Rare Book Gallery
An album of original watercolour...
GREIN (artist, Dutch/Flemish school, 17th century)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
[Holland: seventeenth century]. Folio. (12 1/2 x 8 inches). 48 watercolours of tulips on vellum, interleaved with plain paper with horn and crown... More
[Holland: seventeenth century]. Folio. (12 1/2 x 8 inches). 48 watercolours of tulips on vellum, interleaved with plain paper with horn and crown watermark, each watercolour titled in ink below image, the first watercolour signed "Grein" at the lower right. Contemporary vellum over pasteboard, contained in a modern dark green morocco box, the covers with gilt-ruled borders, the spine in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second, the others with elaborate repeat pattern made up from flower-sprays and various small tools. A spectacular album containing finely-executed images on vellum of all the greatest 17th century varieties of tulips: a landmark in the history of botanical art in the Low Countries, and a unique record of the bulbs that inspired the speculative financial-madness called Tulipomania. The tulip, introduced to Europe in the middle of the sixteenth century from the Ottoman Empire, experienced a strong growth in popularity boosted by competition among the wealthy for possession of the rarest varieties. The tulip rapidly became a coveted luxury item, appearing in main-stream art as a symbol of wealth and as a decorative motif on ceramics and textiles. Special varieties were given exotic names or named after popular figures of the time: generals, admirals, etc. The most spectacular and highly sought-after tulips were the so-called "broken" varieties. These had two or more vivid colours: often a base colour of white or cream with red lines, or flames to the petals. The present album is devoted exclusively to these most expensive varieties. Tulipomania eventually reached a level where fantastic, unsustainable prices were being paid for individual bulbs. In 1637, the bubble burst and the over-heated market collapsed. For some years after this, the tulip's popularity remained at a low level but by the time the present album was produced its unique beauty was beginning once again to be appreciated. Tulip albums were produced for two principle reasons. First, as a selling tool for the bulb dealers: accurate images of what the bulbs they were offering were going to look like were obviously vital and the high prices of the tulipomania era set a precedent of employing artists of a very high quality to record the colours and details of the bulbs. These albums are almost exclusively made up of drawings on paper. One of the best known examples of this type of album is probably the 1637 tulip book of P. Cos, a nurseryman from Haarlem, Holland (now in the collection of the Wageningen Universiteit en Researchcentrum). Second, albums were produced as a collective record of the ephemeral beauty of the blooms grown by individuals, either professional growers or wealthy amateurs. The present album probably falls into this latter category: the original presentation of this album is on a much more luxurious scale than trade albums. The most obvious sign of this is the fact that each of the drawings is on vellum. Vellum, especially the prepared vellum used for the present album, was an expensive luxury material and an indicator that the drawings were commissioned by a wealthy individual (in France, for instance, King Louis XIV had all his botanical drawings executed on vellum: the so-called "velins du Roi"). Tulip albums, whatever their origin, are now very rare: according to Sam Segal (a world-renowned expert on tulips and the author of "Tulips in Visual Art",) there are now only about 50 of these albums extant. This includes albums with drawings on paper and also 18th century albums; thus, the actual number of seventeenth century albums with drawings on vellum is almost certainly no more than a handful. Most albums are in institutional collections, so the present album may well be the final example offered on the open market. Sam Segal offered the following information about the present album: the artist "Grein" is an unrecorded artist, but his name "is a Dutch name known since the early seventeenth century." The paper used for the interleaves is watermarked with a horn and crown, similar to paper known to have been made in Amsterdam and Leiden from 1665. The tulip types are from this period as well, before a relative great change in form and size during the eighteenth century. The flowers themselves carry names that "are known from the 1630s and 1640s, the period of and directly after the tulipomania ...they include the very expensive types of that period, like the 'Semper Augustus' and 'Viceroy.' As in many tulip books meant as a catalogue of a seller of bulbs, the illustrations show many related types. That might mean that they are tulips from one nursery or one collection from which the owner gave an order to the artist to paint his collection. The names of some of the tulips could point to a possible commissioner of the album, like 'General Doriszlav' and 'Grootvorst van Moscovicz.'" Dash,Tulipomania , London, 1999; Goldgar,Tulipomania , Chicago, 2007; Pavord,The Tulip,London, 1999; van der Goes (editor) Tulipomanie, Zwolle/Dresden, 2004; Wijnands,Tulips portrayed, Wageningen, 1987. Less
Price: 225000.00 USD
Varia Opera Mathematica...accesserunt...
FERMAT, Pierre de
Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.
Woodcut vignette on title, two engraved headpieces, five folding engraved plates, & woodcut diagrams in the text. 6 p.l., 210,  pp. Folio,... More
Woodcut vignette on title, two engraved headpieces, five folding engraved plates, & woodcut diagrams in the text. 6 p.l., 210,  pp. Folio, early 19th-cent. half red morocco & red boards (minor browning), flat spine gilt. Toulouse: J. Pech, 1679. First edition, and now rare on the market; this copy belonged to Dominique Fran?s Jean Arago (1786-1853), the great French scientist who made important contributions to astronomy, electro-magnetism, and optics (see D.S.B., I, pp. 200-03). This book, Fermat's only substantial publication apart from his edition of Diophantus (both prepared and published posthumously by his son), contains the majority of Fermat's mathematical work. Included are Fermat's important researches on analytic geometry, developed concurrently with, but independently of, Descartes, as well as his method of maxima and minima, based upon which some have proclaimed Fermat the true first discoverer of the differential calculus. It also includes the first printing of Fermat's important correspondence with Pascal which founded the modern theory of probability. There is also correspondence with other contemporary mathematicians, including Mersenne, Roberval, Wallis, Digby, and Gassendi. Although Fermat published practically nothing during his lifetime, his work was freely communicated to others in correspondence and was profoundly influential. Descartes and Pascal notwithstanding, many scholars regard Fermat as the greatest of all 17th-century French mathematicians. Fermat (1601-65), was shy of publicity and reluctant to communicate his findings. As a result, his discoveries remained comparatively unappreciated until the 19th century when they catalyzed the development of modern algebra. The title-page is in Horblit's second state (no preference), while leaves a2 and e2 are in his first state (no preference). The rare portrait of Fermat, not present here, was also not found in the Horblit, Honeyman, or Norman copies. A small minority of copies have the portrait; it was printed in a much larger format than the book and was probably intended only for large paper copies, of which a few survive (e.g. one of the two BL copies). A very good and crisp copy. With the signature of Arago on the title-page (his sale, Paris, 1854, lot 824 "in-f. dem. m. r.") and with a slightly later note of an English collector "From the Library of F. Arago, H.S." ❧ Dibner, Heralds of Science, 108-"The above, published after his death, first presented his work and correspondence." En Fran?s dans le Texte 115. Evans, Exhibition of First Editions of Epochal Achievements in the History of Science (1934), 6. Horblit 30-"Fermat is considered the father of the modern theory of numbers, and herald of differential calculus and analytical geometry." . Less
Price: 150000.00 USD
William Congreve and the development...
Bookseller: Jeremy Norman
Congreve, William (1772-1828). Unique collection of materials by and relating to rocketry pioneer William Congreve, including the following (for... More
Congreve, William (1772-1828). Unique collection of materials by and relating to rocketry pioneer William Congreve, including the following (for our full description of the collection, including a calendar of documents in the archive, please contact us or download the PDF available on our website under the Rare Books tab):(1) Archive of 116 manuscripts, including Congreve's diary of the 1807 Copenhagen bombardment, 30 other manuscripts relating to Congreve war rockets and other military matters, 22 love letters from Congreve to his wife, and 27 manuscripts relating to Congreve's financial affairs. 1803-1869. Preserved in a cloth drop-back box.(2) Bound volume of 2 printed pamphlets by Congreve on his rocket system, as follows:  A concise account of the origin and progress of the rocket system. . . . , 29pp. London: J. Whiting, 1807.  Speculation as to the principles of the flight of rockets, with a view to determine the precise effects of the stick . . . 8pp. Text diagrams. N.p., 1807. Together 2 items, 4to. 229 x 188 mm. 19th cent. boards, rebacked, endpapers renewed. Minor stains on blank flyleaf. Small library stamp of King's Inns Library, London on verso title and last leaf.(3) Bound volume of 7 printed pamphlets by Congreve on his rocket system, as follows:  A concise account of the origin and progress of the rocket system . . . , 32, pp. London: J. Whiting, 1810. Second edition.  Postscript to the concise account of the origin and properties of the rocket system. 15pp. London: J. Whiting, 1808.  The different modes of use and exercises of rockets, both for bombardment and for the field. 20pp. 4 engraved plates. London: James Whiting, 1810.  Detail of a plan for attaching to cavalry regiments a proportion of rocket artillery, with case shot . . . 10pp. 2 folding engraved plates. London: James Whiting, 1809.  General view &c. General view of a complete course of experiments proposed to be tried . . . for the investigation and organization of the rocket system . . . [caption title]. 24pp. N.p., n.d. [1807 or after].  Memoir on the possibility, the means, and the importance, of the destruction of the Boulogne flotilla . . . , 34, [2, blank]pp. London: J. Whiting, 1806.  Explanation of the plan and intention of the project mortar boat [caption title]. -11pp. Folding engraved plate. [London]: Whiting, November 1807. Together 7 items in 1, 4to. 222 x 177 mm. Tree calf ca. 1810, rebacked preserving original gilt spine and leather label, small scratch on back cover; preserved in a cloth drop-back box. Engraved bookplate of Ernst Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and later King of Hanover (1771-1851), brother of George IV and head of the Hanoverian army, in which Congreve held the commission of lieutenant colonel.(4) Congreve. A treatise on the general principles, powers, and facility of application of the Congreve rocket system as compared with artillery. . . . 4to. 84 [i.e., 80]pp. 12 engraved folding plates. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1827. 277 x 211 mm. Quarter morocco, marbled boards in period style; preserved in a cloth drop-back box. Minor foxing to some plates, occasional faint offsetting from plates. From the library of historian of rocketry and space travel Frederick I. Ordway III, with his bookplate.(5) Beatson, Alexander (1759-1833). A view of the origin and conduct of the war with Tippoo Sultaun; comprising a narrative of the operations of the army under the command of Lieut.-General George Harris, and of the siege of Seringapatam. 4to. xxiii, 265, clxxii pp. Engraved frontispiece portrait and 5 folding plates (1 hand-colored), 2 folding printed tables. London: G. & W. Nicol, 1800. 268 x 218 mm. Mottled calf gilt ca. 1800, spine and corners worn, chip in lower spine, hinges cracked. Moderate foxing and toning, some offsetting from plates. From the library of Frederick I. Ordway, with his bookplate.(6) Grant. Rocket practice in the marshes. Hand-colored aquatint engraving. Woolwich: J. Grant, 1845. 343 x 460 mm. Matted. From the collection of Frederick I. Ordway III, so labeled on the back of the mat. Fine.No. (1) is the most significant archive extant of manuscript materials by and about the prolific English inventor and technologist William Congreve and his family. Congreve is best known for creating the first rocket weapons system and initiating the modern processes of research and development in rocketry. Our archive extends over six decades, from 1803 to 1869. No other archive or collection held by individuals or institutions compares to it. Frank Winter, rocketry historian and author of the leading book on the history of the Congreve rocket, The First Golden Age of Rocketry (cited here as Winter 1990), cites in that work one manuscript at the British Library (titled "A second century of inventions," BM MS. 38844) and three letters dated 1785, 1810 and 1813. OCLC records a manuscript at Princeton dated 1794-1800 and titled "Exercises and manoeuvres for two light six pounders, or two heavy 3 pounders of General Desagulier's construction"; it is not stated whether the manuscript is in Congreve's hand. OCLC records a "Signed list of ammunition needed for a particular service," dated July 6, 1793, in the collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library (it is possible that this last was actually written by Congreve's father, who was head of the Royal Arsenal). These are, as far as we know, the only recorded manuscripts relating to William Congreve apart from our archive.Included in our archive are letters and manuscripts covering William Congreve's career in rocketry. The most notable of these is his diary of the 1807 Copenhagen bombardment, which represents the first truly successful large-scale use of the Congreve war rocket in combat. Other noteworthy manuscripts include a signed draft and a fair copy of a "Report to the Commissioners of the Navy" dated October 1813, in which Congreve summarized his war rocketry activities from 1805 to 1813; a letter dated November 1813 relating to "the expense, or rather the economy of the Rocket System"; bills for materials used in rocket construction; an undated letter to a Captain Elliot discussing the subject of a "rocket cavalry"; letters discussing a plan of "applying Rockets for throwing ropes ashore from shipwrecked vessels"; and letters in which Congreve writes of his achievements and his attitude towards his work. The archive also contains manuscripts and letters relating to some of Congreve's other inventions: naval guns, bombships, and Congreve's design for a paddlewheel boat, which is detailed in a long letter illustrated with Congreve's sketches. Also included are a long series of love letters that Congreve wrote to his wife, Isabella, and another series of long, detailed letters written to Congreve during the last few months of his life by his secretary, R. Drake, discussing, among other things, Congreve's political career as a Member of Parliament, his precarious financial position, the publication of his Treatise on the General Principles, Powers, and Facility of Application of the Congreve Rocket System (1827), and negotiations with the British East India Company for exclusive rights to the Congreve war rocket for use in India.A calendar of all the documents in the archive can be had from us upon request.Nos. (2) and (3) contain a total of nine papers constituting the nucleus of Congreve's publications on rockets, beginning with his proposal for the attack on Boulogne and finishing with somewhat revised versions of his first expositions of the rocket system. A bound collection identical to our no. (3) is held at the Naval History Center of the U.S. Navy Department Library; this suggests that Congreve had a few collections like these made, most likely for presentation. Our collection bears the bookplate of Prince Ernst Augustus (1771-1851), fifth son of George III; he was made Duke of Cumberland in 1799, and in 1837, with the death of his brother William IV, he became King of Hanover. Ernst Augustus no doubt figured largely in Congreve's sphere, both as the brother of the Prince of Wales, whose patronage Congreve enjoyed, and as the head of the Hanoverian army, in which Congreve was awarded a commission in 1811.No. (4), A Treatise on the General Principles, Powers, and Facility of Application of the Congreve Rocket System, contains the fullest account of Congreve's rocket system. It is the only one of his works to contain illustrations of the Congreve rocket system in use. The plates depict the use of the rockets in various military situations: by rocket cavalry and infantry, in bombardment from earthworks, in the attack and defense of fortresses, from boats and ships, etc. Letters referring to the book's publication can be found in the Congreve archive.No. (5), Beatson's View of the Origin and Conduct of the War with Tippoo Sultaun, is an account of the fourth Anglo-Mysore war (1798-99), in which Indian troops under Tipu Sultan of Mysore (1750-1799) were defeated by the British East India Company under Sir Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington). Tipu, together with his father, Hyder Ali, developed the tactic of using rocket brigades to launch mass attacks on infantry formations. These rocket attacks, used during both the third and fourth Anglo-Mysore wars, so impressed the British forces that they brought several examples of Indian gunpowder rockets back to England; these provided Congreve with the inspiration to develop his own system of war rockets.No. (6), a hand-colored aquatint engraving published by R. Grant, shows British Army war rocket practice using a rocket launcher mounted on a tripod. The image was used as an illustration in the Army and Navy Register and Woolwich Gazette for 1845. Less
Price: 125000.00 USD