240 pp. Small 8vo, cont. calf, double gilt fillet round sides, spine gilt. London: A. Millar, 1755.
Second edition; the first edition appeared earlier in the same year. This was clearly a very popular work with a Dublin edition also of 1755. “The first 100 pages of this book comprise an appeal to gentlemen to farm their estates as a reputable and profitable occupation, and not to leave the business to the meanest of the people who are not only unable to make improvements but unwilling even to hear of them. He appeals to classical authority and to many of the English...
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240 pp. Small 8vo, cont. calf, double gilt fillet round sides, spine gilt. London: A. Millar, 1755.
Typographical device on title. Printed throughout in black letter. 11,  leaves. Small 4to, fine modern blue morocco, dentelles gilt, a.e.g. London: T. Purfoote, the assigne of R. Tottill, 1588.
Fourth edition of one of the earliest English books of "secrets," or manual of practical arts; this text appears to be entirely of English origins. It was first published in 1573 and reprinted in 1581 and 1583; there were also editions of 1596 and 1605. All editions are very scarce; of this printing the NSTC (24255) records five copies: L18, O; F, PN, NY Metropolitan Museum.
This is a very early English manual of instructions for painting and illuminating ("limming," or "limning"), particularly books and manuscripts. The following recipes are characteristic: "to temper golde or silver wherewith you may write with a pen or paint with a pencil"; "to temper Brasill wherewith to write, florish, or rule bookes"; "to make a kind of colouring called vernix, wherewith you may vernish gold, silver, and other colour or paintings, be it upon velim, paper, timber, stone, leade, copper, glasse, &c." The last leaf contains on the recto "the names of all such colours and other thinges as are mentioned and contayned in this present booke of limming, and are for the moste parte to bee solde at the apothecaries," and on the verso is an index to the various recipes.
Two engraved plates. xxxiii, 305,  pp. 8vo, cont. tree sheep (head of spine slightly worn, one lower corner bumped), spine gilt. Paris: Méquignon-Marvis, 1819.
First edition in French, translated by Jean René Riffault des Hêtres, from the greatly enlarged second edition of A Practical Essay on Chemical Re-Agents or Tests, “an interesting early work describing approximately 60 reagents and chemical techniques, illustrated by over 180 experiments. Accum briefly traces the history of wet chemical analysis, with particular reference to the contributions of Boyle, Duclos, Bergman, Scheele, Kirwan, and Westrumb.”–Neville I, p. 8.
Riffault (1754-1826), was general administrator of saltpeter and gunpowder manufacture in Paris and translated from English many other chemical texts. He also published several books of his own on saltpeter, dyeing, and chemistry.
An extremely rare survival: an uncommonly tall and large wooden training mannequin, called in Japan do-ningyo (“copper doll,” even those no longer made of bronze), in very good condition. It is most unusual to have such a mannequin of a female; the male figure is usually presented. Certain motifs of the model suggest it was carved in the Chinese or Indian style.
The first examples of similar models originated in 11th-century China, where life-size human acupuncture figures were cast from bronze. “The metal walls of the figures were pierced with small holes corresponding to the principal loci for...
Two folding engraved plates. 30 pp. Small 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed marbled boards, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Riga & Mitau: W.C.A. Müller, 1796.
“Zweite Auflage”; we cannot locate an earlier printing in any language. This is a rare work by Aigner (1756-1841), one of the leading architects and theorists of Polish Neo-Classicism, who designed many important churches and palaces in Warsaw, Krakow, and other cities in Poland.
This book, written during a building “boom” in Poland, is concerned with Aigner’s design of a large oven which could fire 100,000 bricks or tiles. The two engraved plates...
Each title within an elaborate woodcut pictorial border, two full-page engravings, & numerous woodcuts & maps in the text, woodcut initials and head- & tailpieces. First title printed in red & black. 6 p.l., 449,  pp.; 4 p.l., 205,  pp. Two vols. in one. Folio, cont. vellum over boards (binding a little soiled, light browning throughout as is always the case). Dresden: “durchaus auff Schreibpappir gedruckt,” 1589-90.
First edition, and a fine copy, of this early mining book, splendidly printed on special paper (“Schreibpappir”). “This work is of great importance in connexion with the early history of mining in Saxony.”–Zeitlinger, 2nd Supp., 13976. Albinus’s book also...
One vol. of text: xv, 672 pp., one folding leaf (“224bis”), & one large folding printed table (“660bis”). 8vo, cont. green morocco-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Atlas: One leaf of title, one leaf of index of plates, & 42 double-page photolithographed plates. Large 4to, binding as above. Paris: J. Baudry, 1875.
Second edition, “entièrement revue et corrigée.” Alcan (1811-77), was professor of textiles at the Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers in Paris. He wrote a series of books on various technical aspects of the textile industry.
This is his main work on cotton and the cotton industry, which became a standard...
Fine engraved vignette on title; one engraved headpiece with a port. of Frederick the Great, to whom the book is dedicated; & two folding engraved plates. 4 p.l., 194 pp.; 138 pp. 4to, cont. vellum over boards (one corner a little jammed), spine gilt. Paris: David l’aîné, 1747 [but 1746].
First edition of this important work. “In 1747 d’Alembert published two more important works, one of which, the Réflexions sur la cause générale des vents, won a prize from the Prussian Academy. In it appeared the first general use of partial differential equations in mathematical physics. Euler later perfected the techniques of using...
Six folding engraved plates. lxviii, 260 pp.; vi, 290 pp.; xlviii, 263 pp. Three vols. 4to, cont. mottled calf (lower cover of Vol. II a little wormed), spines gilt, red morocco lettering pieces on spines. Paris: David, 1754-54-56.
First edition. “Devoted primarily to the motion of the moon (Volume II included a new set of lunar tables), it was written at least partially to guard d’Alembert's claims to originality against those of Clairaut. As was so often the case, d’Alembert's method was mathematically more sound, but Clairaut’s method was more easily used by astronomers.”–D.S.B., I, p. 114.
Four folding engraved plates. xxxviii, , 184 pp. 4to, cont. mottled calf, spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: David l’aîné, 1749.
First edition of one of Alembert’s most important books. “During the late 1740’s, d’Alembert, Clairaut, and Euler were all working on the famous three-body problem, with varying success. D’Alembert’s interest in celestial mechanics thus led him, in 1749, to publish a masterly work, the Recherches sur la Précession des Equinoxes…The precession of the equinoxes, a problem previously attacked by Clairaut, was very difficult. D’Alembert’s method was similar to Clairaut’s but he employed more terms in his integration...
Engraved vignette on title, one engraved headpiece, & two folding engraved plates. 4 p.l., xxviii, 194, 138 pp. 4to, cont. mottled calf (head of spine with a small chip, several signatures browned or foxed), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: David l’aîné, 1747.
First edition (?). This and the Berlin edition of the same year (with Latin text only) are both variously claimed as the true first edition, and it is perhaps logical to suppose that a prize-winning essay should appear first under the imprint of the prize-giver. However, the imprimatur of the French Académie des Sciences was granted...
Engraved vignette on title & four folding engraved plates. 2 p.l., xxvi, , 186,  pp. 4to, cont. marbled calf (extremities a trifle worn, preliminary leaves a bit discolored), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: David l’aîné, 1743.
First edition, and a fine copy, of d’Alembert’s masterpiece on dynamics; this has become a scarce book on the market. “The Traité de dynamique, which has become the most famous of his scientific works, is significant in many ways. First, it is clear that d’Alembert recognized that a scientific revolution had occurred, and he thought that he was doing the job of...
104 pp. Small 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed marbled boards. Freystadt [Dresden]: 1690.
First edition, and very rare (no copy in North America according to WorldCat), of this pseudonymous second attack by the alchemist/chemist Amelung on the Reformierter Apothecker (1688) of Janusz Abraham Gehema (1617-1715). Gehema was one of the leading proponents in Germany of the “new medicine” of the Dutch and French, which he had learned while a medical student at Leiden, Groningen, and Utrecht.
In the Reformierter Apothecker, Gehema presented his plan to reform the apothecary trade in Germany by reducing and simplifying the range of remedies to only useful herbs...
Woodcut diagrams in the text. 4 p.l. (final leaf a blank), 134 pp. Small 4to, cont. vellum over boards. Venice: B. Bruni, 1667. [bound with]: —. Seconde Considerationi sopra la Forza dell’Argomento Fisicomattematico…contra il Moto Diurno della Terra… Woodcut diagrams in the text. 4 p.l., 111 pp. Small 4to. Padua: M. Bolzetta de Cadorini, 1668. [bound with]: —. Terze considerationi sopra Una Lettera del…Gio: Alfonso Borelli…scritta da Questi in replica di alcune Dottrine incidentemente tocche… Woodcut diagrams in the text. 4 p.l., 46 pp. Small 4to. Venice: Heirs of Leni, 1668. [bound with]: —...
One fine folding engraved plate & one large astronomical woodcut illus. in the text. 19 [i.e. 31] pp. Small 4to, modern wrappers. N.p.: 1681.
First edition of this rare and highly detailed anonymous observation of the famous comet of 1680-81. Apart from its brightness, this comet is notable as the first to be observed using a telescope (by Gottfried Kirch in Coburg). Other well-known observers included Robert Hooke, Flamsteed, Newton, and John Evelyn.
The author of this work clearly had a scientific background; he provides very detailed descriptions of the appearance of the comet, its path, and significance. The fine folding plate...
Numerous woodcuts in the text. Much Greek printing. 5 p.l., liii, 168 pp. 8vo, cont. panelled calf, remains of label on spine. Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1706.
First edition of Halley’s translation of Apollonius’s “cutting off a ratio” from an Arabic manuscript. This text of Apollonius, like Books V-VII of the Conics, survives only in Arabic, and in this case the Arabic remains unpublished.
“Much of Halley’s scholarship was exercised upon the works of Apollonius of Perga, one of the greatest mathematicians of antiquity, and indeed of all time, who flourished in the latter part of the third century B.C. One...
One folding engraved plate. xxxii, 116 pp. 8vo, cont. red morocco-backed paste-paper boards, flat spine nicely gilt. Paris: Patris, 1810.
First edition. One of the great achievements of the 19th century in respect to food was the successful development of canning. The pioneer in this field was the Frenchman, Nicolas Appert (1750-1841).
In Appert’s process the foodstuff was placed in clean bottles, well corked, and subsequently the bottles were raised to the boiling-point of water. In this way the most perishable material could be kept unchanged for a long time. With this method Appert demonstrated practically the process of pasteurization, nearly fifty...
Woodcut printer’s device on title, numerous woodcut illus. in the text, & a woodcut vignette on verso of final leaf. Title printed in red & black. 4 p.l., 296 pp. Folio, cont. vellum over boards (first four leaves with some light browning & staining). Palermo: C. Hesperi, 1685.
First edition of Maurolico’s important edition of Archimedes’ works, based upon an earlier partial edition by Borelli (Messina: 1670-72), which was almost completely lost.
Maurolico’s edition was largely prepared in 1534 and 1547-50 and remained in manuscript for many years after his death. Maurolico’s “method of redaction is suggested in the preface. After enumerating and...
[Japan]: ca. 1898-1912.
Copper mining at Ashio in Tochigi Prefecture began about 1600 and production continued until 1973; in the late 19th century, it produced 39 percent of Japan’s copper output. At the end of that century, it was decided to build a railway connecting the mine to major rail lines to facilitate transportation of the outbound copper ore and inbound supplies (horses had carried or pulled everything before). The engineering problems were considerable: the line runs along the Watarase River through a deep valley subject to frequent flooding. The railway was finished in 1911-12.
The collection contains a series of letters containing reports on design and construction, printed documents regarding the stock company formed to finance the building of the railway (“Ashio Tetsudo Kabushikigaisha”), reports from engineers regarding preparations, further reports regarding expected capacity needs for the railroad line, six photographs of the construction, and a very fine and large (1820 x 760 mm.) manuscript diagram on four joined sheets of tissue paper showing the route through the valley and elevations. This large diagram has been heightened in color (green, blue, red, and brown).
2 p.l., viii, 236 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf, double gilt fillet round sides, flat spine gilt, uncut. Paris: veuve Tilliard et Fils, 1805.
The rare sale catalogue of the library, rich in oriental books and manuscripts, of Anquetil-Duperron (1731-1805), French orientalist and brother of the historian Pierre Anquetil. Abraham Hyacinthe had a fascinating early life: while unsuccessfully studying for the priesthood in Paris and Utrecht, he developed a passion for Hebrew, Arabic, Persian and other languages of the East. He travelled to India as a private soldier in 1754 in order to search for the works of Zoroaster. Granted free passage...
vii, 390,  pp.; -45,  pp. Two vols. in one. 8vo, attractive pebbled green cloth-backed marbled boards. Paris: A. Claudin, 1881.
This sale catalogue, complete with the rare Supplement (sale 18-19 July 1881) containing 4194 lots, describes the important collection of books and MSS. formed by Michel Chasles (1792-1880), one of the most prominent mathematicians of the 19th century. The majority of his collection consists of scientific books and we still see books from his large library on the market.
Chasles, who was also a noted historian of science, did much original work in synthetic geometry. He fell victim to Denis Vrain-Lucas, a very clever...
1 p.l., 3, , [v]-xx, 338 pp. 8vo, attractive antique blue morocco-backed marbled boards (title slightly browned), spine gilt. Paris: Tilliard Frères, Juin 1810.
The uncommon sale catalogue of the library of Fourcroy (1755-1809), the great chemist. The catalogue lists 2781 lots of which about 2000 are works on science and medicine. Many rare chemical books are listed. It is preceded by a biographical note including a bibliography of Fourcroy’s writings and a schedule of the sale. At the end, there is a 68-column index.
According to Peignot, the compiler of the catalogue was François Henri Stanislas de l’Aulnay (1739-1831), the author of...
2 p.l., 66,  pp. Small 8vo (180 x 105 mm.), late 19th-century cloth-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. Paris: P. Remy & Musier, 1773.
([BENARD, —]). Catalogue des Bronzes, Marbres, Porcelaines, Meubles, & autres objets de curiosité. Provenant du Cabinet de M.*** Dont la Vente se fera…le Jeudi 26 Mai 1774, & jour suivans… 9 pp. Small 8vo. Paris: Chariot, 1774.