Shopping cart (0 items € 0)
Go Back

Important work on geometry and military fortifications,
copy from the collection of Ludwig Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg

Geometrie, contenant la theorie, et practicque dicelle necessaire a la fortification.
The Hague and Arnhem, Henricus Hondius and Jan Janz., 1616. Oblong 1mo (ca. 30 x 39 cm). With an engraved title-page and 47 numbered full-page engraved plates, with a few decorated initials and ornamental head-pieces, and with geometric formulas in the text. Late 17th- or early 18th-century(?) gold-tooled vellum, remnants of closing ties, gilt edges. [1], [1 blank], [92] pp. and 47 engraved plates.
€ 9,500
First edition of a very rare work on geometry, with almost 50 engraved plates, presenting a thorough pictorial course of all aspects of geometry and its application to the construction of military fortifications. The work was popular in the 17th century and has been translated into multiple languages, but the first edition is quite rare and can only be found in a few libraries.
Samuel Marolois (ca. 1572-1626/27), a Dutch mathematician and military engineer, first published the work in French during the Twelve Years Truce (1609-1621) in the Eighty Years War (1566/68-1648) between Spain and the Low Countries. During this time, Maurits of Nassau (1567-1625), Prince of Orange, developed the new Dutch techniques and strategies of fortification that booked great success. Marolois was the first to systematize these new Dutch ideas in his Fortification ou architecture militaire (1615). The present work, Géométrie, was published a year later and explained the theory behind the ideas presented in the earlier work. It was more accessible to a wide audience than Fortification and met quick success, going through several editions and translations in just a few years. The work covers plane and solid geometry, surveying, mensuration, the making of maps and ground-plans, and fortification. Its plates show surveying instruments, fortification plans and a stunning and detailed view of a town on a waterway in a hilly landscape. A graphic curiosity is the use of a picture of an eye to indicate sighting lines.
With the bookplate of Ludwig Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg and a small paper label mounted on the front pastedown. The parchment is somewhat creased, with a brown stain on the front boards and a smaller one on the back. The front flyeaf and title-page have been restored around the edges and conrners, without affecting the frontispiece, the work is somewhat browned throughout, with 2 water stains on the outer edges of the first 7 leaves and 1 at the bottom edge of the leaves in the 2nd half of the work, without affecting the text, ink fingerprints on the recto of leaf Nn. Otherwise in good condition. Bierens de Haan 3027; Honeyman 2158; Hoogendoorn, Bibliography of the exact sciences, p. 620; Smyth F. P., The Mark J. Millard architectural collection, vol. IV, 64; STCN 852241755 (4 copies, incl. 2 incomplete), USTC 1031912.
Order Inquire Terms of sale

Related Subjects:

Low countries  >  Maritime & Military History | Natural History & Science
Military history  >  Fortification & Military Architecture | Military History up to 1700
Science & technology  >  Technology