XVIe 3771-72; Jean Polak, Bibliographie Maritime Française (Grenoble 1976), 794. Very rare first edition of Besson's description of two ambitious inventions, the "cosmolabe" and "cosmographe"; the first in particular was designed to combine the functions of various existing instruments ("on trouvera qu'il peult faire luy seul... tout ce qui se peult faire par tout espece d'Astrolabe, par les Armilles de Pholomée [sic], par son Torquet, & par son Triquet... par le baston dit de Jacob, & par le quarré Geometrique. Item par le quadran & par l'anneau Astronomique..."--Advertissement aux Lecteurs, fol. B1). Besson claims that his invention will resolve the longstanding puzzle of determining longitude at sea, an ancient problem that was among the major obstacles to safe ocean travel in the age of exploration, and which remained unsolved until the invention of John Harrison's "time-keeper" in the eighteenth century. In his dedication to the Queen Mother (Catherine de Médici), dated 6 September 1566, Besson, complains of a counterfeit instrument that was recently shown her by one of his students, "un nommé Raimon Poinet", explaining in the preface that his outrage at this act prompted him to publish his invention. The preliminary matter contains a catalogue of the author's "best inventions" (B4r-v). A third part intitled Description et usage du compas euclidien was published in 1571. According to ABPC, no copy of either part has appeared at auction since the Honeyman sale in 1978. including two small diagrams of gears, in a contemporary hand, scattered marginalia and the woodcut on fol. F2r neatly captioned in the same hand -- "Defort"(?), 17th or 18th-century signature on title (cancelled inscription below) -- Harrison D. Horblit, bookplate (sale, part I, Sotheby's, 10-11 June 1974, lot 106). " /> BESSON, JACQUES. Le Cosmolabe, ou Instrument universel, concernant Toutes Observations qui se peuvent faire par les Science Mathematiques, Tant au Ciel, en la Terre, comme en la Mer. [<I>Bound with</I>:] Le Cosmographe instrument adioinct en la superieure partie du Cosmolabe au lieu de l'Atlas. Paris: Ph. G. de Rouille 1567-69. <I>2 parts in one, 4to, 199 x 143 mm. (7 7/8 x 5 5/8 in.), contemporary vellum over thin pasteboard, manuscript title-lettering on spine (in two hands, one contemporary, the second seventeenth-century), vellum spine lining from a fifteenth-century manuscript, lacking ties, some patched holes and tears to vellum, inner joints split, binding restored and resewn, very slight fraying to edges of title-leaf and last 2 leaves, very neatly repaired 5-inch tear to folding plate, small marginal dampstain to last 70 leaves, last 2 leaves slightly discolored and creased and with rust stain obscuring a few letters</I>. FIRST EDITION of the first two parts (a third part was added to the edition of 1571). Collation: A-Z<SUP>4</SUP> Aa-Ee<SUP>4</SUP>; Ff-Ii<SUP>4</SUP> Kk<SUP>2</SUP>. 130 leaves, the 2 parts continuously paginated. Part 1 title within allegorical woodcut border, part 2 title with large woodcut printer's device, 45 woodcuts, mainly of astronomical instruments, of which 27 full-page (several repeated), large (285 x 222 mm.) folding woodcut plate captioned "Figure du Tripaston" at end of part 2, 34 geometrical diagrams, astronomical tables and diagrams, floriated and grotesque initials, head- and tail-pieces. Adams B-842 (part 1 only); Brunet I, 830; Cioranesco <I>XVIe</I> 3771-72; Jean Polak, <I>Bibliographie Maritime Française</I> (Grenoble 1976), 794. Very rare first edition of Besson's description of two ambitious inventions, the "cosmolabe" and "cosmographe"; the first in particular was designed to combine the functions of various existing instruments ("on trouvera qu'il peult faire luy seul... tout ce qui se peult faire par tout espece d'Astrolabe, par les Armilles de Pholomée [<I>sic</I>], par son Torquet, & par son Triquet... par le baston dit de Jacob, & par le quarré Geometrique. Item par le quadran & par l'anneau Astronomique..."--Advertissement aux Lecteurs, fol. B1). Besson claims that his invention will resolve the longstanding puzzle of determining longitude at sea, an ancient problem that was among the major obstacles to safe ocean travel in the age of exploration, and which remained unsolved until the invention of John Harrison's "time-keeper" in the eighteenth century. In his dedication to the Queen Mother (Catherine de Médici), dated 6 September 1566, Besson, complains of a counterfeit instrument that was recently shown her by one of his students, "un nommé Raimon Poinet", explaining in the preface that his outrage at this act prompted him to publish his invention. The preliminary matter contains a catalogue of the author's "best inventions" (B4r-v). A third part intitled <I>Description et usage du compas euclidien</I> was published in 1571. According to ABPC, no copy of either part has appeared at auction since the Honeyman sale in 1978. including two small diagrams of gears, in a contemporary hand, scattered marginalia and the woodcut on fol. F2r neatly captioned in the same hand -- "Defort"(?), 17th or 18th-century signature on title (cancelled inscription below) -- Harrison D. Horblit, bookplate (sale, part I, Sotheby's, 10-11 June 1974, lot 106). | Christie's