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 is dealing with counters and with fractions he places them before multiplication, because they are needed there in abacus calculating. It is interesting to see how these chapters on doubling and halving, of which we have traces in ancient Egypt, persisted throughout the Middle Ages and well into the sixteenth century.”–Smith, Rara Arithmetica, pp. 74-75.
Huswirt was a German arithmetician of ca. 1500 about whom nothing is known. This was a very popular and useful work, with editions or revisions of 1504, 1507, 1511, and later.
Very good copy. Two issues or printings of the book were done by Quentel in 1501, distinguished by different settings of “Invide ne latres” on the title.
❧ Tomash & Williams H191.
Item ID: 6742