2 December 2010
JANVIER, Antide (1751-1835). Des révolutions des corps célestes par le mécanisme des rouages. Paris: P.Didot, 1812.
4o (272 x 205 mm). Engraved frontispiece and 8 folding plates. (Foxed.) Modern plum blind-ruled calf, uncut.
FIRST EDITION, revealing the continued efforts to solve the problem of celestial computation. Janvier, a watchmaker, first provides a description of a mechanism left unfinished by Christian Huygens at his death. "To animate flatland, Galileo and the other [such as Janvier] constructed Jovilabes, nomogram-like computation devices that recounted orbits of Jupiter's satellites" (Tufte, Envisioning Information, p.98).
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