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method-draw-image (23)

Camera Work: Numbers 13, 14, 15, 16 (plus Steichen Supplement)

STIEGLITZ, ALFRED INSCRIBED FIRST EDITIONS IN A PRESENTATION BINDING WITH ORIGINAL WRAPPERS BOUND-IN. AN IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION COPY, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY ALFRED STIEGLITZ TO J.B. KERFOOT: "To my friend J.B. Kerfoot who has so kindly helped me in making this volume what it is. Alfred Stieglitz. Dec 25/06." A set of the five issues for 1916 (including the Steichen Supplement), complete with all the plates including: -Number 13, January 1906, with three plates by Hugo Henneberg, four by Heinrich Kuhn, five by Hans Watzek; a Steichen poster for the Photo-Secession; text by F. Mathies-Masuren, Kuhn, Watzek, Charles Caffin, F.H. Evans, Kerfoot, and others. -Number 14, April 1906, with nine plates by Edward Steichen, four reproduced photographs by Stieglitz (on two plates) of exhibitions at 291, magnificent Steichen "Cover Design"; text by George Bernard Shaw, Kerfoot, and others. -Special Steichen Supplement, April 1906, with sixteen plates by Steichen; text by Maurice Maeterlinck. -Number 15, July 1906, with five plates by Alvin Langdon Coburn, one by Shaw, one by Steichen (his remarkable "Experiment in Three-Color Photography"), two by George Henry Seeley; text by Caffin, Roland Rood, Shaw, Kerfoot, and others. -Number 16, October 1906, with seven plates by Robert Demachy, three by C. (Emile Joachim Constant) Puyo, two by René LeBégue; text by Demachy, Caffin, Kerfoot, and others. On the recipient, J.B. Kerfoot: Kerfoot was an associate editor and a major contributor to Camera Work. "Next to Hartmann, the most frequent contributors in the magazine's first two pioneering years were Caffin, proofreader Dallett Fuguet, and columnist J.B. Kerfoot" (Sadarichi Hartmann, The Valiant Knights of Daguerre: Selected Critical Essays on Photography and Profiles of Photographic Pioneers). Kerfoot was an important figure in Stieglitz's career. In addition to being an important early collaborator, he later played a key role in helping Stieglitz obtain financial backing for Stieglitz's famed Gallery 291. "Before opening the gallery I called in my friend, J.B. Kerfoot, a literary critic of Life, when the original Life was still in its hey-day. I hadn't a cent of my own. My little capital I had blown in on the Photo-Secession and Camera Work and the like. I told Kerfoot I'd like to have a fund of twelve hundred dollars, five hundred to pay the rent, seven hundred dollars for light and printing and other overheard. So he invited George D. Pratt of the Standard Oil, who was interested in photography, and Herbert G. French, treasurer of Proctor and Gamble, who was a member of the Photo-Secession., his brother-in-law, Hunter, a collector of rare Japanese prints and early American glass, a wealthy man, married but without children, and, naturally, Haviland and one or two other people. It was all very impromptu and unofficial." (Alfred Stieglitz, Civil Liberties and the Arts: Selections from Twice a Year, 1938-48). New York: Alfred Stieglitz, 1906. 5 complete issues, including works by Stieglitz, Kuehn, Steichen, Coburn, Seeley et al. Thick quarto, custom presentation binding of stamped suede (with "CW" on front cover) over boards, with original wrappers bound-in. Housed is spectacular custom box by noted book artist Sjoerd Hofstra. Occasional scattered foxing (mostly to tissue margins). Hinges tender, cloth cover partially detached at upper spine, minor wear to extremities. Plates in general in outstanding condition. A SUPERB PRESENTATION VOLUME WITH MAGNIFICENT PHOTOGRAVURES. Seude over boards with original wrappers bound-in
Illuminated Manuscript Leaf: Large leaf with miniature of the Coronation of the Virgin from a French Book of Hours

Illuminated Manuscript Leaf: Large leaf with miniature of the Coronation of the Virgin from a French Book of Hours

ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT] AN UNUSUALLY LARGE LEAF FROM A LATE 15TH-CENTURY FRENCH BOOK OF HOURS WITH A MINIATURE OF THE CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN WITH SUPERB COLOR AND IN PARTICULARLY FINE CONDITION. An unusually large (7.25 x 4.75 inches; 185 x 120 mm) leaf from a late 15th-century French Book of Hours with superb color and in particularly fine condition depicting the Coronation of the Virgin. The recto features a miniature of a kneeling Mary, dressed in a blue robe with gold highlights, receiving the crown of heaven from an angel with blue wings. Before her is Christ in a light-colored gilt-decorated robe holding a cross and blessing Mary. The background features rich colors with gold highlights and the miniature itself is surrounded by a detailed foliate border over a base of gold with a winged butterfly-like creature on the right border. The text at the base of the miniature begins with a large three-line illuminated "C" containing white flowers on a gold background introducing the text: "Converte nos deus salutaris noster. Et averte iram tuam a nobis." ["Convert us, O God our Savior. And turn away Thy wrath from us."] The text also features a one-line illuminated "E" as well as an illuminated end-spacer. The verso contains 21 lines of text (the first four verses of Psalm 128) with two two-line illuminated initials, six one-line illuminated initials, and additional illuminated spacers with a wide floral border on the left. Stylistically, the leaf appears to be from Rouen, France, c.1490. Size: 7.25 x 4.75 inches / 185 x 120 mm. Miniature: 4.5 x 2.75 in / 117 x 70 mm. Handsomely framed with a linen matte to an overall size of approx. 9x12 inches. A MAGNIFICENT, UNUSUALLY LARGE LEAF IN FINE CONDITION WITH EXCEPTIONALLY VIVID COLORS.
Send-Brieven

Send-Brieven, Zoo aan de Hooge Edele Heeren van de Koninklyke Societeit te Londen, Als aan andere Aansienelyke en Geleerde Lieden , Over verscheyde Verborgentheden der Natuure. [Letters Sent to the Noble Gentlemen of the Royal Society in London and other Distinguished and Learned People Concerning Various Mysteries of Nature .]

LEEUWENHOEK, ANTONI VAN THE FIRST COMPLETE COLLECTION OF THE 165 LETTERS OF ANTONI VAN LEEUWENHOEK THAT WERE PUBLISHED IN HIS LIFETIME (IN THE ORIGINAL DUTCH, AND PRECEDING THE FIRST COMPLETE LATIN EDITION BY FOUR YEARS); INCLUDING HIS LETTERS TO THE ROYAL SOCIETY DESCRIBING THE FIRST-EVER OBSERVATIONS OF BACTERIA, SPERM CELLS, AND OTHER MICROSCOPIC OBJECTS AND PHENOMENA. Antoni van Leeuwenhoek - a seventeenth-century Dutch draper, municipal official, and amateur scientist - became skilled in the construction of simple (single-lens) microscopes, which he used to observe the "mysteries of nature." He described his observations in some two hundred letters to the Royal Society of London spanning a period of more than 45 years, of which 165 were published during his lifetime. The work offered here is the first collected edition of those letters, published when Leeuwenhoek was in his 80s. Leeuwenhoek's Life: Leeuwenhoek was born in the town of Delft in the Dutch Republic on October 24, 1632. His biographer and bibliographer, Clifford Dobell, states that "[a]ll the trustworthy evidence now available . shows that [he] was a true Hollander of decent though not of aristocratic descent - a child of fairly well-to-do tradespeople." (Dobell, Antony van Leeuwenhoek and his 'Little Animals': Being Some Account of the Father of Protozoology & Bacteriology and his Multifarious Discoveries in These Disciplines (1932).) He had a few early years of schooling, did not attend a university, and never learned Latin or, indeed, any language other than Dutch. "In 1648 . [he] was sent to Amsterdam . He was there placed in a linen-draper's shop, in order to learn the business; and in a very short time he qualified himself as a draper and rose to the position of book-keeper and cashier - a post which he held for several years at least. . About six years after his first apprenticeship in Amsterdam, Leeuwenhoek returned to his native town: and here, for the rest of his days, he remained." He married in 1654, and at about that time "bought a house and shop in Delft, and set up business as a draper." (Dobell, op. cit.) "It is probable that Leeuwenhoek carried on his drapery business for many years - from the time of his first marriage (1654) onwards. We have no direct information about him again, however, until six years later, when he was made Chamberlain to the Sheriffs of Delft. He held this post for 39 years ." ( Id.) While holding the post of Chamberlain, he also acquired other municipal appointments - as a surveyor, a tax official, and a "wine-gauger" (in which capacity he was responsible for quality control and accurate representation of volume for wines and spirits imported into Delft). Leeuwenhoek was a contemporary of the artist Johannes Vermeer, who was born on the same day as him and who also lived in Delft. Vermeer "was buried in his native town on 15 December 1675 at the early age of 43, leaving his widow with eight children (all under age), an insolvent estate, and some of the world's finest pictures. To meet her creditors Catharina Vermeer was forced to file a petition in bankruptcy and realize her assets: whereupon . the Sheriffs nominated Leeuwenhoek to act as 'curator' or 'official receiver.'" (Dobell, op cit.) Although it has been suggested that Leeuwenhoek's role in the administration of Vermeer's estate was merely a responsibility associated with his position as Chamberlain, Dobell notes that "[t]o me the incident appears rather to indicate that Leeuwenhoek may have been a personal friend of the Vermeers ." The links between the work of Leeuwenhoek and Vermeer are explored in Laura J. Snyder, Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing (2015), which ties Leeuwenhoek's microscopy with Vermeer's (conjectured) use of a camera obscura in creating his paintings. Snyder notes: "The transformation of scientific ideas . now associated with the Scientific Revolution came about in large part because of the new optical instruments, the new theories that provided the groundwork for using them, and the startling ability to see beyond what was available to the naked eye. For the first time the question of how we see assumed a central place in science, and what it meant, precisely to see, was radically reconceived. And in the midst of this upheaval of thought, science and art came together in a small city in the Dutch Republic to shed light on what it really meant to see the world around us. . "It is tempting to speculate that Vermeer and Leeuwenhoek must have known each other, that they must have been friends who talked together about lenses and optical experiments. There is an intricate web of threads that draws them together - they were born the same week in 1632, the lived and worked their entire adult lives within the area of an American football field, they had friends in common, and, most telling of all perhaps, when Vermeer died, Leeuwenhoek was the executor of his estate. But there is no 'smoking gun' proving conclusively that they were friends or even acquaintances. What we do know of the two men is intriguing enough without engaging in conjecture, no matter how agreeable it is to imagine them discussing optics and optical instruments over a beer in Vermeer's family's tavern. The true allure of the story of their lives and works is the way both men played key roles in the sea change in the notion of seeing that occurred in this time and place." ------------ It is not clear how Leeuwenhoek became interested in microscopy. It has been speculated that he began constructing microscopes in order to better examine the quality of the linen cloth that he purchased and sold. However, Edward G. Ruestow, in his book The Microscope in the Dutch Republic: The Shaping of Discovery (Cambridge 1996), suggests that "[i]t would not have been out of character had Leeuwenhoek originally been more intrigued by the technical challenge of making the instruments than by any thought yet of their seriou
Antlitz der Zeit [The Face of Our Time]

Antlitz der Zeit [The Face of Our Time]

SANDER, AUGUST FIRST EDITION OF SANDER'S CLASSIC: A REMARKABLE COPY IN EXTREMELY RARE DUST JACKET AND SLIPCASE. August Sander "was part of a coterie of photographers who established the photographic book as an aesthetically and commercially viable art form in the 1920s. Though Sander had published one such book in 1924, Unsere Heimat, Hannover, it was the 1929 publication of Antlitz der Zeit (The Face of Our Time) that propelled him into enduring fame" (Warren, Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography). "Many of his classic images are included in this seminal photobook, and the essential qualities of Sander's vision can be seen. He took typical examples of professions, trades and social classes in Weimar Germany, and photographed them in their familiar environments in order to build up, piece by piece, a dispassionate image of the 'face' of society. One of his work's miracles is how, despite his nominal objectivity, his political view shines through. His work is not neutral. It is not just penetrating, but was seen as positively dangerous, a little too acute in its analysis of society and class, by those with certain vested interests. This is made clear by the fact that when the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, publisher's copies of Antlitz der Zeit were seized, the plates destroyed, and the negatives confiscated by Hitler's Ministry of Culture" (Parr and Badger, The Photobook, I.124). Roth 52. With rare subscription sheet promoting Sander's "Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts" ["People of the 20th Century"] laid-in. Munchen: Transmare Verlag/Kurt Wolff Verlag, 1929. Quarto, original yellow cloth, original dust jacket, original slipcase; custom box. Dust jacket in exceptional condition, with very light occasional spotting, small chip at spine head, in general very clean. Scarce original slipcase with only light toning at edges and few small spots. EXCEEDINGLY RARE IN DUST JACKET AND SLIPCASE AND IN SUCH OUTSTANDING CONDITION. THE FINEST COPY WE'VE SEEN. original cloth, original dust jacket, original slipcase
Ueber die Bestimmung des Inhaltes eines Polyëders (1865). WITH: Theorie der elementaren Verwandtschaft (1863) [The Möbius Strip]

Ueber die Bestimmung des Inhaltes eines Polyëders (1865). WITH: Theorie der elementaren Verwandtschaft (1863) [The Möbius Strip]

MÖBIUS, AUGUST FERDINAND FIRST EDITIONS (JOURNAL ISSUES IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS) OF TWO LANDMARK PAPERS IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF TOPOLOGY, IN WHICH IN WHICH, AMONG OTHER THINGS, MÖBIUS DESCRIBED THE MÖBIUS STRIP, DEFINED THE TOPOLOGICAL CONCEPTS NOW KNOWN AS GENUS AND ORIENTABILITY, AND SHOWED THAT ALL CLOSED ORIENTABLE SURFACES OF A PARTICULAR GENUS ARE TOPOLOGICALLY EQUIVALENT TO EACH OTHER. The two papers offered here contain three key discoveries that pioneered the branch of mathematics known as topology. 1. The Möbius Strip. "Möbius first described the 'Möbius band' in a paper presented to the Paris Academy in 1861 as an entry to a competition on the theme 'Improve in some important point the geometric theory of polyhedra.' Möbius's paper, written in bad French and containing many new ideas, was not understood by the jury, and like the other papers submitted to the competition, was not awarded the prize. The content of this paper was later published by Möbius in [the two articles offered here]." (Kolmogorov, Andrei N. and Adolf-Andrei P. Yushkevich, Mathematics in the 19th Century: Geometry, Analytic Function Theory (vol. 2) (1996), at 101.) Möbius's notebooks make it clear that he discovered the Möbius strip in 1858, and as noted above he first described it in his unpublished submission to the Paris Academy in 1861. However, he did not publish the discovery until the 1865 paper listed here. Although the Möbius strip will forever bear his name, the mathematician Johann Listing beat him to the actual discovery (two months before Möbius), and to the publication of the discovery. "Working independently, Listing first 'encountered' the surface in July 1858 and published his findings in 1861. However, Möbius seems to have taken the concept a bit farther than Listing by more closely exploring the concept of orientability as it relates to Möbius-like surfaces." (Clifford A. Pickover, The Möbius Strip: Dr. August Möbius's Marvelous Band in Mathematics, Games, Literature, Art, Technology, and Cosmology (2007), at 28-29.) "It is an accident of history that Möbius's name is remembered because of a topological party-piece. But it was typical that Möbius should notice a simple fact that anyone could have done in the previous two thousand years - and typical that nobody did, apart from the simultaneous and independent discovery by Listing." (Ian Stewart, "Möbius's Modern Legacy," in John Fauvel, et al., eds, Möbius and His Band: Mathematics and Astronomy in Nineteenth-Century German (1993).) "[T]he Möbius strip is the ultimate metaphor for something simple, yet profound - something anyone could have discussed centuries prior to its discovery, but didn't. The Möbius strip is a metaphor for magic and mystery, and a perpetual icon that stimulates us to dream new dreams and look for depths even in seemingly shallow waters." (Pickover, op. cit., at 197.) 2. Classification of surfaces. In the 1863 paper, Möbius discussed the classification of closed orientable surfaces in terms of what is now known in topology as their "genus," and showed that any two surfaces of the same genus have "elementaren Verwandtschaften" ("elementary relationships") to each other. (Roughly, "genus" refers to the number of holes in a surface; thus, a spherical surface has a genus of zero and a toroidal surface (donut shape) has a genus of one - as, for that matter, does a coffee cup (the handle is the "hole").) Möbius' theory of "elementary relationships" was the origin of the modern concept of "homeomorphism" - a fundamental idea in topology. Two surfaces are said to be homeomorphic if one can be converted to each other by any strictly continuous process of stretching or bending, avoiding discontinuous processes such as tearing the surface or punching a hole in it. (Imagine pressing a dimple into a donut made of clay, and then enlarging the dimple and shrinking the hole so as to create a coffee cup.) "The classification of compact surfaces was 'known,' in some sense, by the end of the nineteenth century. Möbius and Jordan offered proofs . in the 1860s. Möbius's paper is quite interesting; in fact, he used a Morse-theoretic approach . The main interest in Jordan's attempt is in showing how the work of an outstanding mathematician can appear nonsensical a century later." (Morris W. Hirsch, Differential Topology (1997), at 188.) 3. Orientability. In the 1865 paper, Möbius defined the concept of the orientability of a surface in terms of whether the surface can be covered with polygons such as triangles, with each polygon assigned a direction of rotation (clockwise or counterclockwise around the vertices) such that the direction of rotation is the same for any two adjacent polygons. (An equivalent idea would be to assign arrows pointing perpendicular to the surface to each small region of the surface, such that adjacent arrows point in the same direction.) He identified the Möbius strip as an example of a non-orientable surface. (Try making a Möbius strip and decorating it with arrows in the way suggested above. It can't be done - at some point on the strip arrows pointing in opposite directions will meet.) "In fact, Möbius did rather more [in his 1865 paper] than just give a description of the [Möbius] band. His major contribution was to explain how to describe one-sidedness in a way which is independent of intuitive notions. Indeed, his idea was so fundamental that mathematicians still use it as a definition of non-orientability." (Fauvel, at 108.) IN: Berichte der Königlichen Sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig 17 (1865), pp. 31-68 and ibid., 15 (1863), pp. 18-57. Leipzig: Hirzel, 1864; 1866. Octavo, original wrappers. 1865/1866 issue with crease to back wrapper, a little soiling and occasional light foxing; 1863/1864 issue fine. Text largely unopened. Outstanding copies. EXTREMELY RARE IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS. Note: A custom box is available for an additional $250.
Acta Philosophica Societatis Regiae in Anglia (6 vol.

Acta Philosophica Societatis Regiae in Anglia (6 vol., 1672-1681) [Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society]

OLDENBURG, HENRY (ED.); CHRISTOPH SAND (TRANS.) FIRST LATIN EDITION - PREPARED FOR DISTRIBUTION IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE - OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY, THE WORLD'S FIRST SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL AND A KEY VEHICLE FOR THE PROMOTION OF EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCE AND THE DISSEMINATION OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES. EXTREMELY RARE COMPLETE SET IN SIX VOLUMES. From the time it was created at a 1660 meeting attended by a dozen academics and interested amateurs at Gresham College in London following a lecture by Christopher Wren, the Royal Society of London was devoted to an observational and experimental approach to unlocking the secrets of nature. "[T]he demonstration, sponsorship, discussion, and promotion of experimental learning was at [the Society's] heart." (Tinswood, op. cit.) The motto chosen for the Society by John Evelyn - nullius in verba (roughly, "nothing by [mere] words,") - reflected the Society's philosophy of requiring that conclusions be supported by first-hand observation and the meticulous collection and recording of data. Its Fellows and correspondents around the world devised and carried out a wide variety of investigations in geology, meteorology, astronomy, physiology, and other fields; and reported the results in the Philosophical Transactions. Some of the experiments may have been absurd or misguided by modern standards; many, however, contained the seeds of important later developments. The Transactions also provided readers with reviews of important books (for example, Hooke's Micrographia and Redi's Esperienze intorno alla Generazione degl'Insetti), and obituaries of eminent scholars. It was an essential factor in maintaining the momentum of the revolution in science that had begun some 120 years earlier with the work of Vesalius and Copernicus. The first issue of the Philosophical Transactions was published in 1665. A few years later, it occurred to the Society that it - and science - would benefit from the wider dissemination of the discoveries reported in the Transactions to the non-English-speaking countries of the Continent. The work offered here - Acta Philosophica Societatis Regiae in Anglia - was the result of that effort. Published in Amsterdam between 1672 and 1681, it provided a Latin translation - Latin then being the international language of the world's savants - of the contents of the Philosophical Transactions from 1665 through February 1671. (The annual publication cycle of the Transactions ran from March through February, since Lady Day - March 25 - was considered the official English New Year until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752.) The translations are bound here in six duodecimo volumes, each covering a one-year period. They incorporate numerous beautiful engraved plates, many of them folding. The translation is the work of Christoph Sand, an Amsterdam intellectual, editor, translator, publisher, and follower of Spinoza, who is referred to in the volumes as "C.S." "Sand was a frequent correspondent of Oldenburg's, translating. the Philosophical Transactions into Latin, which were published in Amsterdam. Sand went to considerable trouble over his translation, sending lists of queries to Oldenburg, only to be sharply criticized in a review. in the Philosophical Transactions itself. The translations then ceased." (Anna Marie Roos, The Correspondence of Dr. Martin Lister, vol 1, pp. 641. (Sand also died in 1680, which may have been the real reason the project ended.) Acta Philosophica includes articles covering a wide range of interesting and important subjects. A sampling of these is provided below, with individual articles identified by issue number, date, Latin title, and the corresponding English title. (The English titles are taken from the scans of early volumes of the Transactions that are available on the Royal Society's web site. Years are given in modern notation; i.e., treating January 1 rather than March 25 as New Year's Day.) -Issue No. 1 (March 6, 1665). "De observatione facta in Anglia, de macula quadam in aliqua Striarum Planetae Jovis" ("A Spot in one of the Belts of Jupiter") -Id. "Character nuper editus ultra mare, Excellentis Viri, non ita pridem defuncti Tolosae, ubi fuit Parlementi Consiliarus ." ("The Character, lately published beyond the Seas, of an Eminent person, not long since dead at Tholouse, where he was a Councellor of Parliament.") An obituary of Fermat. -Issue No. 2 (April 3, 1665). "Relatio M. Hookii Micrographiae, aut Physiologicarum descriptionum Minutorum Corporum, inventarum ope Telescopiorum" ("An Account of [Robert Hooke's] Micrographia, or the Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies, Made by Magnifying Glasses"). -Issue No. 6 (November 6, 1665). "De Jesuitae Kircheri Mundo Subterraneo." ("Of the Mundus Subterraneus of Athansius Kircher"). Athanasius Kircher was "an exemplary figure in understanding the transition from ancient to modern ways of thinking about the world. He was a man who immersed himself in the currents of scholarship at the height of the seventeenth century while publicly proclaiming the value of traditional learning and faith. Most importantly, he was a fascinating by-product of the Society of Jesus: a Catholic natural philosopher in the age of Galileo, Descartes, and a young Newton, a Jesuit priest whose goal was to incorporate aspects of the new natural and experimental philosophy and a fuller understanding of ancient . philosophies of knowledge into the traditional Aristotelian-Ptolemaic worldview upheld by the Catholic Church following its condemnation of heliocentrism in 1616 and the trial of Galileo in 1633. . The Mundus subterraneus (1665) was the first encyclopedia to systematically explore the forces that shaped the world below the surface, including the nature and location of volcanoes, earthquakes, ocean currents, and the formation of fossils." DSB). -Issue No. 7 (December 6, 1665). "De ortu & progressibus, modi derivandi Liquores immediate in Massam Sanguinis" ("An Account of the Rise and Attempts, o
Foirades / Fizzles

Foirades / Fizzles

JOHNS, JASPER; BECKETT, SAMUEL ONE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED ART BOOKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY: SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY JASPER JOHNS AND SAMUEL BECKETT. ONE OF ONLY 250 COPIES, (from a total edition of 300). "Two of the most enigmatic artists of our time, Samuel Beckett and Jasper Johns, collaborated on this complex yet elegant artist's book. Originally written in French., the brooding essays were rewritten in English by Beckett for this project. Nevertheless, Johns decided to include both texts that expanded his own involvement to thirty-three etchings and aquatints plus color lithograph endpapers. Johns's imagery is based on a major four-panel painting, Untitled (1972), along with his classic imagery related to numbers and body parts. This cerebral volume that provokes more questions than it answers is considered one of the greatest artists' books of the second half of the twentieth century" (Johnson and Stein, Artists' Books in the Modern Era 1870-2000). Included in the landmark 1995 Museum of Modern Art exhibit: A Century of Artists' Books. Magnificently illustrated with original prints by Johns, with the complete set of 33 etchings and aquatints in- and hors-texte, including two double pages in colors. Printed on handmade wove Auvergne Richard de Bas paper watermarked with Beckett's initials and Johns's signature. Text in both French and English by Beckett. London, Paris, New York: Editions de Minuit and Petersburg Press S.A., 1976. Oblong folio (13 x 9 3/4 in.; 330 x 247 mm), publisher's ivory wove paper binding with aquatint endpapers, bound in accordion fold around support leaves; publisher's beige linen box with purple tassel lined with colored lithograph. Printed at Atelier Crommelynck. A small amount of offsetting to text as usual, despite all tissue guards present. A MAGNIFICENT WORK IN FINE CONDITION.
On the Mechanical Performance of Logical Inference [The Logical Piano]

On the Mechanical Performance of Logical Inference [The Logical Piano]

JEVONS, WILLIAM STANLEY A LANDMARK IN COMPUTER SCIENCE: FIRST EDITION OF JEVONS'S PRESENTATION AND EXPLANATION OF HIS "LOGICAL PIANO", THE FIRST MACHINE TO SOLVE A MATHEMATICAL PROBLEM AT SUPERHUMAN SPEED. Jevons invented a "logical piano" (so named because it resembled a small upright piano) that could perform, through a sequence of switches, various types of logical calculations. In doing so, he became "the first person to construct a machine with sufficient power to solve a complicated problem faster than the problem could be solved without the machine's aid" (Goldstine, The Computer from Pascal to von Neumann ). "From his thinking on the processes of logical inference, [Jevons] developed the idea that these might be performed mechanically. As early as 1865 he was trying to build a 'reasoning machine, or logical abacus' (Papers, 4.69), which evolved through several stages into a 'logical piano' or logical machine which he demonstrated before the Royal Society in January 1870. He thought it 'quite as likely to be laughed at as admired' (Letters and Journal, 250), but it was later to be recognized as one of the forerunners of twentieth-century computers, and is preserved in the History of Science Museum at Oxford." (R.D. Collison Black, Dictionary of National Biography). "Jevons's logical piano could handle up to four terms and their negations (one per key) and provide all the possible combinations. Its operating principle was one of the most basic modes of thought, the law of duality. Given one to four terms, the machine, using this law, would expand, eliminate, those with contradictions, and churn out the conclusion. In this way, 'the actual process of logical deduction is thus reduced to a purely mechanical form, and we arrive at a machine embodying [Boole's] Laws of Thought." (Margaret Schabas, A World Ruled by Number: William Stanley Jevons and the Rise of Mathematical Economics). "On the Mechanical Performance of Logical Inference," a paper Jevons read before the Royal Society on January 20, 1870, is his most detailed description of this early prototype of the modern computer. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London for the year 1870, pp. 497-518, Vol. 160, Part II (the complete volume). London: Taylor and Francis, 1870. Quarto (9x12 inches), original wrappers, largely unopened; custom box. Complete with 26 plates (3 for Jevons). A FINE COPY.
Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass

WHITMAN, WALT SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY WALT WHITMAN TO CYRIL FLOWER; IN MAGNIFICENT CONTEMPORARY BINDING BY BIRDSALL. The Edition: "Walt Whitman is the only major American poet of the nineteenth century to have an intimate association with the art of bookmaking. Everyone knows Whitman as a poet and the author of one of the most studied books of American poetry, Leaves of Grass. What is less well known is that Whitman was trained as a printer and throughout his life spent time in printing shops and binderies, often setting type himself and always intimately involved in the design and production of his books. Whitman did not just write his book, he made his book, and he made it over and over again, each time producing a different material object that spoke to its readers in different ways. [Therefore] each edition of Leaves is essentially a different book, not just another version of the same book." (Ed Folsom, "Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman"). This edition is the first issue of the fifth edition, issued in September 1870 (but bearing an 1871 date on the title page); sometimes referred to as the "first Washington edition". Incorporating the experience of the Civil War, it was a "new and completely restructured edition. For this edition, Whitman absorbed his Drum-Taps and Sequel poems fully into the architectonics of Leaves, creating several Civil War-related clusters of poems: 'Drum-Taps' (now quite different from the book Drum-Taps), 'Marches now the War is Over,' 'Bathed in War's Perfume.' Civil War poems have now been scattered through the book, indicating Whitman's desire to make all of Leaves cohere around the experience of the war." The war represented such a point of discontinuity for Whitman that he imagined the 1871 edition to be his last: "He had absorbed the war into his book, and he felt he needed to turn to something new." Whitman, of course, ultimately would not abandon Leaves of Grass, publishing (along with re-printings) a sixth edition in 1881 and a "Deathbed Edition" of 1891-92. (Folsom, ibid). This first issue - with 1871 on the title page and without the later edition of "Passage to India" - is one of the rarest issues of Leaves of Grass. The inscription and association: Signed and inscribed in ink on the front flyleaf: "Cyril Flower from Walt Whitman, Washington, U.S.A., Dec. 1, 1870" and with Cyril Flower's bookplate on the front pastedown. Cyril Flower, 1st Baron Battersea (1843-1907), was a well-known and well-connected British politician, patron of the arts, and generally intriguing character. Known as "a man of great charm, distinguished for taste, hospitality and extravagance," Battersea married into the Rothschild family and became "very rich"; rich enough to become a major art collector and patron of important artists such as James McNeill Whistler and members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. (Dictionary of National Biography; Dictionary of Real People and Places in Fiction). The binding: Bound by the famous English bindery Birdsall & Son of Northampton (with their stamp on the front free endpaper), in luxurious, heavily gilt-decorated Spanish morocco, almost certainly commissioned by Cyril Flower (with his bookplate on the front pastedown), with morocco spine label, gilt dentelles, and all edges gilt. Washington, D.C.: [Printed for Whitman by J.S. Redfriend, New York], 1871. Octavo (approx. 5x8 inches), contemporary gilt-decorated Spanish morocco by Birdsall. With old letter from bookseller (Duttons, NY) explaining the binding and Cyril Flower association laid-in. Binding with some scuffing at joints and edges; text fine. A BEAUTIFUL, ELEGANT SIGNED AND INSCRIBED COPY OF ONE OF THE RAREST EDITIONS OF LEAVES OF GRASS.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club [The Pickwick Papers]

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club [The Pickwick Papers]

DICKENS, CHARLES. [COSWAY-STYLE BINDING] FIRST EDITION OF DICKENS'S FIRST GREAT SUCCESS: AN EXTRAORDINARY COPY CREATED FOR DICKENS'S SON, ALFRED TENNYSON DICKENS. BOUND BY SANGORSKI AND SUTCLIFFE WITH TWO MAGNIFICENT COSWAY-STYLE MINIATURES OF DICKENS AND EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH 78 ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR DRAWINGS BY KYD. ALSO WITH A SIGNED CHECK BY DICKENS. "In February 1836, just after the appearance of the two-volume Sketches by Boz, two young booksellers who were moving into publishing, Edward Chapman and William Hall, approached Dickens to write the letterpress for a series of steel-engraved plates by the popular comic artist Robert Seymour depicting the misadventures of a group of cockney sportsmen, to be published in twenty monthly numbers, each containing four plates. They offered Dickens £14 a month for the work, an 'emolument' that was, as he wrote to Catherine, 'too tempting to resist' (Letters, 1.129). He accepted the commission . but stipulated that he should be allowed to widen the scope of the proposed subject 'with a freer range of English scenes and people'. He then, he later recalled, 'thought of Mr Pickwick, and wrote the first number' ('Preface' to the Cheap Edition of Pickwick, 1847). This appeared on 31 March 1836 . On 20 April Seymour committed suicide but the publishers boldly decided to continue the series, despite disappointing initial sales. Seymour was replaced, after the brief trial of R. W. Buss, with a young artist, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), who was Dickens's main illustrator for the next twenty-three years. In recognition of the fact that Dickens was now very much the senior partner in the enterprise, the number of plates was halved, the letterpress increased from twenty-eight to thirty-two pages, and his monthly remuneration rose to £21. With the introduction of Sam Weller in the fourth number sales began to increase dramatically and soon Pickwick was the greatest publishing sensation since Byron had woken to find himself famous, as a result of the publication of the first two cantos of Childe Harold, in 1812. By the end of its run in November 1837 Dickens's monthly serial had a phenomenal circulation of nearly 40,000 and had earned the publishers £14,000." (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). On this copy: With a letter dated 21 March 1914 from the antiquarian bookseller William Harvey Miner of The Torch Press Book Shop, explaining that this copy was intended as a present for Dickens's son Alfred Tennyson Dickens. Miner writes to (presumably) another bookseller, J.H.P. Warrington, saying that although he saw this copy in London, it was not for sale then and that he recently discovered that Warrington somehow acquired it. Miner notes that he has a customer that would pay $600 "or more" for it but that "of course you [Warrington] would be justified in charging any price for it, as it is unique." Alfred Tennyson Dickens died suddenly in 1912. The letter implies that this copy was being prepared for him by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, but when he died it was likely introduced to the book market without Tennyson Dickens ever receiving it. Bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in sumptuous green gilt-decorated morocco with "C.D." in gilt beneath a gilt lion stamped on a red morocco onlay on each front board, full red-and-green morocco pastedowns with exquisite Cosway-style miniatures - of a young Dickens in volume I and an older Dickens in volume II - silk free endpapers with facsimiles of Dickens's signature in gilt in front. The miniatures are of supremely high-quality, clearly the work of a talented artist. In addition to the issued 43 engraved plates by Phiz and R. Seymour, this copy is extra-illustrated with 78 fine original watercolors by the celebrated Dickens illustrator Joseph Clayton Clarke (1857-1937), who worked under the pseudonym "Kyd". Kyd published two popular books containing reproductions of his watercolors (The Characters of Charles Dickens Pourtrayed in a Series of Original Water Colour Sketches by Kyd (1889) and Some Well Known Characters from the Works of Charles Dickens (1892) and contributed character illustrations to magazines as well as selling them directly to collectors. Six of his illustrations were issued as Royal Mail stamps in 2012 to mark the 200th anniversary of Dickens's birth. This copy also includes a cancelled check signed by Dickens (dated 1868) and an extra engraved frontispiece of Dickens by Finden (dated 1839). First edition in book form, with all plates in the early state (page numbers and no captions) but with Phiz plates replacing the suppressed Buss plates; corrected "Weller" engraved title page. Bound with half-title. London: Chapman and Hall, 1837. Two volumes. Octavo, c1910 sumptuous decorated morocco by Sangorski and Sutcliffe with Cosway-style miniatures at the front of each volume. Nearly invisible embossed owner's name on front binder's blank. A few of the engraved plates foxed (much better than usual); overall text and plates unusually clean. Bindings in nearly perfect condition. A MAGNIFICENT, UNIQUE COPY WITH KYD WATERCOLORS AND SPECTACULAR COSWAY-STYLE MINIATURES.
The differential analyzer. A new machine for solving differential equations

The differential analyzer. A new machine for solving differential equations

BUSH, VANNEVAR FIRST EDITION WITH IMPORTANT PROVENANCE OF THE FIRST REPORT ON VANNEVAR BUSH'S DIFFERENTIAL ANALYZER, THE MOST POWERFUL COMPUTING MACHINE PRIOR TO THE ELECTRONIC DIGITAL COMPUTER. "In 1930, an engineer named Vannevar Bush at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed the first modern analog computer. The Differential Analyzer, as he called it, was an analog calculator that could be used to solve certain classes of differential equations. Utilizing a complicated arrangement of gears and cams driven by steel shafts, the Differential Analyzer could obtain practical (albeit approximate) solutions to problems which up to that point had been prohibitively difficult. The Differential Analyzer was a great success; it and various copies located at other laboratories were soon employed in solving diverse engineering and physics problems" (Britannica). The "challenge of linking together multiple integrators was not mastered until 1931, when an MIT engineering professor, Vannevar Bush-remember his name, for he is a key character in this book-was able to build the world's first analog electrical-mechanical computer. He dubbed his machine a Differential Analyzer. It consisted of six wheel-and-disk integrators, not all that different from Lord Kelvin's, that were connected by an array of gears, pulleys, and shafts rotated by electric motors. It helped that Bush was at MIT; there were a lot of people around who could assemble and calibrate complex contraptions. The final machine, which was the size of a small bedroom, could solve equations with as many as eighteen independent variables. Over the next decade, versions of Bush's Differential Analyzer were replicated at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and Manchester and Cambridge universities in England. They proved particularly useful in churning out artillery firing tables-and in training and inspiring the next generation of computer pioneers" (Isaacson, The Innovators). Provenance: From the library of the publisher, the Franklin Institute; also the OCC ("Origins of Cyberspace") copy, sold at Christie's in 2005. In: Journal of the Franklin Institute 212 (July-December 1931): 447-88. Octavo, green cloth with "Franklin Institute" blind-stamped on front board. The complete volume 212 (pages 1-816), complete with general title and index. Very light wear to binding; text fine. A milestone in computer history. RARE.
An essay towards solving a problem in the Doctrine of Chances

An essay towards solving a problem in the Doctrine of Chances

BAYES, THOMAS FIRST EDITION of Thomas Bayes's extremely influential work on the concept of "inverse probability", the basis of modern statistical inference. . ''Bayes, a Nonconformist minister, published only two works during his lifetime: Divine Benefits (1731), a religious treatise; and Introduction to the Doctrine of Fluxions (1736), in which he responded to Bishop Berkeley's attack on the logical foundations of Newton's calculus. For the latter work he was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1742. In 1763, two years after Bayes's death, Richard Price, a fellow Nonconformist minister, economist, and actuary to whom Bayes had bequeathed his papers, found Bayes's Essay and submitted it to the Royal Society for publication. The arguments in Bayes's paper were adopted by Laplace, who saw in them the basis for statistical inference; they were later challenged by George Boole in his Laws of Thought. "Bayes's Essay contains the first statement of Bayes's Theorem for calculating 'inverse probabilities', which forms the basis for methods of decision analysis, statistical learning machines, and Bayesian networks. Bayesian networks are complex diagrams that organise the body of knowledge in any given area by mapping out cause-and-effect relationships among key variables and encoding them with numbers that represent the extent to which one variable is likely to affect another. Programmed into computers, these systems can automatically generate optimal predictions or decisions even when key pieces of information are missing. Bayesian or subjective decision theory is arguably the most comprehensive theory of decision-making; however, until the late 1980s, it had little impact due to the stupefying complexity of the mathematics involved. The rapid advances in computing power and the development of key mathematical equations during the late 1980s and early 1990s made it possible to compute Bayesian networks with enough variables to be useful in practical applications" (Hook & Norman). With the advent of the Internet, Bayesian networks have been applied extensively to fundamental search structures. "Search giant Google and Autonomy, a company that sells information retrieval tools, both employ Bayesian principles to provide likely (but technically never exact) results to data searches. Researchers are also using Bayesian models to determine correlations between specific symptoms and diseases, create personal robots, and develop artificially intelligent devices that 'think' by doing what data and experience tell them to do" (Michael Kanellos, "18th-century theory is new force in computing"). Only one other mathematical contribution of Bayes has come down to us, which appears on pp. 269-71. It is referred to by Price on p. 401 of the Essay in connection with the evaluation of factorials needed for the second rule. In this paper Bayes considers the series for log n! given by Stirling and de Moivre. He makes the important observation that "at length the subsequent terms of this series are greater than the preceding ones, and increase in infinitum, and therefore the whole series can have no ultimate value whatsoever" (p. 270). This was contrary to de Moivre's view that the series "converged, but slowly". Bayes was, in fact, the first to appreciate the asymptotic character of Stirling's series: there is now an extensive theory of such 'asymptotic series'. Extracted from: Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LIII (for the year 1763), pp. 370-418. London: L. Davis and C. Reymers, Printers to the Royal Society, 1764. Quarto, an extract of the Bayes paper. WITH: A Letter from the late Reverend Mr. Thomas Bayes, F.R.S. to John Canton (Read Nov. 24, 1763), pp. 269-271 following the "Essay" (although it originally appeared before the "Essay"). With volume title attached at front. Housed in custom box. A vew pages with some mild browning; text generally fine. RARE.
Experimenta circa Effectum

Experimenta circa Effectum, etc. Expériences sur l’effet du conflict électrique sur l’aiguille animantée

ØRSTED [OERSTED], HANS CHRISTIAN ONE OF THE FIRST TRANSLATIONS OF ØRSTED'S FAMOUS AND UNOBTAINABLE LATIN PAMPHLET ON THE DISCOVERY OF ELECTROMAGNETISM, PUBLISHED IN THE FOLLOWING MONTH IN FRANCE, AND IMPORTANT FOR ITS CONNECTION TO AMPÈRE'S EXTENSIONS OF ØRSTED'S RESEARCH ON ELECTROMAGNETIC PHENOMENA. A MAGNIFICENT COPY IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS. In July of 1820 the Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted announced his discovery that a magnetized needle could be deflected by an electric current. The discovery created a sensation among European savants, and shortly thereafter Ampère extended Ørsted's work by showing, among other things, that parallel current-carrying wires repelled or attracted one another, depending upon the whether the two currents were in the same or opposite directions. A little over a decade later, Faraday showed that moving magnets could induce an electrical current in nearby conducting wires, and by 1865 Maxwell had developed a complete quantitative theory of the relationship between electricity and magnetism. It was Ørsted's discovery that provided the first hint of such a relationship - a relationship that both stimulated the development of Einstein's special theory of relativity and is now understood as a necessary consequence of that theory. As Nobel Prize winner Edward M. Purcell observed, "Whether the ideas of special relativity could have evolved in the absence of a complete theory of the electromagnetic field is a question for the historian of scientist to speculate about; probably it can't be answered. We can only say that the actual history shows rather plainly a path running from Ørsted's compass needle to Einstein's postulates." Edward M. Purcell and David J. Morin, "Electricity and Magnetism", 3d edition (Cambridge Univ. Pr. 2013). Ørsted's discoveries were first described sometime between July 10 and 14, 1820, in a little-read Danish literary and intellectual journal, Danske Litteratur-Tidende; and were subsequently described in more detail in a Latin pamphlet dated July 21, 1820, with the title Experimenta circa effectum conflictus electrici in acun magneticam, which was privately distributed to a carefully selected set of leaders of the European scientific community. The Latin pamphlet is now a famously unobtainable rarity. However, shortly after it was issued it was translated into the principal languages of western Europe and as a result became known to a wider audience. Bern Dibner describes these translations as "almost simultaneous" (B. Dibner, "Oersted and the Discovery of Electromagnetism" (1961)), and we have been unable to establish any priority between them - except that the English version in the Annals of Philosophy, not published until October, appears to have been the laggard. (Facsimiles of these translations of Experimenta circa effectum ., including one into Danish, are provided in Absalon Larsen, "La Découverte de L'Électromagnétisme Faite en 1820 par J.-C. Oersted", published in 1920 to commemorate the centennial of the discovery.) However, the French translation offered here was certainly among the first, and moreover is important because France was the location of the earliest most important extensions of Ørsted's work, by Ampère. Ørsted's paper describes his experiments on what he described in the original Latin version as "Electricitate, Galvanismo et Magnetismo" - electricity, galvanism, and magnetism. At the time, "[e]lectricity meant electrostatics; galvanism referred to the effects produced by continuous currents from batteries, a subject opened up by Galvani's chance discovery and the subsequent experiments of Volta; [and] magnetism dealt with the already ancient lore of lodestones, compass needles, and the terrestrial magnetic field. It seemed clear to some that there must be a relation between galvanic currents and electric charge, although there was little more direct evidence than the fact that both could cause shocks. On the other hand, magnetism and electricity appeared to have nothing whatever to do with one another." Purcell, op. cit. "[E]lectricity and magnetism were generally thought of [in the early 19th century] as completely disconnected phenomena. Their causes and effects were utterly different: electrification required a violent action and implied violent effects such as sparks and thunder, whereas magnetism seemed a very quiet force. The magnetizing effect of thunder, which had long been known, was regarded as a secondary effect of mechanical or thermal origin." Oliver Darrigol, "Electrodynamics from Ampère to Einstein" (Oxford Univ. Pr. 2000). Ørsted, however thought that there might be a connection between the two phenomena. He was an adherent of a philosophical position known as Naturphilosophie, which grew out of certain Romantic and idealist strains in German philosophy, and which held that "there is an eternal and unchanging law of nature, proceeding from the Absolute, from which all laws governing natural phenomena and forces derive." Oxford English Dictionary. As early as 1812, Ørsted had proposed "that experiments with galvanic electricity should be made to find out 'whether electricity in its most latent state has any action on a magnet,'" a proposal that derived from his "belief in the unity of the chemical, thermal, electrical and magnetic forces of nature, a belief showing the influence of Naturphilosophie ." R.C. Stauffer, "Persistent Errors Regarding Oersted's Discovery of Electromagnetism", Isis 44(4): 307-10 (1953). Indeed, Ørsted himself, writing in 1830 in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, attributed his early opinion "that the magnetical effects are produced by the same powers as the electrical," to "the philosophical principle, that all phenomena are produced by the same original power." (Some scholars dispute the nature and extent of the relationship between Naturphilosophie and Ørsted's discovery. See generally Christensen, op. cit., at 5-7.) "The sequence of events leading to his important discovery still remains ambiguous but
The Problem of Increasing Human Energy with Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun's Energy

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy with Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy

TESLA, NIKOLA FIRST EDITION IN PUBLISHER'S BINDING OF TESLA'S LITERARY, SCIENTIFIC, AND PHILOSOPHICAL MASTERPIECE; HIS MOST DETAILED PRESENTATION OF HIS WORLDVIEW. "In the early part of 1900, Tesla filed for three patents related to wireless communication. He made several attempts to contact the elusive Colonel Astor but concentrated most of his efforts on working on an article for the Century. Robert [Underwood Johnson, associate editor of Century] had requested that Tesla write an educational piece about telautomatics and wireless communication. The plan was to decorate the essay with photographs of the remote-controlled boat and the inventor's fantastic experiments in Colorado, but Tesla had other ideas. Influenced by Western philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer about such ideas as the creation of the Übermensch through activation of the will and renunciation of desire and by Eastern philosophers such as Swami Vivekananda on the link between the soul and Godhead, Prâna (life force) and Akâsha (ether) and its equivalence to the universe, force, and matter, the inventor decided to compose a once-in-a-lifetime apocalyptic treatise on the human condition and technology's role in shaping world history. "Robert pleaded with him 'not to write a metaphysical article, but rather an informative one,' but Tesla would not listen. Instead, he sent back a twelve-thousand-word discourse which covered such topics as the evolution of the race, artificial intelligence, the possibility of future beings surviving without the necessity of eating food, the role of nitrogen as a fertilizer, telautomatics, alternative energy sources (e.g., terrestrial heat, wind, and the sun), a description of how wireless communication can be achieved, hydrolysis, problems in mining, and the concept of the plurality of worlds. "Robert was now in a bind. Neither he nor [Century editor Richard Watson] Gilder wanted to publish a lengthy, controversial, abstract philosophical essay which might damage the magazine. However, they could not simply cross out sections they were unhappy with, for they were dealing with a man who was born a genius and a friend who had contributed two previous gems that added greatly to the prestige of their publication." Tesla, however, "knew what he was doing. He had decided, once and for all, to put down a significant percentage of the knowledge he had amassed into one treatise, and there was no way he was going to change it. Most likely Robert conferred with Gilder. Clearly, the essay was brilliant and original, and the more they read it, the more they realized its many layers of wisdom. The best tack to take at this point, they reasoned, was to work to clarify the piece by using subheadings, by including all of the startling electrical photos from Colorado, and the telautomaton, and by having Tesla more carefully explain the details of his inventions, and then hope for the best." "When the article appeared in the June issue of the Century, it created a sensation. Those who were Tesla's supporters rallied around him, Nature gave it a 'favorable response,' and the French quickly translated it for their readers, but those who were against him now had a new supply of ammunition for a frontal assault." (Marc J. Seifer, Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla, Biography of a Genius). Illustrated with 10 striking black and white photographs. IN: The Century Magazine, Vol. LX, No. 2, June 1900, pp. 175-211. New York: The Century Company, 1900. Octavo, publisher's highly-decorated blind-stamped cloth, pictorial endpapers; housed in custom silk box with leather label. The volume contains six monthly issues (May - October, 1900), complete with volume title and index. Cloth spine toned, otherwise fine. RARE in publisher's binding without any institutional stamps.
Proof of the Ergodic Theorem. WITH: Proof of the Quasi-Ergodic Hypothesis. WITH: Physical Applications of the Ergodic Hypothesis. WITH: Recent Contributions to the Ergodic Theory

Proof of the Ergodic Theorem. WITH: Proof of the Quasi-Ergodic Hypothesis. WITH: Physical Applications of the Ergodic Hypothesis. WITH: Recent Contributions to the Ergodic Theory

VON NEUMANN, JOHN; BIRKHOFF, G.D. IMPORTANT PAPERS - IN BOTH OFFPRINT AND JOURNAL FORMATS - RELATED TO VON NEUMANN'S PROOF OF THE ERGODIC THEOREM, A FUNDAMENTAL CONTRIBUTION TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS AND THE ORIGINS OF THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS. In 1877 the great physicist Ludwig Boltzmann published a paper that sought to explain why systems tend toward maximum-entropy equilibrium states as predicted by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The conceptual essence of the 1877 paper was this: a system - say, a gas in a container - can exist in any of an inconceivably large number of "states," each differing from all others in the precise position or velocity of at least one molecule. In modern terminology, each such distinguishable disposition of the molecules of a physical system is called a "microstate". But enormous numbers of microstates are equivalent in macroscopic terms - although they differ in terms of the precise locations and velocities of specific molecules, they look the same from the perspective of bulk thermodynamic variables such as temperature and pressure. In other words, such microstates are part of the same "macrostate." The key to Boltzmann's 1877 analysis was his recognition that the maximum-entropy state of a system - i.e., its equilibrium state - is precisely the macrostate that is consistent with the largest number of microstates. (This can be shown by a rather elementary application of combinatorial analysis, which Boltzmann undertook in the 1877 paper.) Accordingly, it is overwhelmingly more probable than not that a system - as it transitions from one microstate to the next - will eventually wind up in one of the microstates corresponding to the equilibrium macrostate. There was, however, important gap in Boltzmann's magisterial 1877 analysis - a gap that Boltzmann failed to recognize or, at least, to acknowledge. This was the implicit assumption that each microstate is equally probable - in other words, that as a system evolves in accordance with the fundamental laws of molecular mechanics, it will, on average, spend an amount of time in each macrostate that is proportional to the number of microstates in the macrostate. To restate the matter using more technical terminology, the assumption is that the fraction of time the system spends in each macrostate is proportional to that macrostate's "volume" expressed as a fraction of the total accessible volume of the "phase space" for the system. (A "phase space" is an abstract multidimensional space representing all possible microstates of a physical system.) That assumption, in turn, is a consequence of what is now generally referred to as the "ergodic hypothesis." The hypothesis had been an explicitly-acknowledged or implicitly-assumed element of Boltzmann's reasoning about the statistical behavior of molecules from the first time he articulated it in a series of papers in the 1860s. But - despite several attempts - Boltzmann never offered any persuasive argument that real systems of molecules do display ergodic behavior, and at times he expressed doubt as to whether the hypothesis was even true. Ever since Boltzmann's 1877 tour de force, mathematicians and physicists have been attempting to justify the ergodic hypothesis - to show that it accurately describes the statistical behavior of molecules moving about in conformity with the fundamental laws of mechanics (whether classical or quantum). This is among the "set of issues that continue to plague the foundations of the theory [of statistical mechanics]" (Lawrence Sklar, "Physics and Chance: Philosophical Issues in the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics" (1993)). It was the problem that the mathematician John von Neumann tackled in the papers offered here. "Von Neumann [1903-1957] may have been the last representative of a once-flourishing and numerous group, the great mathematicians who were equally at home in pure and applied mathematics and who throughout their careers maintained a steady production in both directions. . [I]n a profession where quick minds are somewhat commonplace, his amazing rapidity was proverbial. There is hardly a single important part of the mathematics of the 1930's with which he had not at least a passing acquaintance, and the same is probably true of theoretical physics." (DSB). His important contributions to pure and applied mathematics include the theory of Hilbert spaces, his axiomatization of quantum mechanics, and his pioneering work in game theory, in quantum statistics and thermodynamics, in numerical analysis, in the theory of computer architecture, in the theory of automata, and in game theory. Essentially, what von Neumann demonstrated in the offered papers is that the ergodic hypothesis is equivalent to an assumption called "metric indecomposability," or "metric transitivity." In simple, intuitive terms, and omitting some technical qualifications, a physical system is metrically indecomposable (or transitive) if it evolves in such a way that regardless of its initial microstate, it will not remain confined within any sub-region of the system's phase space. Von Neumann showed that a metrically transitive system will have properties whose average over time is equal to the average value of those properties over the phase space of all possible microstates. And that, in turn, is sufficient to underwrite Boltzmann's conclusion that the equilibrium macrostate, representing the overwhelmingly largest percentage of a phase space, is ipso facto the most probable macrostate. Von Neumann communicated his results to George Birkhoff prior to publication, and Birkhoff managed to prove a sharper, stronger version of von Neumann's theorem (the "pointwise" ergodic theorem v. von Neumann's "mean" ergodic theorem), which, through the vagaries of the publication process, appeared before von Neumann's paper. In March 1931, two months after von Neumann's proof was published, von Neumann and Birkhoff published two separate papers in Proc
Beating the Invader

Beating the Invader

CHURCHILL, WINSTON CHURCHILL WARNS THE ENGLISH PEOPLE TO "STAND FIRM" IN THE FACE OF A GERMAN INVASION. In early 1941, when a German invasion of England seemed a very real possibility, Duff Cooper, then Minister of Information, helped draft a document to distribute to the people with information on what to do in the event the Germans landed on English soil. "While the document [Beating the Invader] was prepared as a how-to or what-to-do document by Duff Cooper's Ministry of Information, it opens with Churchill's powerful and inspirational introduction, in which he begins with the bravery-invoking assumption, 'If invasion comes, everyone-young or old, men and women-will be eager to play their part worthily.' Noting that the greater part of the country will be unaffected by any invading force, he assures his readers that the British forces will do their part, inflicting 'very heavy British counter-attacks' on the enemy as they land by means of bomber attacks on their lodgments. "He goes on: 'The fewer civilians or non-combatants in these areas, the better-apart from essential workers who must remain. So if you are advised by the authorities to leave the place where you live, it is your duty to go elsewhere when you are told to leave. When the attack begins, it will be too late to go; and unless you receive definite instructions to move, your duty then will be to stay where you are. You will then have to get into the safest place you can find, and stay there until the battle is over. For all of you then the order and the duty will be: "STAND FIRM." "Even where there is not substantial fighting, presumably away from the coasts, Churchill advises that everyone must be bound by the second great order and duty, namely, 'CARRY ON. It may easily be some weeks before the invader has been totally destroyed, that is to say, killed or captured to the last man who has landed on our shores. Meanwhile, all work must be continued to the utmost, and no time lost.' "Encouraging all to assume their part in the defence of their island home, he concludes his introduction by writing: 'The following notes have been prepared to tell everyone in rather more detail what to do, and they should be carefully studied. Each man and woman should think out a clear plan of personal action in accordance with the general scheme.' And the document is influentially signed in facsimile: "Winston S. Churchill."' Following Churchill's introduction is a "list of 'tips' cover[ing] a range of potential actions and reactions of the brave Britons, then essentially alone in their resistance to the Axis (with the obvious exception of Britain's Commonwealth partners). The two-sided leaflet is characterized by all-caps subject headings such as 'STAND FIRM' and 'CARRY ON' and a series of fourteen questions and answers drafted by the Ministry of Information and issued under the combined authority of the War Office and the Ministry of Home Security. "The huge print run might leave one with the impression that the leaflet would be commonly found today. It is not. Its relative scarcity is understandable; it was, after all, only a leaflet anticipating an event, which never came to pass. In the result, although it was very widely distributed, relatively few copies have survived." (Ronald I. Cohen, Churchill Bibliographer, "Preparing for an Invasion of Britain. In Writing", Finest Hour 181, Summer 2018). First printing. London: Ministry of Information, 1941. One sheet (8.5x11 inches), printed on both sides. An exceedingly well-preserved copy of a notoriously fragile item, with only very mild folds and minuscule wear to bottom right corner. Housed and protected in custom cloth presentation folder. As fine a copy as one could hope to find.
Grant's Petersburg Progress

Grant’s Petersburg Progress

CIVIL WAR; GRANT, ULYSSES S.] EXTREMELY RARE FIRST ISSUE OF "GRANT'S PETERSBURG PROGRESS" PRINTED BY UNION SOLDIERS ON A CONFEDERATE PRESS THE DAY PETERSBURG AND RICHMOND WERE SEIZED, SIX DAYS BEFORE LEE'S SURRENDER. "When, on that famous Monday, the third of April, 1865, the advance line of attack on Petersburg found the city evacuated by the Confederate troops, almost the first Federal soldiers to enter her doors took possession of the office of the Express and, before the day was over, from its presses there issued number one, volume one, of Grant's Petersburg Progress. It was a single sheet, twelve by twenty inches in size, printed on one side of the paper. Its cry was 'We are here!' Major Eden, 37th Wisconsin Volunteers, was editor, assisted by Captain Charles H. McCreery, 8th Michigan Veteran Volunteers and Chaplain D. Heagle. They proposed 'to publish a live paper as ling as circumstances will permit; that is, as long as we can steal the paper and get men detailed to set the type.' Ten cents was the price. 'We are not particular as to the medium of exchange; and will take Hardtack, Greenbacks, Cigars, postage stamps and in fact most any available currency, Confederate Bonds and Contrabands always excepted.'" (Nellie P. Dunn, "General Lee in Grant's Petersburg Progress", South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 12). This first issue, from the day of the fall of Petersburg, was followed by only four other issues (April 5, 7, 10). The paper is full of joy and wit, providing a wonderful window into the mood of the soldiers now that the end of the war was near. Some highlights from the text: "For nearly six months the army of the United States has kept watch and ward over the City of Petersburg. Since last June the roar of shells and the whistle of bullets have disturbed the silence of the woods in the vicinity, and today the old flag waves from the Court House. The United States armies and U.S. Grant have foreclosed and entered in possession and Petersburg is ours. And throughout the length and breadth of the land the joyful tidings will spread that another deadly blow has been struck at the fast dying Southern Confederacy. Slowly and miserably it yet drags on a lingering existence but its days are numbered and the end is at hand. The bright rays of the sun and the pleasant fresh breeze, of this fair spring morning, kiss the folds of the stars and stripes as it waves from the tower and hill, the streets wear a lovely and animated appearance thronged with soldiers and citizens the cause of Liberty and truth is triumphant." Under the heading "LATEST NEWS": "RICHMOND TAKEN. -Just as we are about going to press, we are reliably informed that the city of Richmond came into the possession of the Union forces at a quarter past eight o'clock this morning." Under "WE, US, AND CO": "[W]e believe in the UNITED STATES, one and indivisible; in Abraham Lincoln, our adopted Father; in U.S. GRANT, Captain of the Host; and ourselves as the principle sojourners in the Army of the Potomac and the Freedom of the Contraband, the speedy extinction of the Rebellion, and the perdition of Jeff. Davis, here and here after." Under "FASHIONABLE ARRIVALS": "April 3d, Gen. Grant and Staff and the Army of the Potomac, generally." Under "AUCTION SALES": "To be sold very cheap (if not badly sold already) all the singularly, ineligible and worthless property known as THE SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY. For particulars apply to Jefferson Davis Richmond, Va. N.B. Liberal terms to agents of Maximillian, Louis Napoleon, or Victoria." Petersburg, VA: Eden & McCreery, April 3, 1865. Broadside (printed on recto only), approx. 12x19.5 inches. Framed to an overall size of 17x24 inches. Some small holes at folds and edges; a few words of bleed-through from (hand-written) ink on verso. A wonderfully evocative piece of Civil War history. SCARCE.
The Descent of Man

The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex

DARWIN, CHARLES FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE (one of only 2500 copies) of Darwin's seminal work on the evolution of man. THE WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST COPY, in stunning Bayntun bindings. "This is really two works. The first demolished the theory that the universe was created for Man, while in the second Darwin presented a mass of evidence in support of his earlier hypothesis regarding sexual selection. In the Origin, Darwin had avoided discussing the place occupied by homo sapiens in the scheme of natural selection, stating only that `light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.' Twelve years later he made good his promise with The Descent of Man, in which he compared man's physical and psychological characteristics to similar traits in apes and other animals, showing how even man's mind and moral sense could have developed through evolutionary processes. In discussing man's ancestry, Darwin did not claim that man was directly descended from apes as we know them today, but stated simply that the extent ancestors of homo sapiens would have to be classified among the primates; however, this statement, as misinterpreted by the popular press, caused a furor second only to that raised by the Origin" (Norman 599). "The word `evolution' occurs, for the first time in any of Darwin's works, on page 2 of the first volume of the first edition" (Freeman, p.129). First issue, with second volume with errata on verso of title and Postscript leaf tipped in after Contents. Provenance: The William Randolph Hearst copy, with early documentation and his library shelf tags on rear endpapers. The legendary publisher William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) spent lavishly on art and books early in his career, creating one of the great private libraries in the United States. By the late 1930s, however, he was awash in debt and forced to sell many of his beloved artworks and books: "In 1937, more than $125 million in debt, he lost control of his holdings. Clarence John Shearn of Chase National Bank began getting rid of the unprofitable media and real estate. Hearst's reckless spending on art, another source of his problem, was stopped. He agreed to sell two-thirds of his art collection and stopped construction on San Simeon. Hearst collections that had not reached California were offered to the public. For several years, the sale of his artworks in a New York department store filled more floor space than Hearst had built at La Casa Grande. Of the forty-two papers that he had bought or established, only seventeen remained by 1940." (American National Biography). This copy was sold in 1940 when Hearst was in the process of liquidating his assets and includes the original sales receipt from the department store Marshall Field from February 20, 1940, noting that the Descent of Man was from the "W.R. Hearst Collection", along with a typed description with the Marshall Field inventory number. London: John Murray, 1871. Octavo, superb rich crushed crimson morocco by Bayntun with decorated spines and boards, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt. Two volumes. With half-titles in each volume. Bound without ads. Almost invisible hair-line scratch on front board, otherwise remarkably fine. AN ABSOLUTELY STUNNING SET IN NEARLY PERFECT CONDITION WITH A NOTABLE PROVENANCE.
Über die mechanische Bedeutung des zweiten Hauptsatzes der Wärmetheorie (1866). WITH: Studien über das Gleichgewicht der lebendigen Kraft zwischen bewegten materiellen Punkten (1868). WITH: Einige allgemeine Sätze über Wärmegleichgewicht (1871). WITH: Weitere Studien über das Warmegleichgewicht unter Gasmoleculen (1872). WITH: Über die Beziehung zwischen dem zweiten hauptsatze der mechanischen Warmetheorie und der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung. (1877)

Über die mechanische Bedeutung des zweiten Hauptsatzes der Wärmetheorie (1866). WITH: Studien über das Gleichgewicht der lebendigen Kraft zwischen bewegten materiellen Punkten (1868). WITH: Einige allgemeine Sätze über Wärmegleichgewicht (1871). WITH: Weitere Studien über das Warmegleichgewicht unter Gasmoleculen (1872). WITH: Über die Beziehung zwischen dem zweiten hauptsatze der mechanischen Warmetheorie und der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung. (1877)

BOLTZMANN, LUDWIG THE ORIGIN OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS: FIRST EDITIONS, JOURNAL ISSUES, IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS, OF LUDWIG BOLTZMANN'S ATTEMPTS TO DERIVE THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS FROM THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF MOLECULAR MECHANICS, AND HIS PROPOSAL OF THE "ERGODIC HYPOTHESIS.". Overview: The Second Law of Thermodynamics, in one of its many equivalent forms, states that certain physical processes - such as the expansion of a gas as it fills a container, or the mixing of two initially separated gases - proceed spontaneously in only one direction, so that, for example, we never observe two uniformly mixed and non-interacting gases spontaneously accumulate in separate ends of their container. An egg does not spontaneously unscramble; scattered pool balls do not spontaneously re-assemble into a perfect triangle. The fact that such processes proceed spontaneously in only one direction can be described in terms of a thermodynamic variable known as entropy (introduced by Rudolf Clausius in 1865), which increases as a system evolves through time, ultimately reaching a maximum when the system attains an equilibrium state, in which it thereafter remains. The status of the Second Law has long been a matter of debate. Is it an independent law of nature, which simply has to be accepted as such without further justification, or can it somehow be derived from other, more fundamental principles? Finding such a derivation was the task that the great - and greatly troubled - nineteenth-century physicist Ludwig Boltzmann set for himself, and achieved to varying degrees in the five papers offered here. In particular, since there was an emerging scientific consensus in Boltzmann's day that matter was made up of particles called "molecules," Boltzmann sought to derive the Second Law from the application of the basic principles of mechanics, such as Newton's three laws of motion and their corollaries, to systems of large numbers of molecules - imagined as being something like pool balls, traveling through empty space and occasionally colliding with one another or with the walls of their container. In a sense, the project was doomed from the start, since the fundamental laws of classical mechanics are symmetrical in time. For example, a movie showing a rack of pool balls being struck by a cue ball and scattering over a pool table would be equally consistent with the laws of Newtonian mechanics whether the film were run forwards or backwards. How, then, can such time-symmetric mechanical laws be reconciled with the manifestly time-asymmetric Second Law? Although Boltzmann appeared to have derived the Second Law in a brilliant 1872 tour-de-force, included among the papers offered here, he later realized, prompted by cogent criticisms from other scientists, that his derivation implicitly incorporated an unsupported assumption that was itself asymmetric in time. Upon realizing this, he went back to the drawing board, and in an 1877 paper (also offered here) re-derived the Second Law from probabilistic considerations - in other words, reframing it as a statement not of mechanical necessity, but of the most likely path for a system to follow. The insights presented by Boltzmann in his 1877 paper continue to be central to the modern understanding of the statistical behavior of molecules, as developed by Gibbs and others, whether those molecules are governed by the laws of classical mechanical or by those of quantum mechanics. Brilliant and important as Boltzmann's 1877 paper was, like all theoretical innovations it left loose ends, disturbing conceptual issues that continue to trouble the sleep of physicists and philosophers. One of these is whether natural systems have a property known as "ergodicity." In one of its many essentially equivalent forms, the ergodic theorem holds that the time average of the states of a system as it evolves in accordance with the laws of mechanics is equal to the weighted average of all possible states, with weights based on the relative likelihood of each state. Boltzmann first proposed the ergodic assumption in his papers of 1868 and 1871 - not the least of his accomplishments presented in the papers offered here - and the assumption of ergodicity played an important role - sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit - in his subsequent attempts to prove the Second Law. Yet even now the assumption of ergodicity remains controversial. Mathematical physicists have proven that certain models of natural systems are ergodic and certain others are not; and the existence of ergodicity as a characteristic of "typical" and "realistic" physical systems, and its sufficiency and necessity as an underpinning for the Second Law, remain in dispute. Although Boltzmann did not finally and conclusively resolve the problem of the origins of the Second Law, his analyses laid the groundwork for all of the subsequent work in that area. If Boltzmann did not solve the problem he set himself, it was only because the problem is an intractable one, and a final solution has resisted the best efforts of physicists and philosophers in the century since Boltzmann died. The 1866, 1868, and 1871 Papers: Boltzmann's 1866 paper boldly announced the nature of the project he was undertaking. "The identity of the first principle of the mechanical theory of heat [i.e., the First Law of Thermodynamics] and the principle of live forces [kinetic energy] has long been known; in contrast, the second principle [i.e., the Second Law] has a peculiar exceptional status [eine eigenthümliche exceptionnelle Stellung] and its proof rests on uncertain and never evident detours. The aim of this article is to provide a purely analytical, completely general proof of the second principle of the mechanical theory of heat and also to exhibit the corresponding theorem of mechanics." (Translation from Olivier Darrigol, "Atoms, Mechanics, and Probability: Ludwig Boltzmann's Statistico-Mechanical Writings - an Exegesis" (Oxford Univ. Pr. 2018), at 70.) "Boltzmann's memo
La Peste

La Peste

CAMUS, ALBERT FIRST EDITION, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY CAMUS. AN IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION COPY: INSCRIBED BY CAMUS TO FRENCH LITERARY FIGURE JACQUES HÉBERTOT. Inscribed on half-title: "A Jacques Hébertot / En témoignage d'amitié affectueuse / son obligé / Albert Camus". [To Jacques Hébertot / In testimony of affectionate friendship / His grateful / Albert Camus]. "The longest and most ambitious of his fictions, Albert Camus's novel The Plague is widely regarded as his masterpiece. It is certainly an artistic tour de force: a vividly realistic account of a harrowing imaginary event" (Murray Sachs). "When The Plague was first published in 1947, the majority of French critics greeted it as an allegorical presentation, not only of la condition humaine in general, but also of the particular experience of the German occupation. Yet it would be an extremely limiting interpretation to see in The Plague only the description of a single historical experience. The struggle against plague and occupation are part of a wider struggle, not only against the physical evil inherent in the world, but also against the evil which men, by their blindness and indifference as well as by their cruelty, do to one another" (Philip Thody). The recipient of this copy, Jacques Hébertot, (1886-1970) was a legendary French theater director, journalist, poet, publisher, and editor. Camus's plays Caligula (1945) and Les Justes (1949) both premiered at Hébertot's highly influential theater, Le Théâtre Hébertot. Upon his death, the French journalist Bertrand Poirot-Delpech, writing in Le Monde, lamented that with the "death of the master", "the theater of the elite no longer exists." One of 2000 copies of Alfa Navarre. Paris: Gallimard, 1947. Octavo, original wrappers; glassine; custom half-morocco box. Usual browning to outer edges of text and only a hint of wear to wrappers. A BEAUTIFUL, EXCEPTIONALLY WELL-PRESERVED COPY WITH AN IMPORTANT LITERARY ASSOCIATION.
Quesiti

Quesiti, et Inventioni Diverse

TARTAGLIA, NICCOLÒ FIRST EDITION OF TARTAGLIA'S MOST IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO MATHEMATICS, INCLUDING HIS RULE FOR SOLVING CUBIC EQUATIONS. "The 'mathematical practitioners' of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries seem to be acquiring an important role in histories which deal with the origins of the Scientific Revolution. Those who are fascinated by questions of origins in the history of science and technology find themselves driven more and more to investigate the sudden appearance, as it still seems, of this relatively large and active group. Among the first generation of these practitioners, few made a greater mark than Niccoló Tartaglia, whose works were translated into all the major European tongues, and whose influence in applied mathematics continued perceptibly for more than a century" (A.G. Keller, "Mathematics at Work: Niccoló Tartaglia, Quesiti et Inventioni Diverse"). Tartaglia's Quesiti, includes, without exaggeration, what can be considered the first real advance in algebra since antiquity. It "contains his most important mathematical accomplishment: the independent discovery of the rule for solving third-degree (cubic) equations, a rule first formulated but left unpublished by Sciopione de Ferro in the first or second decade of the sixteenth century. Tartaglia re-solved the problem in 1535 but kept the details a secret for many years, using his knowledge to gain advantage in the frequent public disputations held between scholars in his era. He finally revealed the rule to Girolamo Cardano in 1539 after Cardano swore to keep it secret, but six years later Cardano broke his promise by publishing the rule in his Ars magna . Tartaglia was incensed at Cardano's breach of promise and abused him roundly in Book IX of the Quesiti, in which he also published his own version of his researches into third-degree equations" (Norman). "Dedicated to Henry VIII, this work contains nine books of questions posed to Tartaglia by various people, and demonstrates his skill in non-mathematical areas: solving problems in the firing of artillery; topographical surveying; equilibrium in balances and statics; a new method for raising sunken ships; etc. In the course of the discussions, some fundamental issues in the theory of motion and of statics are raised, which are elaborated upon in the eighth book . Among its other important points are the anticipation of the principle of inertia in book three, the observations on the use of compasses in book five, and the solution of cubic equations in book nine" (Roberts and Trent, Bibliotheca Mechanica). Note: This copy does not have the legendarily rare instrument plate only known in a handful of copies, but does have the often-lacking two-leaf table of contents. Venice: Venturino Ruffinelli, 1546. Small quarto (153x214mm), modern limp vellum in antique style, manuscript title on spine. With woodcut portrait and woodcut illustrations in text. Repaired closed tear to upper margin of last four leaves. Occasional light foxing (generally to margins); overall text very clean. A HANDSOME WIDE-MARGINED COPY OF A RARE AND IMPORTANT EARLY MATHEMATICAL TEXT.