BOREL, Pierre (1620-1689). De vero telescopii inventore, cum brevi omnium conspiciliorum historia -Observationum microcospicarum centuria. The Hague: Adriaan Vlacq, 1655-56.
Three parts in one volume, 4o (191 x 148 mm). 2 fine engraved portraits of Zacharias Janssen and Hans Lipperhey by J. van Meurs after Berckman (the second with caption shaved), one folding full-page and one half-page copper-engravings, several woodcuts in text, one showing a telescope. (Small piece torn away from upper margin of G3 slightly affecting headline and pagination.) Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt (minor wear to spine ends).
A FINE COPY OF THE VERY RARE FIRST EDITION of Pierre Borel's important work which contains the first full account of the invention of the telescope and microscope. It also contains Christian Huygens' preliminary announcement (in anagram form) of his discovery of the rings of Saturn (and of the Saturnian moon, Titan) three years before it was announced in Systema saturnium (see lot 542).
Borel, physician to the King of France, was an active collector of rarities, plants, antiquities, and minerals, as well as manuscripts and books of the Hermetic philosophers or chemists. In this work he presents evidence to show that Zacharias Janssen and Hans Lipperhey, both spectacle-makers in Middelburg, Holland, were the first inventors of the telescope, in that order. He gives a detailed history of the telescope from the earliest times up to Galileo, Descartes, Metius and numerous others.
Borel was the first to apply microscopy to medicine, and the second part of the book is devoted to microscopic observations. It also gives a full account of the construction of telescopes and microscopes and discusses ways to grind lenses for both these instruments. A VERY FINE COPY. Garrison-Morton 261; NLM/Krivatsy 1569; Wellcome II, p. 204; Norman 268.