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RAMELLI, Agostino (c. 1531-after 20 August 1608). Le diverse et artificiose machine ... nelle quali si contengono uarij et artificiosi mouimenti, degni di grandissima speculatione, per cauarne beneficio in ogni sorte d'operatione. Composte in lingua italiana et francese. Paris: by the author, 1588.
RAMELLI, Agostino (c. 1531-after 20 August 1608). Le diverse et artificiose machine ... nelle quali si contengono uarij et artificiosi mouimenti, degni di grandissima speculatione, per cauarne beneficio in ogni sorte d'operatione. Composte in lingua italiana et francese. Paris: by the author, 1588.
RAMELLI, Agostino (c. 1531-after 20 August 1608). Le diverse et artificiose machine ... nelle quali si contengono uarij et artificiosi mouimenti, degni di grandissima speculatione, per cauarne beneficio in ogni sorte d'operatione. Composte in lingua italiana et francese. Paris: by the author, 1588.
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RAMELLI, Agostino (c. 1531-after 20 August 1608). Le diverse et artificiose machine ... nelle quali si contengono uarij et artificiosi mouimenti, degni di grandissima speculatione, per cauarne beneficio in ogni sorte d'operatione. Composte in lingua italiana et francese. Paris: by the author, 1588.

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RAMELLI, Agostino (c. 1531-after 20 August 1608). Le diverse et artificiose machine ... nelle quali si contengono uarij et artificiosi mouimenti, degni di grandissima speculatione, per cauarne beneficio in ogni sorte d'operatione. Composte in lingua italiana et francese. Paris: by the author, 1588.

2° (350 x 227mm). Ruled in red throughout. Roman (French) and italic (Italian) types. Engraved title within architectural frame by Leonard Gaultier, each leaf of text printed within a border of typographical fleurons, engraved portrait of Ramelli by Gaultier on title-page verso, 194 engravings (174 full-page, 20 full-sheet) numbered I-CXCV (CXLVIII and CXLIX combined on a single engraving), three signed with the cipher 'JG' (CL-CLII). (Four leaves comprising n1 [f.97], o1 [f.105, mis-signed n1], o8 [f.112] and n8 [f.104] misbound, very short minor tears to i4 and T2, tiny marginal chips to i8 and V3, small marginal chip repaired on P2, occasional light spotting and browning.) Contemporary French limp vellum, covers framed with gilt double fillet enclosing gilt centre ornament of laurel leaf tools, flat gilt spine, lettered at head of spine in ink manuscript, gilt edges (small stain on upper cover of binding, spine lightly soiled, lacking ties), modern green cloth slipcase. Provenance: Francoise d'Espinay de Bretagne, first wife of Henri de Schomberg, comte de Nanteuil (1604 gift inscription on front free endpaper) -- Princes of Liechtenstein (stamp on title) -- Otto Schäfer (sold Sotheby's 27 June 1995, lot 163).

FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS ILLUSTRATED BOOKS OF THE 16TH CENTURY AND A LANDMARK IN BOOK DESIGN.

'The plates in Ramelli’s treatise are artistically as well as technologically superb, the bilingual text beautifully printed, and both plates and text surrounded by handsome borders of typographic ornaments. The reasons for this sumptuousness were twofold: first Ramelli had dedicated the book to his patron Henri III; and second, he had previously had several designs stolen from him by a trusted associate (probably Ambroise Bachot, later engineer to Henri IV), who published them in corrupt and mutilated form and claimed them as his own. As a result of this experience Ramelli planned his treatise as a particularly lavish work that would be difficult to counterfeit, and produced and published it from his own house where he could maintain absolute control over the project' (Norman). The book itself is a very fine example of the exquisite work of late 16th-century French printers and artists. Ramelli’s book had a great influence on later mechanical engineering.

A FINE COPY BOUND IN CONTEMPORARY GILT LIMP VELLUM.

Mortimer, Harvard French 452; Brun, p.280; Norman 1777; Dibner, 173.
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