1564 Del Modo di Misurare, Cosimo Bartoli. Sanese, Venice. Woodcuts.


An opportunity to own a cost-effective working copy of this 1st edition treatise on surveying/measuring. This is an excellent copy for study and working with; it's not a perfect copy, but it's very usable with a good binding, excellent illustrations and paper that isn't brittle. If kept well, it's ready for centuries more of use. In this price range, it's one of the best illustrated science works you can come across from this time period; cleaner copies sell for twice this (see Vialibri). This book is a pleasure to peruse with interesting woodcuts on most of the pages.

About the Work -

A key work in expanding the use of the quadrant to include topographical concerns. Bartoli, in the first section, calls on Euclid and Captain Francesco de Medici as sources.

"Four out of the six books... are based on the Protomathesis, but Bartoli also consulted the works of other contemporaries, men such as Gemma Frisius." (Cosimo Bartoli: The Career..., Judith Bryce, p. 180)

Book 1 - Measurement of heights, depths, distances.

Book 2 and 3 - Plane and solid geometry

Book 4 - Cartographical surveying

"His measuring instrument, a combination of compass and astrolabe (and an ancestor of the theodolite), is roughly on the lines of that described by Gemma..."

"Bartoli seems to envisaged a varied readership... The subject of mensuration was one in which educated gentlemen and stuidiosi (students) could be expected to take an interest, and it was largely for the benefit of these readers that Book V, with its Euclidean proofs was added... In short, (it) may be considered as contributing not only to the all-round education of the Renaissance dilettante but also specifically to the contemporary Florentine scene." (Bryce, 181)

"Cosimo Bartoli (December 20, 1503 in Florence – October 25, 1572) was an Italian diplomat, mathematician, philologist, and humanist. He worked and lived in Rome and Florence and took minor orders. He was a friend of architect and writer Giorgio Vasari, and helped him to get his Vite ready for publication." - Wikipedia

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 22 x 17 x 2.5 cm. Vellum binding. Three raised bands to spine; author, title and year on spine in an old hand. Missing title page and portrait of author (first two leaves); title page provided in facsimile. Well-illustrated, with many woodcut examples. Also, some decorative initials and head/tailpieces. Quadratic tables. Two fold-outs at the rear.

Pages - (facsimile title) a3, a4, 1-141 (leaves paginated each), Nn2-4, two fold-outs

Collation - (facsimile title), a3-4, A-Z4, Aa-Nn4

Condition -

See pictures. Binding worn with edge, band and corner wear, some marks, etc.; author/title/year in an old-hand on spine. Bibliographic notes on paste-down and flyleaf; flyleaf repaired with 2" square paper repair. Some toning, moisture marks, thumbing, occasional chipped page edge, thumb, ink and fox spot throughout; it is functioning well as a book, but it has been well-used. Title page and following page (a frontis illustration) missing; title page replaced with a facsimile, on wove paper (from the Google scanned online copy), bound-in. Marginal annotations, markings in a brown graphite throughout. Repaired 2" tear bottom of 9. Occasional in-fill of illustrations in older ink. Chip bottom corner of 52. Math on verso of 68. 114 corner dog-eared. Ink (or tea?) spots on 140 and facing page. Some damage along folds of rear foldouts. Worm-tracks on rear pastedown. Some of the spots might be old mold spots, not ink, hard to tell, but the book is very dry now without signs of living mold.

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