London, South Kensington
2 June 2008
PORTA, Giambattista della (1538-1615). Pneumaticorum libri tres. Quibus accesserunt curvilineorum elementorum libri duo. Naples; G.G. Carlino, 1601. Two parts in one volume, 4° (197 x 142mm). Woodcut device on title of part 1, royal arms on title of part 2, numerous woodcut illustrations (dedication leaf holed and crudely repaired but with loss of text, light browning). Early 18th-century sheep, spine gilt in compartments (lacking label, rubbed, spine damaged at head and foot).
FIRST EDITION. Porta's Pneumatica contains 'the earliest attempt towards measuring the volume of steam given off by a given quantity of water' (Rankine). In the work on the elements of curved lines 'he addressed, with some finesse, the ancient topic of squaring the circle' (DSB). Riccardi II, 310.4(1),5(1).
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