan Pieterszoon DOU.

Tractat vom machen und Gebrauch eines Neugeordneten Mathematischen Instruments. Inn welchem underschiedliche Künstliche stuck, die Geometriae betreffende, verfasset und begriffen seind…in unserer Hochteutsche sprach, ubergesetzt und Transferiert, durch Sebastianum Curtium…

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 sights at right angles (allowing the instrument to be used as a surveyor’s cross), and a sighting alidade that fit over the compass. “It carried a ring for suspension, after the manner of the astrolabe. When used horizontally for topographical work, it was mounted on a staff by means of a swivel joint which allowed freedom of movement, so that a line of sight between two objects not in the same horizontal plane could be determined by tilting the plane of the instrument.”–Kiely, Surveying Instruments, pp. 161-62.

Dou commissioned the Leiden instrument maker Jan Davids to make the device around 1605 and used it extensively when he was busy constructing dikes around the Beemsterpolder. The instrument met with considerable success, and this text enjoyed two Dutch editions and two German editions in eight years.

The translator, Sebastian Curtius (or Kurz, 1576-1659), was a mathematician at Nuremberg.

Fine copy.

❧ Bierens de Haan 1223. Tomash & Williams D63. Curtius: Poggendorff, I, 1334. Dou: Zinner, Astronomische Instrumente des 11. bis 18. Jahrhunderts, p. 297.

Price: $9,500.00

Item ID: 6736

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