17 June 2008
BERNOULLI, Jacob (1654-1703). Ars conjectandi, opus posthumum. Accedit tractatus de seriebus infinitis, et epistola gallicè scripta de ludo pilae reticularis. Edited by Nicolaus I. Bernoulli (1687-1759). Basel: Thurneisen Brothers, 1713.
4o (216 x 167 mm). Woodcut device on title, folding sheet with woodcut diagrams, 2 folding letterpress tables, some woodcut diagrams in text, woodcut decorations and initials. (Final section on tennis together with the errata leaf bound in at front, waterstain to lower right affecting first ten quires.) 18th-century Italian tan paper boards, manuscript title on spine (some light edgewear), uncut. Provenance: 18th century Italian University (bookplate "Biblioth. Dom. Prof. Florent. Schol. Piar." and label at foot of spine); Albert Edgar Lownes (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, OF BERNOULLI'S FUNDAMENTAL TREATISE ON THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CALCULUS OF PROBABILITIES. The first part of this posthumously published work, is a perceptive commentary on Huygens's De ratiociniis in aleae ludo, the second part deals with the theory of combinations, the third part gives concrete examples on the expectation of profit in games, the fourth part contains philosophical thoughts on probability. The final section, written in French, explains the various strategies in real tennis, jeu de paume, and the probabilities of winning in different situations. Bernoulli discusses players of uneven strength, games of two versus one, and other permutations of the game. A FINE UNCUT COPY IN CONTEMPORARY BOARDS. Dibner Heralds of Science 110; Grolier/Horblit 12; Norman 216; PMM179.
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