4 June 2008
HENRION, Didier (c.1580-c.1632). Usage du compas de proportion. Paris: Michel Daniel, 1618.
8° (165 x 100mm). Woodcut device on title-page, woodcut initials and headpieces, woodcut diagrams to text, double-page engraved plate by Daniel Chorez dated 1616. (Some browning and soiling, last 4 leaves of text chipped and soiled at lower corner, last text leaf and rear flyleaf with repair to lower corner.) Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spine, marbled endpapers (expertly rebacked preserving original spine). Provenance: Aleaume (early inscription to title, possibly Jacques Aleaume, 1562-1627, mathematician) -- accounts in French in a 17th century hand on rear flyleaf -- François Rolpot (inscription in French dated 7 October 1766 to rear flyleaf).
EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION, apparently an important association copy. 'Henrion was greatly interested in mathematical instruments, especially in the proportional divider, the invention of which he attributed to Jacques Alleaume, who had constructed several copies of it in Paris' (DSB VI 271). As he noted in the preface to the present work, he had hoped that Aleaume himself would write an explanation of the construction and use of the proportional compass, but his burdensome duties had prevented him from doing so; therefore Henrion himself had attempted to fill the gap. Aleaume's name is inscribed on the title-page of the present copy. According to ABPC, no copies of this first edition have sold at auction since 1975. Cinti 180 (87); De Caro 104.
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