ISACCHI, Giovanni Battista (b.1536?). Inventioni nelle quali si manifestano varij secreti, & utili auisi a persone di guerra. Parma: Seth Viotto, 1579.
4° (200 x 145mm). Woodcut printer's device on title, larger device at end, 18 woodcut historiated initials, numerous small foliated and grotesque woodcut initials and tailpieces, type ornaments, 43 woodcuts, including the arms of the dedicatee, Cornelio Bentivoglio, portrait of the author, two full-page devices and 39 full-page blocks, three signed 'CR'. (Very light dampstaining at end.) Contemporary vellum wrappers, early 20th-century navy half morocco gilt. Provenance: a few contemporary corrections; inscription dated 1626 on front flyleaf, 'Coute amoy dachelan 1626 3 ll. tourtoard?'; Claude Pellot (1619-1683), first president of the Parlement de Rouen, 1669 (inscription on title-page).
A FINE FIRST EDITION of this rare work containing over 50 inventions and 'secrets' connected with weapons, firearms, fireworks and mechanical contraptions. Many of the machines shown relate to the art of warfare, but others are for industrial, surveying or even leisure purposes. Perhaps most remarkable are the 'recipes' for fireworks intended for both recreational and military use. Also of note is the principle behind the modern-day telegraph. Isacchi, born at Reggio Emilia, was an engineer and is recorded as being in charge of the decorations for festivals in Bologna, Mantua, Novellara and Reggio. In 1596 he became chief artilleryman for Duke Alfonso II of Mantua. His text is interspersed with addresses to illustrious persons to whom the inventions are dedicated. Adams, I-190; Brunet, III, 460-1; Cockle, Military Books, 547; Mortimer/Harvard Italian, 242; Riccardi I (1) 651.