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SUNDIALS. Fra Giovanni Battista Bergamasco, ‘Gnomonica Bergomensis’, manuscript treatise on the art of constructing sundials, Todi, 6 July 1696. Decorated title-page with a floral border in watercolour, introductory text by the Capuchin friar Fra Giovanni Battista, including a dedication to St Francis (ff.1v-2), three pages of instructive text on using the manuscript to make a sundial (ff.2v-3v), and 90 leaves of diagrams corresponding to the degrees in each quarter of a sundial. In Italian, c. 96 leaves, 210 x 157mm. 18th-century calf-backed boards, recovered more recently with pink paper, original clasps.
SUNDIALS. Fra Giovanni Battista Bergamasco, ‘Gnomonica Bergomensis’, manuscript treatise on the art of constructing sundials, Todi, 6 July 1696. Decorated title-page with a floral border in watercolour, introductory text by the Capuchin friar Fra Giovanni Battista, including a dedication to St Francis (ff.1v-2), three pages of instructive text on using the manuscript to make a sundial (ff.2v-3v), and 90 leaves of diagrams corresponding to the degrees in each quarter of a sundial. In Italian, c. 96 leaves, 210 x 157mm. 18th-century calf-backed boards, recovered more recently with pink paper, original clasps.
SUNDIALS. Fra Giovanni Battista Bergamasco, ‘Gnomonica Bergomensis’, manuscript treatise on the art of constructing sundials, Todi, 6 July 1696. Decorated title-page with a floral border in watercolour, introductory text by the Capuchin friar Fra Giovanni Battista, including a dedication to St Francis (ff.1v-2), three pages of instructive text on using the manuscript to make a sundial (ff.2v-3v), and 90 leaves of diagrams corresponding to the degrees in each quarter of a sundial. In Italian, c. 96 leaves, 210 x 157mm. 18th-century calf-backed boards, recovered more recently with pink paper, original clasps.
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SUNDIALS. Fra Giovanni Battista Bergamasco, ‘Gnomonica Bergomensis’, manuscript treatise on the art of constructing sundials, Todi, 6 July 1696. Decorated title-page with a floral border in watercolour, introductory text by the Capuchin friar Fra Giovanni Battista, including a dedication to St Francis (ff.1v-2), three pages of instructive text on using the manuscript to make a sundial (ff.2v-3v), and 90 leaves of diagrams corresponding to the degrees in each quarter of a sundial. In Italian, c. 96 leaves, 210 x 157mm. 18th-century calf-backed boards, recovered more recently with pink paper, original clasps.

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SUNDIALS. Fra Giovanni Battista Bergamasco, ‘Gnomonica Bergomensis’, manuscript treatise on the art of constructing sundials, Todi, 6 July 1696. Decorated title-page with a floral border in watercolour, introductory text by the Capuchin friar Fra Giovanni Battista, including a dedication to St Francis (ff.1v-2), three pages of instructive text on using the manuscript to make a sundial (ff.2v-3v), and 90 leaves of diagrams corresponding to the degrees in each quarter of a sundial. In Italian, c. 96 leaves, 210 x 157mm. 18th-century calf-backed boards, recovered more recently with pink paper, original clasps.

An elegantly decorated manuscript with a practical function: the present text, written by a Capuchin friar from Bergamo, allows the reader to mark out the shape of a sundial on any wall or floor degree by degree, using the diagrams giving the relevant measurements. The city of Bergamo has a long gnomonic tradition: in the Palazzo delle Ragione is still preserved the 18th-century analemmatic sundial designed by Abbot Giovanni Albrici (1743-1816) in 1798. The present manuscript, created a century before this, reflects the historical association between religious houses and the study of such matters.
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Robert Tyrwhitt
Robert Tyrwhitt

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