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Robertson-Miller, Ellen | Butterfly and Moth Book
First edition, first printing. A lovely copy of this uncommon and attractively designed work on butterflies and moths with numerous illustrations by the author.
Ellen Bell Robertson-Miller (1859-1937) was a noted painter, naturalist, and columnist who studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students’ League of New York. In addition to entomology, Robertston-Miller was interested in marine life and ornithology, and often held speaking engagements and published articles on natural subjects. She was co-author of Wild Flowers of the North-Eastern States (1895) with Margaret Christine Whiting.
...Personal Studies and Observations of the More Familiar Species. With Illustrations from Drawings by the Author and Photographs by J. Lyonel King, G. A. Bash, Dr. F. D. Snyder and Others. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1912.
Octavo. Original grey cloth elaborately blocked with an Art Nouveau design of a yellow swallowtail butterfly to the upper board and spine, buff endpapers, Photographic frontispiece with tissue guard, illustrations throughout the text from both photographs and drawings. Lower corners of the boards bumped, spine slightly rolled. An excellent, fresh copy.
Smyth, Henry DeWolf | Atomic Energy for Military Purposes
First trade edition, first printing. An unusually nice copy in the jacket.
Atomic Energy for Military Purposes was written as the official, unclassified narrative of the development of the atomic bomb, a “remarkably full and candid account” intended for general release once the weapon was made public (Printing and the Mind of Man 422).
The first — now unobtainable — edition, was a mimeographed version stamped secret, of which all copies save Smyth’s own were destroyed. The next was a lithoprint published in an edition of only 1,000 copies distributed to project leaders and members of the press, followed by a Government Printing Office edition. This is the first trade edition, published by Princeton University Press after editors at McGraw-Hill found the text too technical for a general audience and suggested a major rewrite, which was vetoed by Smyth. They needn’t have worried: officially published on September 10, 1945, Atomic Energy for Military Purposes remained on the New York Times bestseller list until January of the following year, and would go through eight printings by 1973.
...The Official Report on the Development of the Atomic Bomb under the Auspices of the United States Government, 1940-1945. Written at the Request of Maj. Gen. L. R. Groves. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1945.
Octavo. Original coral-coloured cloth, titles to spine in dark red. With the dust jacket. 5 double-sided plates of which 4 are photographic. Lower corner slightly bumped also affecting the jacket, small white spot to extreme edge of upper board, contents faintly toned in the margins. An excellent, fresh copy in the jacket that is a little tanned along the spine panel and edges, with some tiny nicks at the head of the spine panel.
Mickens, Ronald E. | Difference Equations
First edition first printing. An attractive presentation copy inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Claudia, for the joy and beauty of science [smiley face] Ronald E. Mickens, Feb. 20, 1989”. Rare signed and with the stylish jacket in such nice condition.
Ronald E. Mickens (1943 - ) “is a physicist who has advanced the general understanding of the role that pure mathematics can play in science. He is perhaps best known for his work on difference equations – a type of equation that is now considered fundamental to the development of chaos theory” (Krapp, Notable Black American Scientists, p. 229).
In an interview with the American Physical Society Mickens has described how, “Even at two or three years of age, I was curious about the ‘workings’ of the universe and of the human mind”. His maternal grandfather introduced him to the scientific outlook, and his childhood in a farming community provided opportunities to see science in action: “There was an implicit scientific understanding involved in all these processes, [picked up] just from working the farm”. Mickens went on to earn his bachelor’s in physics at Fisk University and his PhD at Vanderbilt in 1968, then studied particle physics as a postdoctoral researcher at MIT.
Mickens has had an extensive teaching career at institutions including Fisk, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, MIT, and Vanderbilt. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards allowing him to study a wide range of topics, including “nonlinear equations, numerical analysis, mathematical biology, and the history and sociology of science” (Krapp), on which he has published more than 170 papers and five books. Mickens’s most recent research projects have focused on mathematical models for epidemiology and vibrations and oscillations in materials science. As he told the APS, “There’s really no area of physics that doesn’t have real world applications... Even if it seems like the applications for something aren’t too significant, you still have the satisfaction of dealing with a challenging problem and making progress with it”.
“Ron is also deeply involved in documenting African American contributions to science and technology. He has already written a biography of Edward Bouchet, the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in any subject—it happened to be physics. He continues to research and write a biographical work on Elmer Imes, the second African American to earn a Ph.D. in physics” (APS interview). He has served as historian of the National Society of Black Physicists and was one of the founders of the National Conference of Black Physics Students.
New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1987.
Octavo. Original black boards, titles to spine in silver. With the dust jacket. Equations and graphs throughout the text. Small bump to the edge of the upper board also affecting the jacket. Faint partial toning of the pastedowns. An excellent, fresh copy in the jacket that is just a little rubbed and faded along the spine panel.
Waterston, David & Burnet | The Edinburgh Stereoscopic Atlas of Anatomy. New Edition.
- The complete Edinburgh Stereoscopic Atlas of Anatomy, the first publication of stereoscopic images for the study of anatomy. A new edition, probably the second, published sometime in the decade after the first edition of 1905-1906. Together with a contemporary stereoscopic viewer.
Stereoscopy takes advantage of humans’ binocular vision – two eyes spaced slightly apart to create depth perception – to create the illusion of three-dimensionality from two-dimensional photographs taken at slightly different angles. The earliest stereoscopes were invented during the 1830s by Sir Charles Wheatstone, and during the 1850s simpler and more economical models were developed, most notably the one designed by Oliver Wendell Holmes. This device contained two prismatic lenses in the eyepiece, which was connected to an adjustable wood or metal card holder. The accessibility of the Holmes stereoscope made stereoscopy a popular medium for both parlour entertainment and education.
The first publication of stereoscopic images for the study of anatomy was by the Scottish physician Daniel John Cunningham (1850-1909), whose Stereoscopic Studies of Anatomy Published under Authority of the University of Edinburgh appeared in 1905 and had as one of its co-authors David Waterstone (Rubio, “Stereoscopy in Surgical Neuroanatomy: Past, Present, and Future”, Operative Neurosurgery, Vol. 18, Issue 2, February 2020). Cunningham died in 1909, and Waterstone went on to republish the atlas as The Edinburgh Stereoscopic Atlas of Anatomy. In 1919 he prepared a greatly expanded edition comprising 324 photographs in ten volumes. The present example is undated but, given the above timeline, was probably published sometime in the years between 1909 and 1918. It comes with a contemporary, and fully-functional, Holmes-style viewer which works with the cards but is not original to the set.
Together with a contemporary stereoscope. Edinburgh: [T. C. & E. C. Jack], [c. 1909-1918].
250 printed cards, each with a stereoscopic photographic print pasted at the bottom. Housed in 5 cloth cases with printed title and contents labels. Wood, metal and glass stereoscopic viewer, manufactured in Britain circa 1900-1920. Stereoscopic cards slightly curved from upright storage, occasional dampstain or spotting to the card portions. Some wear at the edges of the boxes, darkening and some loss affecting the paper labels. A very good set.
Redi, Francesco | Esperienze intorno alla Generazione degl’Insetti
First edition of the text that disproved spontaneous generation. First issue without the rare 29th plate which is lacking in most copies.
“In this scientific attack on the doctrine of spontaneous generation, Redi demonstrated, by means of a series of simple experiments involving sealed, open and gauze-covered flasks of meat, that organic matter remained free of larva when protected from insect contamination... Having shown that insect contagion was necessary before decaying substances could develop worms, redi applied the same principle to parasites found in living creatures. However, he was led astray by his observations into claiming that gall insects were spontaneously generated by the plants housing them, an error that Malphigi corrected in 1679” (Norman 1812).
References: Norman 1812, Dibner 188, Horblit 88
...All’Illustrissimo Signor Carlo Dati. Florence: All’insegna della Stella, 1668.
Quarto (234 x 165mm). 19th-century dark green half skiver, tan morocco label, marbled sides, red speckled edges. Engraved device to title, 38 full-page plates of which 2 are folding, 2 small illustrations on text pages. Bookplate, punch stamp, and withdrawn ink stamp of the John Crerar Library. Binding a little rubbed, bumped, and scuffed, particularly along the edges, corners worn, occasional light spotting to the contents but generally clean save for the second folding plate, which is more heavily foxed. Very good condition.
Jemison, Mae | Find Where the Wind Goes. Moments from My Life.
First edition, first printing of an autobiography for young readers by the first Black woman to travel into space. Signed by the author on the front free endpaper in metallic blue ink. A beautiful, fresh copy and rare signed.
Born in Alabama in 1956 and raised in Chicago, Jemison was interested in science and space from an early age, but felt frustrated by the absence of female astronauts in the space program. In 1977 she graduated from Stanford with two undergraduate degrees, in chemical engineering and African and Afro-American studies, and then earned her M.D. from Cornell. During and after medical school she studied in Cuba and Kenya, worked in a refugee camp in Thailand, and served for two and a half years as a Peace Corps medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia (Krapp, Notable Black American Scientists, p. 177).
Though Jemison opened a private practice in 1985, she was inspired by the space flights of Guion Bluford and Sally Ride to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. She first applied to the astronaut training program shortly before the Challenger disaster, which halted the NASA recruitment process, but on reapplying the following year she was selected as one of only 15 candidates from a pool of 2,000, becoming the first Black woman admitted to astronaut training.
“After more than a year of training, she became an astronaut with the title of science-mission specialist, a job which would make her responsible for conducting crew-related scientific experiments on the space shuttle” (Krapp). Jemison’s mission, STS-47 aboard the Endeavour, took off on September 12th, 1992 and lasted for 190 hours. During that time Jemison was responsible for research on managing motion sickness and anxiety; the production of sterile saline solution for medical use in space; bone cell studies; and an investigation of frog reproduction and development.
“After leaving NASA in 1993, Jemison established the Jemison Group, Inc., a private organisation founded to integrate socially responsible principles with technology,” (Spangenburg, African Americans in Science, Math and Invention, p. 132) and she has taught at Dartmouth and Cornell.
New York: Scholastic Press, 2001.
Octavo. Original purple boards, cloth backstrip, and endpapers, title to spine in metallic blue. With the dust jacket. Portrait frontispiece, 4 double-sided plates from photographs. Just a tiny bump affecting the lower edge of the upper board. An excellent, fresh copy in the jacket with just a little light rubbing visible in raking light.
Ritter, Franz | Astrolabium
A very attractive copy, with the rare suite of fifteen folding plates which is missing from almost all copies, of this magnificently illustrated treatise on the construction and use of astrolabes. These fifteen plates appear first in this edition. In an attractive binding incorporating a late-medieval manuscript leaf, and from the library of astrolabe collector Samuel Verplank Hoffman with what is presumably his typescript translation into English.
Franz Ritter (b. Nuremberg, d. 1640) was an astronomer and innovative cartographer, famous for his ‘sundial’ world map. He had studied under Johann Praetorius at the University of Altdorf and specialized in the design and manufacture of astrolabes, sundials, and other astronomical, horological and cartographical instruments.
The two parts of this text were first published separately in Nuremberg in 1613, and there appear to be numerous variant editions. This one conforms to that of Yale and Brown, which they date to the 1640s, but other authorities give 1659 and 1660 as the dates of publication. The plates in the first part are printed from the same coppers used in the 1613 edition. The second part of the 1613 edition was unillustrated and the publisher of this edition, Paul Fürst (1608-1666), added the suite of engravings and signed the first plate. The fourth plate is a map of the southern hemisphere.
The previous owner, Samuel Verplank Hoffman (1866-1942) studied and taught astronomy at Johns Hopkins University until his father’s business interests commanded his full attention. He was president of the New York Historical Society between 1903 and 1912 and his exceptional collection of astrolabes was acquired by the Smithsonian in 1959. The typescript translation with this volume was presumably by, or commissioned by, him.
...Das ist: Gründliche Beschreibung und Unterricht, wie solches herrliche und hochnützliche Astronomische Instrument, auff allerley Polus Höh, so wol auch nach eines jeden selbst gefälligen Gröss auffgerissen, und verfertigt werden soll. Darnach wei dasselbe vielfältig zu gebrauchen: Mit Kupferstücken verfertiget. Nuremberg: Christoff Gerhard for Paul Fürst, [mid-17th century].
2 parts in 1, quarto (174 x 142 mm). Contemporary binding of vellum manuscript leaf over boards, manuscript title to head of spine. In a brown morocco-backed folding box, together with an early-20th century 112-page typescript English translation bound in half brown morocco with marbled sides, top edges gilt. Engraved half title and 21 integral engravings in the first part, 15 folding plates in the second part. Elaborate head and tail-pieces and decorative initials. Engraved seventeenth-century armorial bookplate with initials “OGHZS” to front pastedown. Inked initials “OG” in the margin of the frontispiece, next to a faint signature in ink. Bookplate of Samuel Verplank Hoffman (1866-1942) to the front free endpaper and also the front pastedown of the typescript. Some loss from the lower half of the spine and the upper joint, a little spotting to the frontispiece, a little offsetting affecting gatherings E, G, and H in the second part, tiny spots of dampstain on the first two folding plates, some small closed tears in the folds. A very good, unsophisticated copy.
Dryander, Johann | Annulorum trium diversi generis instrumentorum astronomicorum
First edition of this assembly of texts on an astronomical instrument, a ring-dial that was a precursor of the equatorial. It was intended as a navigational aid and could be adjusted for different latitudes including, according to the author, the Moluccas and Hispaniola. Dyrander had published his first account a few months earlier in 1536 (Novi annuli astronomici, Marburg 1536), but quickly reprinted it with three other related texts in order to defend himself against the charges of plagiarism. These texts describe other forms of astronomical ring-dials The first is a letter from Regiomontanus to Cardinal Bessarion, the second a short treatise by Bonetus de Latis, Jewish physician to Pope Alexander VI, and the third by an anonymous author “M.T.”.
Johannes Dryander (1500–1560) was a Marburg professor of mathematics and medicine, a noted pre-Vesalian anatomist, and astronomer. In 1536 he published his Anatomia capitis humani, the first major work on the anatomy of the head, based upon his own dissections. It was illustrated by the German artist Hans Brosamer. This was followed by an expanded anatomy of the whole human body published the following year.
...Joannis Regiomontanus, Bonetus de Latis, and M.T. ...componendi ratio atque usus. De compositione Metheoroscopii Joannis de Regiomonte epistola. Annulus Boneti de Latis. Compositio alterius annuli auctore M.T. Marburg: Eucharius Cervicornus, 1537.
Quarto (205 x 152 mm). Later limp vellum, double fillets to covers. Large woodcut of an armillary sphere to the title, woodcut illustrations on the other three titles, numerous woodcut illustrations within the text, historiated initials, woodcut printer’s device on the verso of the last leaf. Signatures K and I transposed. Partially removed manuscript note in the margin of H2. Two small patches of text on A1 lifted and on facing page due to glue adhesion, paper repair to lower margin of I3, light spotting to contents. A very good copy, the contents fresh.
Steptoe, Patrick & Robert Edwards | A Matter of Life
First edition, first impression of this account of the development of in-vitro fertilisation by the two scientists responsible for the breakthrough. Presentation copy inscribed from author Patrick Steptoe to media presenter Bob Holness (1928-2012) on the front free endpaper, “With the compliments of Patrick Steptoe, March 1980”. Though Holness’s name does not appear in this copy, it was purchased as part of his library. Before fronting the gameshow Blockbusters Holness had an extensive career in radio, most notably as co-host of LBC’s AM Programme between 1975 and 1985, and many of his guests, like Steptoe, inscribed copies of their books for him. Copies of A Matter of Life signed or inscribed are particularly uncommon, especially in such lovely condition.
At an early stage in his medical career, Patrick Steptoe (1913-1988) developed, “a special interest in female infertility. Diagnostic techniques, particularly in relation to pelvic pathology and endocrinology, were rudimentary, but laparoscopy and culdoscopy were being introduced at centres in Europe and North America. Steptoe visited these centres and established lasting friendships and collaboration with Raoul Palmer in Paris and Hans Frangenheim in Germany. He became the first gynaecologist to develop laparoscopy in Britain, lectured at the first international symposium in gynaecological laparoscopy in Palermo in 1964, and published the first English book on the subject, Laparoscopy in Gynaecology, in 1967. He described not only the potential for accurate diagnosis in relation to problems of infertility, pelvic infection and pain, ectopic pregnancy, and endometriosis, but also explored the therapeutic aspects of surgical laparoscopy. Within a decade this led to the incorporation of laparoscopy into everyday gynaecological practice.
It was at a meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine in 1968 that Robert Edwards first approached Steptoe. A young geneticist and embryologist, Edwards had already done outstanding work on in vitro fertilization in mice, other mammals, and human beings. The collaboration between the two men lasted for twenty years until Steptoe's death. It resulted in the delivery on 25 July 1978 of Louise Brown, the first ‘test-tube’ baby born after laparoscopic oocyte recovery, in vitro fertilization, and transfer of the eight-cell embryo into the mother's uterus. Steptoe and Edwards reported the bare facts in a dramatic letter to The Lancet (12 August 1978) and gave a full account of their work at a historic scientific meeting at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on 26 January 1979.
Following Steptoe's retirement from the National Health Service in 1978, he and Edwards founded the Bourn Hall Clinic, near Cambridge, in 1980. Edwards was the first scientific director and Steptoe, as medical director, continued seeing patients until his death, while at the same time training juniors, lecturing worldwide, and collaborating in more than fifty scientific papers” (ODNB).
...The Story of a Medical Breakthrough. London: Hutchinson, 1980.
Octavo. Original red boards, titles to spine in silver. With the dust jacket. 8 pages of plates from black and white photographs. A fine copy in the jacket.
Neurath, Marie | The Wonder World of Birds
First edition, and an attractive copy in the jacket, of this important work of science illustration by data-visualisation pioneer Marie Neurath (1898-1986).
Neurath, together with her husband Otto and their colleague Gerd Arntz, was one of the founders of Isotype, a simplified visual method of displaying complex information to the public. First developed in the 1920s, and originally known as the Vienna Method of Pictorial Statistics, the goal of Isotype was ”to cross national and social divides in a time before widespread global communication. To do that, Isotype went back to basics and stripped away all things unnecessary, illogical, or alienating—and in doing so, helped to establish some of the core principles of graphic design. Today, Isotype’s legacy can be seen everywhere from newspapers and textbooks to signage, transit maps, interfaces, and emojis” (Inglis, “Meet Marie Neurath,” September 17, 2019, AIGA Eye on Design).
Marie Neurath “was a remarkable practitioner” who “researched, calculated, and co-designed nearly every Isotype ever created, from the early days in Vienna in 1925 all the way to when she retired in 1971” (Forrest, “The Missing Legacy of Marie Neurath,” January 20, 2020, Medium). She described her role as that of the “Transformer” of data, writing that “From the data given in words and figures, a way has to be found to extract the essential facts and put them into picture form. It is the responsibility of the transformer to understand the data, to get all necessary information from the expert, to decide what is worth transmitting to the public, how to make it understandable, how to link it with general knowledge or with information already given in other charts. In this sense, the transformer is the trustee of the public” (Neurath, The Transformer, 2009).
Marie continued the work after Otto’s death in 1945, becoming best known for the series of children’s books she published over the next twenty years. “In children’s educational books Marie found an ideal place to put Isotype’s methods into practice. Young readers were more engaged by pictures than words, and this focus on the visual meant these books were easily translated and published abroad, fulfilling Isotype’s original aims of being truly international” (Inglis).
London: Max Parrish, Isotype. Set and printed by Graphic Reproductions Ltd., 1953.
Quarto. Original pictorial boards printed in brown, blue, green, and black. With the dust jacket. 2, 3 and 4-colour illustrations throughout. Prize bookplate addressed to Stephanie Folkson and dated April 7th, 1954 to the front free endpaper. Foyles ticket to the front pastedown. Small area of loss from the head of the spine and some minor rubbing at the tips, otherwise the binding is bright and fresh. Partial toning of the endpapers, slight creasing to the lower portions of a few leaves. A very good copy in the price-clipped jacket with a small chip from the upper panel affecting the title, and a few other closed tears and small chips.
Buick, Thomas Lindsay | The Mystery of the Moa: New Zealand's Avian Giant.
First edition, first impression. An unusually attractive copy in the scarce dust jacket. The Mystery of the Moa is a scientific and historical narrative of the giant birds of New Zealand, covering their origin in prehistory, behavior and habitat, relationship to Maori culture, extinction, and the European search for fossils and living specimens. The plates include photographs of Moa skeletons and eggs (including the famous image of Sir Richard Owen next to the York specimen), New Zealand landscapes, and Maori and European individuals associated with the Moa.
Author Thomas Lindsay Buick (1865-1938) "was a man of considerable intellectual ability, substantially self-educated, who began writing New Zealand history by chance but soon developed a lasting commitment to the task. During a busy career as a journalist he managed to write 12 books and a small number of pamphlets, many of which he published at his own expense. Buick had a fluent prose style and a firm sense of narrative structure. He synthesised a wide range of printed sources and, particularly for his earlier works, sought out eyewitnesses and others closely associated with historical events. Through The Treaty of Waitangi and other books and speeches, he played an important role in establishing the treaty as New Zealand's foremost historical document, asserting that it was 'in very truth the foundation of our nationhood'. He belongs to the small group of New Zealand-born historians, including Robert McNab, James Cowan and Elsdon Best, writing in the first quarter of the twentieth century, who worked out of a sense of duty and with little or no financial reward to make New Zealand's past readily accessible to the general reader" (Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand online).
- Published under the auspices of The Board of Maori Ethnological Research. Illustrated. New Plymouth, NZ: Thomas Avery & Sons Limited, 1931. Octavo. Original dark blue-green pebble cloth boards, titles to spine and upper board gilt. With the dust jacket. Frontispiece and 26 plates. Corner of upper board bumped, cloth a little dulled, white mark to upper board, a little light spotting to edges of text block and occasionally to contents. A very good copy in the jacket that is generally fresh with a few spots, a faint ring to the upper board, and some small chips and short closed tears.
Bonnycastle, John | A student’s manuscript of mathematical problems from A Treatise on Plane and Spherical Trigonometry.
An elegant, substantial early-19th century manuscript containing practical mathematical and astronomical problems likely produced by a student of navigation.The majority of the text is from John Bonnycastle's A Treatise on Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, originally published in 1806. Bonnycastle was a respected mathematics teacher who tutored the children of the aristocracy and taught at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. A man of “considerable classical and general literary culture”, he was a great friend of Fuseli and also of Leigh Hunt, who included Bonnycastle in his book Lord Byron and Some of His Contemporaries.
“Bonnycastle was a prolific and successful writer of textbooks. Of his chief works, The Scholar's Guide to Arithmetic first appeared in 1780 and ran to an eighteenth edition in 1851… His Introduction to Astronomy (1786), intended as a popular introduction to astronomy rather than as an elementary treatise, was one of the best-selling books on the subject for many years… Besides elementary mathematical books, Bonnycastle was in early life a frequent contributor to the London Magazine. He also wrote the introduction to a translation (by T. O. Churchill) of Bossut's Histoire des mathématiques (1803) and a ‘chronological table of the most eminent mathematicians from the earliest times’ for the end of the book” (ODNB).
This manuscript, titled “Bonnycastle’s Trigonometry”, contains the practical portions of the text, including rules for solving different types of trigonometric problems (“cases”) and practice problems. The practice problems have been completed in full, including large, precise geometrical diagrams made with ruler and compass. Page numbers are given and the problems are dated, the first section having been completed on September 24th, 1813 with additions every few days until the final dated entry on March 31, 1814. The final, undated portion, about a quarter of the manuscript, comprises “Miscellaneous Astronomical Problems” from Andrew Mackay’s The Theory and Practice of Finding the Longitude at Sea or Land (first published in 1793, the second edition in 1801), an important work for which its author “received the thanks of the boards of longitude of England and France” (ODNB).
This manuscript’s focus on mathematical rules and practice problems (at the expense of the more theoretical, text-heavy portions), together with the fact that it was updated regularly between September and March, indicates that it was produced by an advanced student working through the book as part of a regular course of study. The script is elegant, clear, and controlled throughout, and pencilled guide rules indicate that the student took great pains to ensure the manuscript was attractive and readable, suggesting that it was evaluated as part of coursework rather than used as a notebook for producing rough calculations (indeed, some rough calculations are included on sheets of scrap paper loosely inserted). Mathematics of this type, focused on spherical trigonometry, astronomy, and navigational problems, would have been of interest primarily to mariners, and it seems reasonable to conclude that the student was attending a naval or military institution, or was perhaps under private tutelage with a naval career in mind. A beautiful example of a student’s efforts at practical mathematics for navigation at a time when Britain was the major power on the seas.
- ...as well as Andrew MacKay’s The Theory and Practice of Finding the Longitude at Sea or Land. 170 page manuscript. Contemporary half speckled sheep, marbled sides. Several contemporary sheets of manuscript with mathematical notations loosely inserted. Corners repaired, a little wear and some discolouration to boards, endpapers tanned, contents with the occasional light spot but overall quite clean. Very good condition.
War Manpower Commission | Women in the War—We Can't Win Without Them
An original Second World War poster promoting women in the wartime workforce, produced in 1942 by the War Manpower Commission. At the time, “Women in the War” was one of the most widely distributed images of a woman labouring in war production, unlike the “We Can Do It” poster, which was produced only for Westinghouse plants during a few weeks in 1943 and did not become iconic until the 1980s.
“Among the many agencies President Roosevelt had created during the war was the War Manpower Commission, formed in April 1942 to oversee war labor issues in the military, industrial, and civilian sectors. And in June 1942, the Office of War Information was formed to manage the flows of news and propaganda about the war to the public. By 1943, when the labor shortage was most acute, the two agencies worked together in concerted campaigns, targeting employers to hire women and women to become ‘production soldiers’” (Yellin, Our Mothers’ War, p. 44). Women labouring in factories, even in the service of the war effort, was controversial, with only 30 percent of husbands giving unqualified support to the idea of their wives performing such jobs. “Despite the tide of public opinion against working wives, War Manpower Commission director Paul McNutt had a strategy for quelling opposition: ‘The money appeal will continue strong,’ he said in 1943, but we’ll concentrate on patriotism’. Sure enough, all across the country, the public was bombarded with spirited print and radio ads, magazine articles, and posters with slogans like ‘Do the Job He Left Behind’ or ‘Women in the War—We Can’t Win Without Them’ depicting noble, pretty but serious, female war workers on the job... The campaigns glamorized war work, always showing that women could maintain their femininity and still be useful” (Yellin, pp. 45-46).
Examples of this important poster are held at numerous institutions, including the Library of Congress, Imperial War Museum, MOMA, and the Pritzker Military Museum. Copies in such beautiful, unused condition are uncommon in commerce.
Washington D.C.: US Govt. Printing Office, 1942.
Colour poster (28 x 40 in). Professionally mounted, framed and glazed using archival materials. Original creases from folding, else bright and fresh. Excellent condition. Professionally mounted, glazed and framed using archival materials.
Michael Birk | [Art Nouveau chromolithographic pharmacy catalogue] Katalog No. 4.
A superb, unused Art Nouveau chromolithographic catalogue issued by the German pharmaceutical and medical supply firm Michael Birk, probably in the 1890s.
This remarkable, 320 page catalogue catalogue contains 15 double-sided plates of elaborate chromolithographic, metallic, and embossed designs for product labels, as well as another 290 pages advertising an incredible array of other products. The chromolithographic labels could be ordered in bulk to be used on bottles and jars filled in person by the pharmacist, and some could be personalised with the shop’s name and address. The catalogue was evidently designed for international distribution, as the examples are shown in a variety of languages, including Arabic. Some of the products include lemon and orange syrup, ginger ale, Egyptian nerve tonic, quinine, toothpaste, cod liver oil, antiseptics, a wide variety of alcoholic beverages including wine, port, rum and rum punch, champagne, and gin, and cosmetics products such as eau de cologne, agua de florida and scented waters. Most of the labels are very elaborate, with colourful designs echoing the origins or contents of the products, some with an exotic or Orientalist flavour, and others using historical imagery. Some are plainer, giving only the product name or a number. Nine pages of labels incorporate fine metallic and die-cut and embossed cameo-like decoration - of note are the two pages of delicate perfume bottle labels.
The remainder of the catalogue details a variety of products, all depicted in large and well-executed engravings. They include bottles, pots, boxes, tubes and dispensers, including decorative bottles and perfume atomisers, and display units. For the use of the pharmacist are moulds, rollers, mortars and pestles, scales, laboratory glassware, bunsen burners, alembics, and ovens. And there are sections for medical dressings and devices, generators of therapeutic electricity, and all types of surgical and dental tools, including large items such as chairs, tables and boilers. A superb catalogue encompassing all of late-19th century pharmacy and medicine.
Tuttlingen, Germany: Michael Birk, [c. 1890s].
Quarto. Original limp cloth wrappers blocked in gilt, grey, black, and white, blue endpapers, blue top-stain. 15 double-sided leaves of chromolithographic, metallic-printed, and embossed decoration, of which 6 are folding, engravings throughout the other 290 pages. Minor bumps at the corners. A superb, fresh copy in unused condition with many of the leaves unopened and still delicately adhering to each other at the edges.
Mead Cycle Company | Crusader Bicycles advertising booklet
An attractive, early 20th-century advertising booklet for Crusader Bicycles by the Mead Cycle Company of Chicago. It includes two wonderful chromolithographs, including a double page spread depicting the Advance Model Crusader de Luxe for $19.85 and the Crusader Coaster-Brake Special for $17.80. The upper cover advertises their policies, including free shipping, a free 30 day trial, and five year guarantee, and there are also ads for a variety of accessories. “What more do you want in a wheel? What greater assurance could you ask in buying a bicycle? We are putting our priceless reputation behind these two latest Crusader Models and behind the unqualified statement that when you buy one you are making the best bicycle selection and the wisest bicycle investment that anyone could possibly make”. Mead was one of Chicago’s first bicycle manufacturers, beginning operations in 1889 and selling nationally through mail order catalogues such as this one.
Chicago: the Hollister Press for the Mead Cycle Company, [early 20th-century].
12 page advertising booklet, stapled self-wraps. Colour and two-tone chromolithographs. 2 horizontal creases from folding, some spotting and dulling to the cover. Very good condition.
(Miller, Peter L.) Longfield, Cynthia | Dragonflies of the British Isles
Second edition, enlarged, of the authoritative guide of the period. From the library of dragonfly specialist Peter L. Miller, with his ownership signature and bookplate, two manuscript notes in ink in the text, notes and sketches of dragonfly nymphs on a blank postcard, and a dragonfly wing loosely inserted.
Miller was a lecturer in zoology at Oxford who made significant contributions to a number of fields. “At Oxford he soon became widely respected for the excellence of his research on insects, being awarded the prestigious Medal of the Zoological Society of London in 1972. Until the early 1980s he explored physiology and neural control, primarily of respiration but also of rhythmic and motor behaviour, ventilation and learning. His international standing at that time is reflected in the authorship of more than a dozen chapters on these topics in different definitive textbooks on insect physiology. During those years he also published on insect behaviour in the field and edited two symposium volumes on cell biology.
From the early 1980s Miller focused his research on dragonflies, a group of insects for which he had developed a strong affection while in Uganda. His highly developed skills - for interpreting subtle elements of behaviour, for micro-anatomical dissection and for quantifying neural processes - allowed him to reveal much of the structural and behavioural framework on which dragonfly reproduction is based. This work has far-reaching comparative value and provides a definitive reference point for future contributions to the field.
Other products of his interest in dragonflies have been his stimulation and training of postgraduate students, authorship of two editions of a book on British dragonflies - a model of its genre - and active participation in the British Dragonfly Society, as Vice President and as member of the Dragonfly Conservation Group. Increasingly in later years Miller's energies were directed towards conservation of dragonflies and their habitats, especially through facilitating involvement of young people and non-specialists.” (Peter Miller obituary, the Independent, May 6, 1996.)
In this copy Miller has made two notes in the text: On page 126, under the entry for the Downy Emerald, he wrote, “2 emerged c. 25/5/58 from [?] F. B. A. Windermere”. On page 139, under the entry for the Black-lined Orthetrum, “Nymph from F. B. A. Windermere... emerged c. 25/5/58”. The most extensive notes are on a blank postcard loosely inserted at page 181. Ink manuscript notes describe the larva (nymphs) of four dragonfly species, with pencilled drawings of three. On the back of the card are additional notes about the effect of temperature on dragonfly development, including a small bar graph showing a two-year larval cycle for a species.
The author of this guide, Cynthia Longfield (1896-1989?), was one of Britain’s leading dragonfly specialist. She spent her career as an unpaid worker at the British Museum of Natural History, where she played a major role in collecting and systemising the records of British dragonflies (Ogilvie, Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, p. 802), and she also served as president of the London Natural History Society. The Dragonflies of the the British Isles, originally published in 1939, was “accepted immediately as the authoritative guide” (Ogilvie).
London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., 1949.
Duodecimo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and upper board and dragonfly device in gilt to upper board, publisher’s name and borders to boards blocked in black, pictorial endpapers. With the dust jacket with dragonfly illustration pasted-on to the front. 16 colour plates, 12 double-sided black & white photographic plates, illustrations within the text. Ownership signature of Peter L. Miller to the front free endpaper, some short notes in his hand in the text, and his and his wife’s bookplate to the verso of the same. Spine rolled, cloth lightly rubbed at the extremities, a little spotting to contents, particularly the edges of the text block. A very good copy in the rubbed, spotted, and dulled jacket with small nicks and chips from the ends of the spine panel.
Max Rigo Selling Company | International Aviation Meet. Grant Park Chicago. Panoramic Post Card.
A striking, oversized panoramic postcard photomontage depicting one of the most important aviation events prior to the First World War, the August 1911 International Aviation Meet at Grant Park in Chicago.
The Chicago meet was the largest airshow held up to that time, only eight years after the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers. Over the course of nine days thirty-three amateur and professional aviators competed for cash prizes totalling just over $100,000, watched by an estimated 300,000 spectators. Lincoln Beachey, the world’s premiere stunt pilot, set a world altitude record of 11,642 feet and two pilots, William R. Badger and St. Croix Johnstone, died in crashes.
This postcard is a fantastical composite image depicting the airshow, incorporating photographs of the lakefront buildings, Grant Park, railway tracks, and crowd shots, and all merging into painted backdrops and “crowds”. Fourteen planes are visible in the sky, and while most are painted, a few may have originally have been photographs. Another three are depicted on the ground or taking off, surrounded by people. This copy of the card was posted by “Laurie” of 1859 Sedgwick St, which is adjacent to Lincoln Park on the north side of town, and the recipient was “Miss Florence Ort” of Defiance Ohio. Laurie has additionally annotated the image, labelling for her friend Michigan Avenue, the famous Blackstone Hotel, opened just two years previously, the Auditorium theatre, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Chicago, IL: Max Rigo, 1911.
Folding panoramic postcard (290 x 195 mm). Professionally mounted, glazed, and framed using archival materials. Composite photographic image depicting the Chicago lakefront and early planes. The sender’s and receiver’s details filled out in black ink, and four landmarks noted on the image in the same hand. Marks from stamp, some toning and spotting of the verso, creasing and wear, particularly near the original folds (which are fragile) and at the corners and slightly affecting the image, small tape repair to one corner on the verso. Very good condition.
Bigelow, Frank H. | Balloon Ascensions
- A substantial, 196-page manuscript of measurements obtained during meterological balloon flights in South America, Europe, Africa, and the United States between 1906 and 1911 (the title gives a date range of 1911-1913, but there do not seem to be any entries after 1911).
The compiler of this manuscript, meteorologist and astronomer Frank H. Bigelow (1851-1924), grew up in Concord, Massachusetts and was educated at the Episcopal Theological School in nearby Cambridge. During the 1870s and 80s he served two stints as assistant astronomer at the Argentine National Observatory at Cordoba, where many of these measurements were made, and also worked as a professor of mathematics at Racine College, as assistant in the National Almanac Office in Washington D. C., and as a professor of meteorology at the National Weather Bureau.
Neatly written on graph paper, each entry in this manuscript is laid out as a grid with the columns headed by elevations. The rows are labelled with a variety of mathematical formula that often relate to each other as they descend the page, “T₁ - T₀” followed by “log T₁ - T₀”, or “T” followed by “log T” then “Log T₁ - T₀” and “Log (Log T₁ - T₀)”. There are also rows where work is presumably checked (check) and various rows are added together (summ). Unfortunately, we cannot locate a guide to the symbols used here, making it difficult to determine exactly what Bigelow was studying. Prose notes occasionally appear, however, and seem to indicate that his measurements were connected with heat and possibly solar activity. “Since z increases upwards the (-) sign indicates loss of heat energy from level to level outwards... The evidence is strongly against the theory that absorption is proportional to the density or path length...” “The assumed (E₁ - E₀) solar near surface seems to require special modification because the p values are impossible...”.
As well as meteorology, Bigelow studied the solar corona, aurora, and terrestrial magnetism, and it may be in pursuit of these subjects that the present ascensions were made. It is also unclear whether Bigelow or a colleague actually went up in the balloons, or whether they were uncrewed weather balloons which had first been used in the late 1890s by the French meteorologist Léon Teisserenc de Bort. We suspect the former, as results are given for multiple elevations during each flight. Unusually, within the manuscript the flights are bound entirely out of date order, and it’s unclear whether this was an accident or a way to highlight or connect certain results. This manuscript would benefit from attention by an informed cataloguer or scholar, in connection with similar materials....Cordoba - Argentina 1911 - 1913. Europe and United States. 1906-1911.
Folio (352 x 215 mm), single leaves oversewn in sections onto sawn-in cords. 196 page manuscript in black and red ink and pencil, rectos only. Leaves numbered in blue crayon. Contemporary quarter black skiver, black pebble-grain cloth, titles to spine gilt, marbled endpapers, graph paper leaves. Spine professionally relined and reattached to text block by Bainbridge Conservation, binding rubbed and worn, particularly along the spine, endpapers and blanks tanned, contents a little toned, a few contemporary ink blotches. Very good condition.
Bion, Nicolas | Traité de la Construction et des Principaux Usages des Instruments de Mathématique.
Fourth edition of this important and copiously illustrated work on mathematical instruments, originally published in 1709. An attractive, unsophisticated copy, the contents quite fresh.
Nicolas Bion was one of France’s leading instrument makers. “Through his astronomical instruments he sought to join theory to practice, for which he was accorded the title Engineer to the King” (Kenney, Catalogue of the Rare Astronomical Books in the San Diego State University Library, 17).
...Avec les Figures Nécessaires pour l’Intelligence de ce Traité... Quatriéme Édition. Paris: Charles-Antoine Jombert, 1752.
Quarto. Contemporary mottled calf, spine elaborately gilt in compartments with floral tools, brown morocco label, marbled endpapers and edges. Engraved portrait and allegorical frontispieces and 37 plates of which 2 are folding, elaborate head and tailpieces and decorative initials, royal device to title. 19th-century library ticket and 20th-century bookseller’s ticket of Malcolm Gardner to the front pastedown. Upper hinge cracked, lower hinge starting, some scuffs to the boards, including a small worn spot on the upper board, front free endpaper a little loose, small area of dampstain affecting the top corner of the first half of the contents, short closed tear to final leaf of contents.
Bewick, Thomas | A History of British Birds
The seventh edition of one of the finest illustrated ornithology books ever published, the first field guide affordable to the middle class. This being the final edition to include new wood engravings, including Bewick’s last bird engraving, the Cream Coloured Plover. An attractive set, the contents fresh.
“In early May 1825, near Helpston in Northampstonshire, the poet John Clare saw a small brown bird that he could not identify. Did anyone, he asked his friend Joseph Henderson, have a copy of Bewick’s Birds? All lovers of birds in these years looked to Bewick. He spoke directly to a man like Clare, a former farm worker and lime burner who knew every inch of the fields around his home, and to Henderson, head gardener at the nearby hall. Bewick was in his seventies by then, but he came from the same world as them, growing up on a small-holding in the Tyne Valley... He was a fine naturalist himself, and his work combined keen, detailed observation with a new approach showing animals and birds in their natural settings, as part of the whole great interrelated web of nature. ‘Nature’ and God fused together in Bewick’s vision, as a rolling force that infused every aspect of life, from the habits of an ant to the vastness of the universe, ‘this sublime, this amazing, this mighty work of Suns and Worlds innumerable’. He felt its darkness as well as its beauty and his work touched the dawning Romantic age: Wordsworth was among the first to sing his praises and Charlotte Brontë placed his prints of icy seas in the hands of her young heroine, Jane Eyre” (Uglow, Nature’s Engraver, pp. xvii-xviii).
Newcastle: for R. E. Bewick, sold by him, Longman and Co., 1832.
2 volumes, octavo (211 x 129 mm). Mid-19th century calf, spines elaborately gilt in compartments with floral tools, brown morocco labels, double gilt fillets, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers and edges. Wood engravings throughout. Bindings a little rubbed with a few small scuffs and abrasions, including a one and a half cm abrasion affecting a title label on volume I, light spotting to the title of volume II but otherwise the contents are clean and fresh. Very good condition.
Emiliani, Cesare | Ancient Temperatures
- Offprint of an early popular article on ancient climate by one of the founders of the field, Cesare Emiliani (1922-1995).
During the late 1950s Emiliani studied the tests (shells) of marine amoebas called foraminifera that are found in samples taken from the floors of the deep oceans. He realised that the oxygen isotope composition of the tests was influenced by atmospheric conditions at the time they were alive and that the deep-sea cores could be used to chart climate going back millions of years. This work laid the foundations for modern analysis of past climates. It also established that the ice ages were a cyclic phenomena; contributed to our understanding ocean floor spreading and plate tectonics; and provided influential support for the hypothesis of Milutin Milanković that climate changes in the deep past had been driven by long-term alterations in the Earth’s orbit and geology. Emiliani remained a leading figure in the study of Earth’s climate history through the 1990s, and was awarded both the Vega Medal and the Alexander Aggasiz Medal.
...Reprinted from Scientific American, February 1958. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1958.
12 page pamphlet, stapled. Illustrations throughout. Very faintly toned at the extreme edges of the spine and wrappers. A superb copy.
Fuller, R. Buckminster | Nine Chains to the Moon
First edition, first printing of the author’s first book. Presentation copy with a warm and lengthy inscription from the author to fellow architect Robert George Cerny (1908-1985), dated November 22, 1959. Fuller begins, “To Bob Cerny, with whom it has been my privilege and pleasure to work on the emergent....”. Unfortunately, the combination of Fuller’s messy handwriting and unique vocabulary and syntax make it difficult to grasp the full meaning of the inscription, and it’s unclear how the two knew each other.
Nine Chains to the Moon is a collection of forty-four essays on various topics in the history of science and technology, many of them exploring progressive design and the concept Fuller called “ephemeralization”, or doing more with less, which he believed would create higher living standards despite population growth. The title, a metaphor for co-operation, refers to the notion that if all the humans on Earth stood on each other’s shoulders, they could reach the Moon. The book has been described by one fan as “an outlandish collection of essays in feverish celebration of the technical and design possibilities of the twentieth century” (Taylor, http://www.nous.org.uk/Nine.html, accessed August 4, 2020). Fuller’s elaborate writing style (also in evidence in the inscription in this volume) put off most critics, with the Kirkus reviewer left “puzzled, confused and doubting” by the “vast areas where I cannot follow him, where mathematical and physical abstractions leave me floundering, where meaning is lost -- for me -- in a thicket of verbiage”.
The recipient of this copy, Bob Cerny, was a modernist architect based in Minneapolis and St. Paul. he graduated from the University of of Minnesota School of Architecture in 1932. “The school’s architectural program, like others across the country, had fallen under the sway of Modernist ideas in the 1930s. The austere Bauhaus strain of Modernism rather than Wright’s more dynamic style prevailed, and once graduates established practices in Minnesota after the war, they filled the state with all manner of Modernist buildings. These homegrown architects—among them Carl Graffunder, Robert Cerny, Jack Liebenberg, and the firm (now HGA) founded by Richard Hammel, Curt Green, and Bruce Abrahamson—rarely achieved national recognition. Even so, their work, usually quite restrained, was of consistently high quality” (Millett, “Minnesota Design”, Metropolis, March 1, 2018). Among Cerny’s most prominent designs was the 1950s Gateway Center in Minneapolis, one of the largest mid-century “urban renewal” projects.
Philadelphia & New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1938.
Octavo. Original copper cloth, titles to spine and upper board in black, map free endpapers. Illustrations within the text, folding chart at rear. Cloth rubbed, bumped, and scuffed with some spots and marks particularly to the lower panel, rodent damage to the lower edge and gutter of the rear endpapers and folding chart, and the same along the bottom edges of the final 25 leaves of contents, lighting toning of the contents. A very good copy.
Wood, Elizabeth A. | Crystal Orientation Manual
First edition of this introductory crystallography manual by the first female scientist at Bell Labs. As the author writes in the preface, “Many chemists, physicists, engineers, and technicians who are today confronted with the problem of obtaining a slice or rod of suitable orientation for their experiments have not had crystallographic training: it is for these that the manual was written”.
Elizabeth Wood (1912-2006) was educated at Bryn Mawr, where she became an instructor in geology. Following teaching stints at Barnard and Columbia she joined Bell Labs in 1942 and remained there for the next twenty-four years. Wood’s interests “ranged from the growth of single crystals with useful semiconducting, lasing, magnetic or superconducting properties to the crystallographic investigation of new materials with unusual properties such as the exhibition of both ferromagnetism and piezoelectricity. She also worked on material phases that could be changed by the application of appropriately oriented electric fields and on the formation of new superconductors” (International Union of Crystallographers obituary).
Woods was a highly respected scientist, whose advice was often sought by colleagues. She was also a talented science writer, publishing books for both popular and professional audiences. “Her reputation for clearly written texts spread as a result of her Rewarding Careers for Women in Physics (1962) and Pressing Needs in School Sciences (1969) published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) in 1962. It became wider still with the publication of her Crystal Orientation Manual in 1963, which expounded the art and science of preparing shaped pieces of large accurately oriented single crystals for technicians... Five years later, her Science for the Airplane Passenger was published and proved very successful, appearing for many years in airport bookstores throughout the US and other countries. Her deep interest in improving the scientific understanding of the general public was recognized by the ACA’s establishment of an Elizabeth A. Wood Science Writing Award. Its purpose is to honor the authors of outstanding publications that bring science to the attention of the general public" (International Union of Crystallographers obituary).
Wood was also active in professional societies, serving as secretary of the American Society for X-Ray and Electron Diffraction and taking the lead in its merger with the Crystallographic Society of America. In addition to drafting the constitution for the resulting American Crystallographic Association, she was elected its first female president in 1957.
New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1963.
Ring bound. Original cream wrappers printed in black and green with an x-ray crystallograph. Diagrams, charts, and illustrations from photographs throughout the text. Old tape repair at head of spine, library ticket to tail of spine, ink stamp “Property of the US Army Redstone Scientific Information Center” to the inside of the cover, library pocket to inside lower wrapper. Wrappers toned and rubbed with some light marks and creasing and a small area of dampstain to the lower wrapper. Very good condition.
Smyth, Charles Piazzi | The Great Comet of 1843 as seen at the Cape of Good Hope...
A rare and evocative lithograph of the Great Comet of 1843 as seen from the Cape of Good Hope, observed and, most unusually, also lithographed by the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900). Copies of this print are exceptionally scarce, with none recorded in COPAC, WorldCat, or auction records. Given that the paper was never published, it seems unlikely that more than a handful were produced.
Smyth was born to well-connected British parents in Naples, his father being a naval officer and respected amateur astronomer, and his mother the daughter of the British Consul to the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Smyth’s godfather was the famous Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi, from whom he received his middle name. Thanks to his father’s connections, at age sixteen Smyth was made assistant to Thomas Maclear, HM Astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope. “He spent ten years in southern Africa working in positional astronomy and in arduous geodetic surveys of the province. Encouraged by John Herschel, he experimented in early photography and in 1843 succeeded in producing the oldest known calotypes of people and scenes in southern Africa” (ODNB).
During Smyth’s time in the Cape a remarkable comet appeared in the skies. “The Great March Comet of 1843 was so bright that it was seen in the daytime sky by many people on every continent”, though its brightest and largest appearance was in the southern hemisphere (Stoyan, Atlas of Great Comets). Its tail, measuring up to 70° (more than 350 million kilometers in length), still holds the record for length, and John Herschel described it in 1849 as “by far the most remarkable comet of the century” (Stoyan).
Smyth was a talented amateur artist who frequently painted and sketched, both in connection with his astronomical work and as an observer of the people and landscapes around him. “The naturalistic representations and watercolours by Chales Piazzi Smyth, who was working at the Cape of Good Hope when the comet appeared, are the most impressive reproductions of this apparition of a comet” (Stoyan). Smyth was particularly interested in printing techniques and their applications to scientific illustration. His first major published work was a paper submitted to the Royal Astronomical Society on this subject, in which he “reviews critically the illustrations in several recent publications and discourses with apparent authority on the processes of engraving, aquatintintg and mezzotinting. He suggests modifications that might be used to yield more subtle effects” (Warner, Charles Pizaai Smyth: Astronomer-Artist, His Cape Years, p. 113).
Smyth’s proficiency with lithography and copperplate engraving allowed him to print the illustrations for his own papers, a practice that was (and indeed, still is) unusual (Warner, p. 113). In 1846 he was appointed Astronomer Royal at Edinburgh, “the hub of the printing and illustration industry... in these circumstances he did not need to acquire a press, but bought or hired stones on which he could draw his pictures and then send the stones to the nearest printer. Piazzi was engaged in lithographing of his sketches ‘The Zodiacal Light as Seen at the Cape of Good Hope’ and ‘The Great Comet of 1843’ —to be used in his published accounts— when [his friend from South Africa, the artist] Charles Bell arrived in 1847”. At first, Piazzi sent his stones to the printer W. Walton, who was probably responsible for this print, but later Bell purchased a press which he and Piazzi shared (Warner, pp. 114-115).
Both The Great Comet and The Zodiacal Light were meant to illustrate Smyth’s unpublished paper “Attempt to apply instrumental measurement to the zodiacal light”, which was completed on March 25th, 1848, received by the Royal Society on the 13th of April, and withdrawn on the 2nd of November. The manuscript and the original painting are still at the Royal Society and have been digitised (references AP/30/18 and AP/30/18/5), and two oil paintings of the comet by Smyth are held at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich (object ID BHC4148 and BHC4147). This copy of the lithograph is especially intriguing because of the pencilled annotation where Smith’s printed initials should be: “CPS del[iniavit] & lit”, indicating that he made the lithograph himself. Though the writing is dissimilar to Smyth’s formal hand, the likeliest explanation is that it was inserted by himself or someone close to him.
...in the Evening of March 3rd. [Edinburgh], June 1848.
Lithograph (print 115 x 182 mm; sheet 277 x 384 mm). Conservation mounted, framed and glazed using archival materials. Professionally cleaned using archival methods but with some faint spots remaining, short closed tear at the right edge archivally repaired. Excellent condition.
Barthez, Paul-Joseph | Nouvelle Méchanique des Mouvements de l'Homme et des Animaux
First edition of this important work in the history of neurophysiology by the French physician Paul-Joseph Barthez (1734-1806), who “demonstrated through very intricate anatomical analysis that the simple hydraulic explanations offered by the iatrochemists (particularly Borelli) would never explain the delicate balance and control of muscles that are needed for such motions as walking and swimming” (Dictionary of Scientific Biography I, p. 479). An attractive copy in contemporary mottled calf.
Carcassonne: Pierre Polere, 1798.
Quarto (258 x 195 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label, triple gilt fillets, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Small abrasion where an signature has been removed from the verso of the front free endpaper, a few tiny spots to the title and occasionally to the contents. Mild rubbing and scuffing of the binding. An excellent, unsophisticated copy.
[Fioravanti, Leonardo] Falloppio, Gabriele | Secreti Diversi & Miracolosi
A rare early edition, likely the fifth in the original Italian, of a significant book of secrets first published in 1563 and attributed to the anatomist Gabriele Falloppio (1523-1562), though probably written by the iconoclastic physician Leonardo Fioravanti (1517- c. 1588). The first five editions were all printed in Venice, with the book given its lasting form by the editor of the 1565 second edition, Borgaruccio Borgarucci. Copies of the first five editions are well-represented institutionally but rare on the market, and only two other copies have appeared at auction in recent decades.
Books of secrets, compilations of natural and technical knowledge, were a popular medieval and early modern genre with roots stretching back to the Hellenistic period. As William Eamon, one of the foremost scholars of the subject, writes in Science in the Secrets of Nature, “Underlying these works was the assumption that nature was a repository of occult forces that might be manipulated, not by the magus’s cunning, but merely by the use of correct techniques. The utilitarian character of the books of secrets gave concrete substance to this claim. Unlike the recondite treatises on the philosophical foundations of magic, which barely touched base with the real world, the books of secrets were grounded upon a down-to-earth, experimental outlook: they did not affirm underlying principles but taught ‘how to.’ Hence they seemed to hold forth a real and accessible promise of power... What they revealed were recipes, formulas, and ‘experiments’ associated with one of the crafts or with medicine: for example, instructions for making quenching waters to harden iron and steel, recipes for mixing dyes and pigments, ‘empirical’ remedies, cooking recipes, and practical alchemical formulas such as a jeweler or tinsmith might use... By the eighteenth century such ‘secrets’ were techniques and nothing more. In the sixteenth century, however, the term was still densely packed with its ancient and medieval connotations: the association with esoteric wisdom, the domain of occult or forbidden knowledge, the artisan’s cunning... and the political power that attended knowledge of secrets” (Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, pp. 4-5). This particular volume explores a wide range of secrets, the first chapter covering medicine, the second wines and spirits, and the third alchemical and metallurgical recipes, including producing gold and silver from lead; working with precious metals, iron, and copper; producing cosmetics (”red for women’s faces”); and also includes more unusual recipes such as how to carve letters into marble without iron and how to make an inextinguishable candle.
Books of secrets were often spuriously attributed to famous doctors, philosophers, and occult figures as a marketing strategy. When Secreti Diversi et Miracolosi was first published in 1563 its Venetian printer Marco di Maria explained that the compilation had “fallen into his hands” after the great anatomist’s death, and that the contents were the results of Falloppio’s own successful experiments. However, Eamon cautiously attributes the text to Leonardo Fioravanti. “Indeed, the work praises the Bolognese surgeon so effusively that it reads like an extended advertisement for Fioravanti’s books” (Eamon, pp. 166-167). Fioravanti’s “marvellous” ability to cure syphilis, his treatments for wounds and leprosy, and his most recent books are all promoted. In 1563 Fioravanti was still a young man establishing himself, hence the need for promotion. But he eventually became well-known, an outspoken critic of contemporary medicine and “one of the wonders of the age” whose “skill as a surgeon and unorthodox medical practices made him the focus of a cultlike following” (Eamon p. 168).
Bibliography: USTC 828720, Welcome I, 2161; Thorndike VI, p. 218
...Racolti dal Falopia, & Approbati da altri Medici di Gran Fama. Novamente Ristampati, et à Commun Beneficio di Ciascuno, Distinti in Tre Libri... Venice: Alessandro Gardane [for Giacomo Leoncini], 1578.
Small octavo (145 x 90 mm). Early-18th century vellum, paper covered spine with manuscript library label, blind fillets, red speckled edges. Publisher Giacomo Leoncini’s woodcut device to title page and the verso of the final leaf, 5 woodcut initials. Some contemporary or near-contemporary pen marks and short notes in the margins, many partially trimmed, more significant 12-line manuscript note to the recto of the final leaf, and pen trials, a partially illegible name, and a child’s doodles to the verso of the same leaf. Vellum peeling a little from a corner of the upper board, some marks and spots to the vellum, minor area of insect damage to pastedowns and early and late leaves only slightly affecting the text, ink stain to K2 and adjacent leaves. Very good condition.