1557 Annuli Astronomici, Instrumenti cum Certissimi... Peter Beausard. Paris. Astronomy. Illustrated.


A well-illustrated 16th century astronomy work; Beausard collected the works of many 16th century scientists/authors on the proper use of instruments, mainly the astrolabe, to find distances, elevations, latitudes, times of day, lengths of day, season, constellations, etc..

This is the second edition (1557), expanded and with additional (and better executed) plates, the first edition being in 1553.

Beausard drew on (and gave credit on the title page to) Gemma Frisius, Johann Dryander, Joannes Regiomontanus, Latus Bonetus, Burkhard Mithob and Oronce Fine.

With many woodcuts, and handsome typographic devices, like 8-line inhabited initials, a handsome work. It includes eight treatises on the astrolabe. There are also tables in the text, for finding time-of-year, constellations in the sky, etc..

It is found in Adams bibliography of 16th century books, as A-1169, and found in Houzeau and Lancaster's Bibliographie Generale de l'Astronomie as entry 2589.

About the Author -

"Molanus and Valère André, confine themselves to praising, in concise terms, the reputation acquired (by Beausard) as a Hellenist, mathematician and professor of Alma Mater of the former University of Leuven." - National Biography of Belgium

Provenance -

The Bodleian holds a book with the "jo. Delphini" at the front, which they contribute to Giovanni Antonio Delphini (Incunable ID J-215), although no image is available; somewhat poignant as both Beausard and Delphini died of the plague at roughly the same time. "jo. Delphini" is affixed to quite a few incunable and 16th century books of quality, a quick search reveals. The signature at bottom of our title page matches that written on a 16th century title page help in the Universidad D'Salamanca Historica library, and attributed to Johannes Delphinus (shelf mark BG / 4195 (2)), but he has no associated biography. The image is available for review (search for - "Delphinus, Johannes", "Firmas Y Rubricas").

About the Printer -

"Guilliuame Cavellat established himself as the foremost Parisian printer specializing in mathematical and astronomical works between the late 1540s and 1563... Sacrobosco, Gemma Frisius, Apianus, Fine, Stoeffler and Maurolico are among the authors who make up a sizable fraction of the printer's output... most of these books are octavos... presumably meeting a university-textbook market of the sort that manifested itself already...".

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 16.5 x 12 x 2.5 cm, 8to. Vellum over boards binding, with a title in gilt on morocco label to the spine, and a call-number at the base of the spine in an old-hand. All edges blue. Marbled endpapers. Green place keeping ribbon. Pages- 8, 159, (1). Collation - A8, v8 (but v8 blank).

Condition -

See pictures. Possibly 19th century vellum with some signs of wear, but overall in great condition; a little soiling, a little chipping at edge of label (possibly from older binding), shelf number in old-hand at bottom of spine, place-keeping ribbon still connected at top-edge (rare). Marbled endpapers with some wear, especially at edges of vellum turn-ins. Many bookseller (and library?) notes in graphite at verso of flyleaf, and 1st blank endpaper, "Paris", "S2410", "P104", "BL159S", etc..

Some foxing and toning throughout. Blue wash around edges bled into pages just slightly. Title page with "io: Delphini-" at bottom margin. Notes on rear of title page "re ad 30046", "1921/47" and a square stamp, difficult to read (square, "JHJ?"). Occasional thumb mark and dog-eared page. Small ink spot gutter margin of 59. 3 cm tear on rear blank (signature v8). More pencil marks notes on recto of rear flyleaf.

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