2 December 2010
BYRNE, Oliver (ca 1810-ca 1880). New and Improved System of Logarithms, with a Table of the Logarithms of the Natural Numbers, from 1 to 100,000, and by Differences, from 1 to 10,000,000. London: William Day, 1838.
2o (403 x 242 mm). Half-title with errata on verso. 10 hand-colored double-page charts, colored diagrams in text on B1v-4r. (E1-2 with repaired tears crossing text, some light browning.) Modern quarter morocco preserving contemporary title lettering-piece on front cover. Provenance: Tynemouth, Free Public Library (inkstamps on title and some inside leaves, withdrawn stamp on title verso).
FIRST EDITION of a scarce work by the great Irish mathematician Oliver Byrne, best known for his innovative edition of Euclid printed in colors (see following lots). Byrne notes in "Some of the Superiorities of the Work over Others of the Kind" (p.viii) that "When a number is given, to find the logarithm, the sheet in which it is, can be referred to instantly... It is impossible, from the nature of the arrangement, for any mistake to be in the table unnoticed, as the slightest error in the calculation would leave the irregularity visible to the superficial observer." RARE: no copies of this book have appeared at auction in at least 30 years, according to American Book Prices Current.
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