PECKHAM, John, GALLUCCI, Giovanni Paolo.

OPTICS, MIRRORS AND VISION

I tre libri della perspettiva commune.

Venice, appresso gli eredi di Giovanni Varisco, 1593.

£2,250

FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. ff. (viii) 48. Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p, 64 geometrical diagrams, decorated initials. Few ll. browned (poorly dried paper), faint water stain to last three gatherings in places, very minor marginal foxing. A good copy in contemporary vellum, modern bookplate to front pastedown, ’12 May 1823’ and casemark inked to fep, autograph ‘Marcius(?) Meraius’ [Müller] to t-p, small not modern stamp to lower outer blank corner of last. In modern folding box.

A good copy of the first edition of the first Italian translation of this fundamental optics manual—a ‘rare book’ (Riccardi I/1, 570), ‘rarer’—according to Guglielmo Libri—‘than the original work’ (‘Catalogo’, 1861, n.5656). Giovanni Paolo Gallucci (1538-c.1621) was a renowned mathematician and cosmographer, with interests in astrology; he was also a frequent translator of medical and scientific works, including ‘I tre libri’. This was a major optics manual written by the English Franciscan John Peckham (c.1230-92), student at Paris under St Bonaventure, and later professor at Oxford and archbishop of Canterbury. Inspired by the theories of Francis Bacon, whom he met either in Paris or Oxford, his ‘Perspectiva communis’ (1279) was said to be so named as it was widely used. In the following centuries it was ‘the most popular book on this subject’ as well as ‘the text-book until as late as about 1600’, when Kepler published the first modern study of optics (ten Doesschate, ‘Oxford’, 334). Gallucci’s vernacular translation made this fundamental yet concise work available to a broader audience. ‘Perspectiva’ was an explanation of the Arab mathematician Alhazen’s theories in 100 propositions, most followed by Gallucci’s brief commentary and illustrated with diagrams. Alhazen explored refraction, double vision and the physical circumstances that give rise to visual perception; he was the first recorded scientist to mention refraction by curved surfaces (ten Doesschate, ‘Oxford’, 323). Gallucci’s glosses feature examples taken from everyday life. For instance, ‘Propositio IX’ illustrates why a fire appears bigger at night, and bigger from afar, when one cannot distinguish the individual flames. Gallucci compares this to what happens in church to a short-sighted person who looks at the many lit candles: without his spectacles on, the candles will appear like they are big, and touching one another; with his spectacles on, the individual flames will be discernible and the candles smaller. The long section on mirrors discusses the reflection of colours, the angles of incidence, transparency, the function of lead on glass mirrors, mirrors made of iron or diamond, spherical or plain or shaped like a column, and the appearance of images on broken mirrors. An outstanding, clear scientific milestone and the basis of key modern optics theories including Kepler’s.

BM STC It., p. 496; Riccardi I/1, 570. Not in Brunet. G. ten Doesschate, ‘Oxford and the Revival of Optics in the Thirteenth Century’, Vision Res. 1 (1962), 313-42.

L3259

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FABRI, Ottavio

ILLUSTRATED GEOMETRY

L’uso della squadra mobile.

Venice, appresso Francesco Bariletti, 1598.

£2,750

FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (ii) 58 (vi), without the ‘squadra mobile’ plate as usual. Italic letter, with Roman. Engraved architectural t-p with female allegorical figures, putti and globe, 25 half-page engraved illustrations, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Little thumbing or minor marginal spotting in a few places, one plate superimposed presumably by way of correction. An excellent wide-margined copy, on thick paper, in old carta rustica, recased, bookplate of Erwin Tomash to front pastedown, the odd contemporary marginalia. In modern folding box.

An excellent copy of the first edition of this important work on the application of triangulation. Ottavio Fabri (fl. late C16-early C17) was an Italian mathematician of whom little is known. His greatest contribution to the discipline, immortalized in this work, was the invention of the ‘squadra mobile’, a brass geometrical instrument to ‘measure, level and transfer onto paper every distance, height and depth’, with applications in astronomy, geometry and the measuring of terrain. The edition was printed in two issues with differing preliminaries, though no priority has been established. The first section is devoted to measurements and includes comparisons between units used in different cities (the ‘Braccio toscano’ in Florence, the ‘Tornadure’ in Cervia) or countries (‘Piedi’ in France and the Trevigian ‘Pertica’ in Cologne). He proceeds to explain the construction of the instrument; this part was illustrated by an engraved plate portraying the ‘squadra mobile’, absent in most copies. The best material for the instrument, he found, is copper, a piece of which—‘as thick as a knife’s back’—can be bought ‘from any ironmonger in town’. He even advertised the best craftsman in Venice to assemble the instrument, ‘M. Battista…degli Horologli’ in his Spadaria shop, who made clocks and scales. The rest, illustrated with handsome engravings, explains the most common applications of the instruments in measuring from various positions the distance, depth and height, in relative and absolute terms, of buildings, hills, allotments, etc. The ‘squadra mobile’ could even be used to map a city’s area without a compass both from inside or outside its walls. Illustration XIII pasted on p. 37 appears to have been an editorial afterthought as it is also found in the NYPL copy.

Riccardi I/1, 433-34; BM STC It., p. 241; Brunet II, 1151 (mentions this ed.); Honeyman IV, 1259 (1615 ed.).  

L3013

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GALILEI, Galileo

THE EARLIEST CALCULATOR

La operazione del compasso geometrico.

Padua, per Paolo Frambotto, 1640.

£11,600

4to. pp. (viii) 80, 2 fold-out plates. Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p, fold-out plate with engraved astronomical diagrams, line and woodcut illustrations, decorated initials and headpieces. Faint ink spots to t-p, slight foxing in places, couple of gatherings browned, two holes at gutter of last touching a letter. A very good copy in carta rustica, later eps. Bookplate of Erwin Tomash to front pastedown, armorial bookplate of Ricasoli Firidolei to verso of t-p. In modern folding box.

Very good copy of the second edition—the first with the plate—of this major work in the history of computing. The world-renowned symbol of Renaissance scientific progress, the Italian astronomer and physician Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was professor at Pisa and Padua, and the inventor of scientific instruments like the thermoscope (an early thermometer) and, most famously, a more powerful telescope with which he first identified, among other major discoveries, Jupiter’s four moons. His support of heliocentric theories and Copernicanism caused him accusations of heresy against which he was summoned to defend himself in front of the Inquisition. The ‘compasso geometrico’ was another of his creations, first discussed in print in 1606. Made of two rulers joined by a volvelle—as shown in the engraved plates—the compass could be used to calculate distance, height, depth and a variety of proportional operations through a system of scales based on Euclid’s study of triangles. In the dedicatory letter, the printer Frambotto celebrated Galileo’s ‘maraviglioso compasso’ as having ‘fundamental importance for the art of war’ and being ‘sought after by leading Captains’; it also addressed everyday problems in civil life. After explaining how the ruler on the compass is subdivided into sections, he proceeds to explore different applications. These include theoretical operations like cube roots, the squaring of a circle and geometrical proportions, as well as practical ones like the scale increase or reduction of the plan of a geographical area, the translation of prices from one currency to another according to their relative value, the calculation of interests and the arithmetic subdivision of armies on the battlefield. In his letter to the reader, Galileo stated that his ‘compasso’ would allow ‘anyone to solve in an instant the most difficult arithmetical operations’ without being skilled mathematicians.      

Tomash & Williams G12; Brunet II, 1462: ‘très rare’; Honeyman IV, 1395; Riccardi I/1, 506: ‘buona edizione’. Not in BM STC It. C17 or Smith, Rara.

L3014

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DOGLIONI, Giovanni Nicolò

SCARCE ALMANAC

L’anno dove si ha perfetto, et pieno raguaglio.

Venice, appresso Giovanni Antonio Rampazetto, 1587.

£2,250

FIRST EDITION. 4to. ff. (iv) 49 (iii). Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut vignette to t-p, full-page woodcut of astronomer perusing sky, 3 full-page and 4 smaller woodcut illustrations of astronomical schemas and representing the activities of each month, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Intermittent slight foxing, marginal tears, one touching page number, blank upper outer corner of two ll. repaired, small marginal water stain to last gathering, small ink splashes in places, two small holes to outer margin of last two ll. A good copy in contemporary vellum, spine recovered in mottled sheep, early ms. label. Bookplate of Giovan Battista Lambruschini and bookseller’s label to front pastedown, ex-libris of the Jesuit Collegium at Bastia and C19 library stamp to t-p and to blank margin of three ll. touching the odd letter. Some contemporary annotation.

Scarce copy of this important didactic almanac including the prediction of weather conditions, planetary influence and a perpetual calendar—‘one of the earliest—if not the earliest—almanack according to the Gregorian Calendar…unknown to Poggendorff’ (‘Bibliotheca Chemico-Mathematica’ 1076). Giovanni Nicolò Doglioni (1548-1629) was a Venetian notary appointed to several public offices in the city, and the author of works on chronology, cosmography and the calculation of time. ‘L’anno’ contextualised for a broader audience the reform of the Julian calendar introduced by Gregory XIII in 1582—a revision which led to major scholarly debates on ‘gnomonica’ or the computation of the portions of the solar day. The first section of the work discusses the four elements that constitute the world, the subdivisions of the earth into continents, countries and provinces, the meteorological phenomena resulting from the mixture of the elements as well as a table tracing the movements of the planets. In the second section Doglioni explains the subdivisions of time according to conventional units. The fundamental unit—the day—can be natural (following the planetary course of the sun in relation to the earth as a whole) or artificial (according to the specific place in which the onlooker is situated). This distinction is used as the basis to explain the correct construction of sundials on buildings. There follows an examination of the subdivision of historical time—the discipline of chronology so dear to the medieval and Renaissance periods—and the meaning of ‘century’, ‘age’, ‘age of man’ and ‘age of the world’, with a perpetual calendar and a long table recording universal dates and events from the creation to the year 5545 [1586AD]. Later owners annotated the perpetual calendar counting the days for the years 1646, 1668 and 1709. The last section provides perpetual calendars to identify Feasts of the Saints and moveable liturgical feasts. It was reprinted as ‘L’anno riformato’ in 1599 and its tables accordingly updated.

Giovanni Battista Lambruschini S.J. (1755-1827) was professor at the Jesuit seminary in Genoa, a great opponent of the French Revolution and the centre of a Jesuit circle including the renowned philologist Cardinal Angelo Mai.

3 copies recorded in the US.

BM STC It., p. 219; Riccardi I/1, 414: ‘Rarissimo’; Houzeau & Lancaster I/2, 13042; Bibliotheca Chemico-Mathematica 1076; Cantamessa I, 2230 (recorded as part of the description of the second edition entitled L’anno riformato, 1599).

L2885

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MAGGIO, Lucio

ON EARTHQUAKES

Del terremoto.

Bologna, per Alessandro Benacci, 1571.

£2,750

FIRST EDITION. 4to. ff. (iv) 56. Roman letter. T-p with fine woodcut of crown, decorated initials and headpieces. Lower outer corner of first few ll. very slightly thumbed, an excellent, well-margined copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, lower part of spine repaired. In folding box.

Excellent copy of the first edition of Lucio Maggio’s major work on seismology. Written in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Ferrara in 1570, this is one of three pamphlets printed in Bologna in 1571 discussing this devastating event, which caused the last stretch of the nearby river Po to shift to a different site. The Bolognese Maggio (d. 1589?) was part of the circle of the Duke of Urbino, on whose behalf he visited Ferrara to report on the disaster. He presented his work in the form of a dialogue between three learned gentlemen leaving the ruins of Ferrara by sea, after witnessing the earthquake. With the help of ancient authorities like Aristotle, Anaximenes, Pliny and Democritus, their debate touches on all aspects of early modern seismology, blending scientific observations with traditional beliefs: e.g., are earthquakes caused by the four elements? What are their warning signs and types? Why do subterranean fires and odd natural phenomena precede and plagues follow earthquakes? How do earthquakes affect the sea? ‘Del terremoto’ suggested that earthquakes were caused by underground exhalations escaping under the reaction of the heat of the sun and the earth. The final section is devoted to collateral seismic effects, including tsunamis (‘the sea rises and swells and floods whole provinces’), the formation of new mountains, higher mortality and plagues generated by the poisonous exhalations long trapped underground. The well-documented Ferrara earthquake generated widespread debate in Europe, leading to the development of the earliest examples of quake-proof architecture. Maggio’s work was translated into French in 1575 and remained influential in seismological studies throughout the C17.

USTC 839587; BM STC It., p. 403. Not in Brunet, Graesse, Honeyman or Riccardi.

L2650

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BRANCA, Giovanni

ILLUSTRATED MECHANICS

Le machine.

Rome, Ad ista[n]za di Iacomo Martuci … per Iacomo Mascardi, 1629.

£8,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to. ff. (iii) 77. Roman and Italic letter. T-p within architectural border with cherubs and standing figures of Vitruvius and Archimedes, 77 fine woodcuts of machines, decorated initials, a.e.g. Light age browning, heavier in places, intermittent slight marginal foxing. A good, crisp, well-margined copy in slightly later vellum, author’s name inked to spine, 4 ll. with printed and ms. C19 bibliographic and critical descriptions pasted to fep, blind stamp of Archivio Storico (?) to corner of three ll., autograph ‘Chas. L. Clarke, June 12, 1889’ to fly.

A good, crisp copy of the first edition of Giovanni Branca’s finely illustrated work on machines. An Italian architect and engineer, Branca (1571-1645) worked for many years for the Basilica of Loreto, where he supervised restoration, repairs and the construction of funeral monuments. Following the textual genre of the ‘theatres of machines’ which had developed in the C16, ‘Le machine’ showcases his knowledge of mechanical instruments, some of which he also built himself. In the preface, Branca explains that the work features the physical principles discussed by Aristotle, which, when applied to machines, can generate all possible kinds of mechanical movement. The handsome, realistic illustrations of the 63 machines are introduced by brief commentaries which combine the abstraction of physics and geometrical description with potential practical purposes for each. These include grinding wheat or gunpowder, flattening metals, making coins and medals, and drawing water from a well. Whilst most of Branca’s machines were propelled by human, animal or hydraulic force, Plate 25 famously illustrates a machine which, like several others, was designed to grind materials, but ‘with a wondrous engine’—an iron head on top of a metal bust filled with water and resting on burning coals; this would generate from the mouth a hot, ‘violent breath’ strong enough to spin a paddled wheel. Although the machine remained closer to the principles of the classical ‘aeolipile’, a steam turbine described by Hero of Alexandria c.1AD and later reprised by Vitruvius, this was the first modern reference in print to potential practical applications of a steam-driven engine. With Leonardo da Vinci, the Turkish engineer Taqi Al-Din and the Englishman John Wilkins, Branca contributed to the theoretical promulgation of the idea of a steam machine in the early C18, when Thomas Newcomen reconceptualised it into the model for the functional steam engine which changed history.

This copy belonged to Charles L. Clarke (1853-1941), a close colleague of Thomas Edison and first president of the Edison Electric Company. His collage of notes on this work include passages from technical books like ‘The Descriptive History of the Steam Engine’ (1831).

BL STC C17 p. 144; Brunet I, 1200: ‘Ouvrage assez recherché’; Graesse I, 519; Grölich I, 188-89: ‘Raro e ricercatissimo.’

L2728

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CAUS, Salomon de

Les raisons des forces mouuantes, auec diuerses machines … auquelles sont adjoints plusieurs desseins de grotes & fontaines.

Paris, chez Hierosme Droüart, ruë S. Iacques, à l’escu au soleil, 1624

£15,000

Folio. 3 parts in one. 1) ff. [iv], 46; 2) ff [ii], 28; 3) pp. 19, [iii], one large folding table. Title of first and second part within fine engraved architectural border, putti above holding a geometric figure and instruments, satyrs to the sides, Mercury and Minerva below, third part with letterpress title, sixty one full page and three half page engravings, five full page and twenty eight small woodcut diagrams, large woodcut folding plate, large floriated, grotesque and historiated woodcut initials, large grotesque head and tail pieces, typographical ornaments, engraved armorial bookplate of ‘Hopetoun’ on pastedown. Light age yellowing, slight soiling to printed section of title, very occasional marginal mark or spot. A very good copy, crisp and clean, with very good impressions of the engravings, in handsome contemporary English calf, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, blind ruled raised bands, a.e.r. small expert repair at head and tail of spine.

Second edition, enlarged with extra plates, of this beautiful and extravagantly illustrated volume of ingenious hydraulic solutions to engineering problems produced by the Huguenot architect, inventor, garden designer and engineer, Salomon de Caus. The work deals with the physics of movement, with a range of technical applications, encompassing fields as diverse as energy, gardening and music. Book I describes the first machines to be operated by solar power, powered by sunlight striking closed air reservoirs, and one of the earliest uses of steam power. Scholars have proposed that De Caus as an early re-discoverer, or post-Classical inventor, of the principle of steam being used as a propelling force. He was deeply interested in garden design, mechanical fountains and speaking statues, and worked in the service of several great Renaissance princes. His masterpiece was the spectacular garden known as the ‘Hortus Palatinus’ at Frederick’s palace at Heidelberg. “He applied himself at an early age to the study of the mathematical sciences, his favourite writers being Archimedes, Euclid, and Vitruvius. After a visit to Italy he came to England as mathematical tutor to Henry, prince of Wales, and in 1612 published a work entitled ‘La Perspective avec la raison des ombres et Miroirs’; in the dedication of this work to that prince, dated at Richmond, 1 Oct. 1611, he states that he has been two or three years in the service of his royal highness. He seems also to have been employed as drawing-master to the Princess Elizabeth. After the death of the young Prince of Wales, De Caus was, in 1613, employed by the elector palatine, Frederick V, then recently married to the Princess Elizabeth, to lay out the gardens at the castle of Heidelberg…. While at Heidelberg De Caus published in 1615 ‘Institution Harmonique, ..’ In the dedication of this work to Anne, queen of Great Britain, dated 15 Sept. 1614, he says that his experiments in the mechanical powers of water were commenced while in the service of the late Prince of Wales. In the same year, 1615, he published his most important work, ‘Les Raisons des Forces Mouvantes avec diverses Machines.’ This work is divided into three parts, all copiously illustrated: I. ‘Les Théorèmes et Problèmes des Forces Mouvantes;’ II. ‘Des Grotes et Fontaines pour l’ornement des Maisons de Plaisance et Jardins;’ III. ‘De la Fabrique des Orgues.’ The second part contains, as he himself says in the dedication to Princess Elizabeth, many designs formerly made at Richmond for the adornment of the palace, or the entertainment of his master, the Prince of Wales. In the first part occur his enunciations of the theorems of the expansion and condensation of steam, and of the elevation of water by the application of heat, which have gained for him in some quarters the honour of being the first inventor of the steam engine, though De Caus seems only to have utilised them for fountains and other waterworks and claims no originality. It is almost certain that Edward Somerset, second marquis of Worcester, to whom this honour has also been ascribed, and later engineers, knew and developed the principles enunciated by De Caus.” DNB.

A very good copy in a handsome and well preserved contemporary English binding from the famous Hopetoun library, sold in 1889 by the 7th Earl of Hopetoun (see De Ricci, English Collectors, p. 164).

BM STC Fr. C17th p. 89 C508. BrunetI 1691. Berlin Cat. 1777 (1st edn)

K108

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LEOPOLD of Austria

ASTRONOMY AS THE BASICS OF ASTROLOGY, AND A MEDIEVAL UNDERSTANDING OF METEOROLOGY

Compilatio … de astrorum scientia decem continentis tractatus.

Venice, per Melchiorem Sessam & Petrum de Rauanis socios, 1520.

£4,500

4to. 94 unnumbered leaves. A-L⁸ M⁶. Gothic letter. One large historiated initial, many fine white on black floriated initials, woodcut of astronomer with celestial sphere on title page, Messsa’s woodcut cat device beneath, numerous woodcut astronomical diagrams and illustrations in text, including two sets of zodiacs, one based on that of the editions of Hyginus, the sphera mundi, celestial figures of the sun, moon, Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter etc. driving various chariots, many repeated, astrological tables of predictions. Light age yellowing, A2 and 7 a little creased and soiled at edges, expertly repaired, closed tear restored in I1, the odd marginal thumb mark or spot. A very good, well margined copy, crisp and clean, in modern olive morocco, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with raised bands, double blind ruled in compartments, inner dentelles richly gilt. 

Beautifully printed and finely illustrated second edition of this important and influential astronomy, by the 13th-century astronomer, Leopold of Austria, first printed by Ratdolt, in 1489. Primarily a work of astrology based on the writings of Albumasar, the sixth book concerns meteorology both from a theoretical and a practical point of view, and includes folkloric methods of weather prediction and general descriptions of winds, thunder etc.

Although virtually nothing is known of the author, the work was influential in the late Middle Ages, being cited by the great astronomer, Pierre d’Ailly, and admired by Regiomontanus, who proposed to edit it. This edition retains the dedication to Udalricus de Frundsberg, bishop of Trient, by Erhard Ratdolt, printer of the first. In the introduction Leopold states that he cannot take credit for the work as there was more than one author and he was just a ‘fidelis illorum observator et diligens compilator.’ He states his goal is to describe the motion of the stars, and to focus particularly on describing their effect. He describes astronomy as a necessary starting point and foundation for the study of astrology.

The Compilatio is divided into ten treatises: the first and second on the spheres and their motion. There is a dissertation on the comets at the end of the fifth book, beginning with a short discussion of Aristotle’s theories, which recounts the opinion of John of Damascus (676 – c. 749), who asserts, in his ‘De Fide Orthodoxa,’ that these celestial bodies announce the death of a King, and that they do not belong to the stars created in the beginning, but are formed and dissolved by God’s will. He then gives a list of the nine comets and their latin names, ending with the meanings derived from their presence in each Zodiacal sign. These are a transcription of Albumasar’s ‘De magnis Conjunctionibus.’ A very good copy of this beautifully illustrated and rare edition.

BM STC It. C16th (assigning it to Pencio) p.375. Adams L-516. Sander 3948. Essling 2081. Caillet 6636 (first edition only). Honeyman V 1989. Cantamessa II 4422. “Imponente e importante trattato in 10 libri”. Houzeau-Lancaster 4702 “fort rare”

L2159

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KEPLER, Johannes

A SCIENTIFIC EXPOSITION OF THE SUPERNOVA IN FIRST EDITION, EARLIEST PRINT

De stella nova … De stella tertii honoris in cygno … De Jesu Christi servatoris nostri vero anno natalitio.

Prague and Frankfurt, Pavel Sessius and Wolfgang Richter, 1606.

£40,000

FIRST EDITION. 4to, four parts in one volume, pp. (12), 212, 35, (5), wanting final blank. Predominantly Roman letter, little Italic and Greek; four separate title-pages, woodcut printer’s device on first, neat double-page engraved plate and several diagrams; very light browning throughout, small damp and rust stain to margins of very few leaves. A good copy in early nineteenth-century calf, gilt panel and blind-tooled roll of interlacing flowers, all edges red, corners slightly chipped. Contemporary inscriptions on front fly, including title, author owner’s inscription ‘John M ….’ in an English hand written over, early monogram ‘H G’ on head of title.

First edition of Kepler’s detailed essays describing the supernova which appeared at the foot of the constellation Ophiucus in 1604. Johann Kepler (1571-1630) is one of the most important modern astronomers and mathematicians, along with his teacher Tycho Brahe and Galileo Galileo. Working at the court of the Emperor Rudolph II in Prague, he was able to improve the refracting telescope and formulate the fundamental laws of planetary motion correcting Copernicus. This invaluable account provides information on the supernova’s colour, brightness, distance to the earth as well as other events related to this still unsolved astronomical phenomenon announcing the death of a star. The supernova was the last to be seen in the Milky Way and was named after Kepler in the 1940s.

Its appearance revived the debate among scholars on whether the incorruptibility of the cosmos established by Aristotle was valid or not. For instance, Galileo delivered a lecture on the supernova, considering it as disproof of the Aristotelian theory. In 1604, Kepler was observing the conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn, an event which he calculated to happen exactly every 800 years. On October 10, Kepler witnessed the supernova and assumed the two phenomena were related. While working on his scientific description, he came across the essay of the Polish astronomer Laurence Suslyga, who had argued that Christ had been born in 4 BC on the basis of other celestial calculations. On this account, Kepler concluded that 1600 years earlier (i.e. 4 BC) the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction had provoked another supernova, which had been recorded in the Gospel and it is known as the Christmas Star or Star of Bethlehem. Such a theory is set out in the fourth part of this remarkable collection of treatises.

This editio princeps has two variants, depending on the presence of the imprint ‘impensis Authoris’ in the main title. Although a definitive priority has not been established, Kepler’s letters seem to suggest that the present title page is the earlier. Kepler was probably dissatisfied with the quality of this first print-run and paid for another. The presentation copy to James I in British Library was from the second printing.

Graesse, IV, 11; Caspar, 27; Cantamessa, 2289; Cinti, 17; Houzeau & Lancaster, 2843; Zinner, 4097; DSB: ‘A monument of its time.’

K26

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BACON, Francis

De Augmentis Scientiarum.

Amsterdam, Johannis Ravestemius, 1662.

£150

12mo. pp. (xx) 607, (LXVIII). Roman letter, finely engraved title page, early manuscript ‘Liber R. Harby’ at head and Mich: Batt a. aR on inner rear board. Light age yellowing, good copy in contemporary calf, re-backed, spine re-mounted, corner repairs.

Gibson 135.

B47

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