Rare Book Gallery
A discourse of a method for the...
[DESCARTES, Ren?/ Tr. ANON.]
Bookseller: Martayan Lan, Inc.
London: Thomas Newcombe for John Holden, 1649. Very rare first English edition and fine copy of one of the most important works of Western... More
London: Thomas Newcombe for John Holden, 1649. Very rare first English edition and fine copy of one of the most important works of Western Philosophy ever written, Descartes’ Discourse, containing for the first time in English the phrase which is not only the conceptual cornerstone of Rationalism, generally considered the beginning of modern philosophy, but is synonymous in the cultural imagination with the very field of Philosophy: “I think, therefore, I am.” This English edition was the earliest recorded in the inventory of John Locke’s library (see J. Harrison/ P. Laslett, The Library of John Locke. 2nd ed #2451), and it is generally considered that Locke’s encounter with the ‘New Philosophy’ as it was known in England in the 1660’s, led him to write the Essay, his philosophical masterpiece. “Descartes’ purpose is to find the simple indestructible proposition which gives to the universe and thought their order and system. Three points are made: the truth of thought, when thought is true to itself (thus cogito, ergo sum), the invincible elevation of its partial state in our finite consciousness to its full state of the infinite existence of God, and to the ultimate reduction of the material universe to extension and local movement. From these central propositions in logic, metaphysics and physics came the subsequent inquiries of Locke (164 eg Essay on Human Understanding), Leibniz (177, Th?ic?, and Newton (161 Principia); from them stem all modern and scientific thought.” – PMM 129 (1637). Rather typically for English books of the period, the work is known in issues regarding the title page (and only the title page). These have not been well defined, and the circumstances of the translation’s commissioning and publication are simply unknown: as of 2002, when a series of facsimiles of Descartes’ works in English and related 17th c Cartesian writings was published, the translator of the present work remained unknown (see R. Ariew & D. Garber, Descartes’ Works in Translation, vol. I, p. ix.) According to the entry in the Norman catalogue, several states of the title are known: the title of the Norman copy is ‘A Discourse of a Method for the well guiding of Reason’, and it contains a signature marking, A4—highly exceptional if not unique for a 17th century English book; it does not contain Descartes’ name on the title. This is such an egregious and uncommon error that it is most likely the sign of the earliest state. Another title gives a different spelling ‘for Wel-‘ and Discovrse’; and yet another, like the Norman copy, omits Descartes’ name. OCLC lists 5 copies in American libraries: UCLA, Newberry, Northwestern, Harvard and Wisconsin. Wing adds Folger. In British libraries, Wing lists Oxford, Cambridge (King’s), Patent Office (London), National Library of Scotland. Through additional searching, we have also located two copies at the BL (one with the variant title), and one at Yale (Cushing Medical Library). Remarkably, the book is sufficiently rare that it is not included in the excellent Descartes bibliography of Guillebert; it was NOT included in the Biblioth?e Nationale’s anniversary exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of the publication of the Discours in 1937, and to this day there remains no copy of the present translation in the Biblioth?e Nationale. Finally, it is missing from (at least) two major collections of 17th century English printed books of this level of importance: the Morgan Library and the Huntington. * Wing D1129; Norman 624 (variant imprint); J. Harrison/ P. Laslett, The Library of John Locke. 2nd ed #2451 not in Guillebert; Julien Cain/ Biblioth?e Nationale. Descartes. Exposition organis?pour le III i? Centenaire du Discours de la M?ode. (Paris 1937).. 8vo., 4.5 X 9 cm], (7) ff., of which the first two are blank and integral, 127 pp. (verso blank). Bound in contemporary calf ruled in blind, gilt spine and edges of covers faded and rubbed. Binding a bit shaken, and joints a bit fragile. Minor toning in margin, but a remarkably fresh copy in its original binding, housed in modern bookbox. Less
Price: 90000.00 USD
ISAGOGE IN TYPUM COSMOGRAPHICUM SEU...
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana
Landschut: Joannem Weyssenburger, .. pp. Woodcut map on titlepage. Small quarto. Modern three-quarter vellum and marbled boards, leather... More
Landschut: Joannem Weyssenburger, .. pp. Woodcut map on titlepage. Small quarto. Modern three-quarter vellum and marbled boards, leather label on cover. Very good. In a red half morocco and cloth slipcase. First edition of geographer Peter Apianus' first printed work, describing a large world map of which no copy has survived. The ellipsoidal map herein described is thought to have been based on the great Waldseem?r map of 1507, the first world map to use the term "America." Published about four years before his COSMOGRAPHICUS LIBER (which passed through thirty-five editions in the 16th century), the ISAGOGE is divided into twelve "Propositiones" showing how to use the map. Many of the comments and instructions in this guide are intended to explain the use of the map for astronomical and calendrical calculations. In his preface, he mentions his "Cosmography," which was not published until 1524, and which still stands as a foundational work on the subject. The preliminary section of the ISAGOGE was reissued in part in his DECLARATIO ET USUS TYPE COSMOGRAPHICI at Regensburg, probably the next year. "Harrisse, who knew this 'rare pamphlet' only in the copy in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, believed that it could not describe the 1520 map and argued ingeniously that the 1520 map was published at the expense of Luc Alantse, whereas the ISAGOGE was dedicated to the Duke of Saxony. Ducal patronage would almost certainly supersede that of a private citizen. The James Ford Bell catalogue dates the ISAGOGE to 1520. Weyssenberger was the publisher of both the ISAGOGE and the COSMOGRAPHICUS LIBER. The map described in the ISAGOGE, although no copy is known, is a landmark in the history of the geography of the New World and this pamphlet describing it is an Americanum of the greatest rarity and cartographical significance" - Nebenzahl. Apianus was a Professor of Mathematics in Vienna, as well as a mapmaker, writer, and leading authority on cosmography - a subject encompassing astronomy, geography, and cartography. The woodcut map on the title of the ISAGOGE shows Europe, Asia and Africa, with Venice, Portugal, and "Callicut" (i.e. Kozhikode) identified. Very rare in the market, with only three copies traced for sale in the last century. EUROPEAN AMERICANA 521/2. BELL CATALOGUE A-280. VAN ORTROY, BIBLIOGRAPHIE DE L'OEUVRE DE PIERRE APIAN 10. HARRISSE, HISTORY OF AMERICA, p.534. BAGROW, HISTORY OF CARTOGRAPHY, p.130. STILLWELL I:22. NEBENZAHL CATALOGUE 12:9. LeCLERC 31. SHIRLEY, MAPPING OF THE WORLD 45 (ref). Less
Price: 85000.00 USD
RECUEIL DE VOYAGES DE MR. THEVENOT
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana
Paris: Estienne Michallet, 1681.. ,16,43,,18,,32,,20,14,8,16pp. including six plates and errata leaf, plus two folding maps (of three,... More
Paris: Estienne Michallet, 1681.. ,16,43,,18,,32,,20,14,8,16pp. including six plates and errata leaf, plus two folding maps (of three, lacking the equipolar projection map, "Explication de la carte de la Decouverte de la Terre d'Ielmer") and three plates (two folding), with eleven engravings in the text. Contemporary calf, spine gilt, raised bands. Chipped at spine ends, a bit of wear along upper and lower portions of front hinge, bottom edge of rear board slightly worn. A few neat corrections in a contemporary hand. Tasman map and the two folding plates with closed tears along the bound-in edge, but with no loss. Small closed tear along one fold of the Mississippi map, but with no loss. Overall, a very good copy, lacking only the equipolar projection map. In a half morocco box. The very rare first edition of Thevenot's collection of travels, and an essential document in the exploration of the interior of North America. This is a very complex book bibliographically, and there are many variant issues, especially in the part of the work devoted to natural history discoveries of Swammerdam and others. Many copies lack some of the natural history components. Its importance and value, however, derive from the section and accompanying map devoted to the travels of Marquette and Joliet and the map showing the discoveries of Abel Tasman, and these are identical in both editions. The most notable aspect of Thevenot is that it contains the first publication of Father Marquette's relation of his discovery, with Joliet, of the upper Mississippi River and their exploration as far as the Arkansas River in 1673. This remarkable expedition established the basic structure of the Mississippi headwaters for the first time, and opened the way for the dominance of the French in the Mississippi Valley over the next century. Their account begins on May 17, 1673, when the party set out in two canoes from Mackinac. They reached the Mississippi via Green Bay and the Fox River on June 17, floated as far south as Arkansas, and returned north by way of the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers and the later site of Chicago. The accompanying map is a major landmark of American cartography, "Carte de la decouverte faite l'an 1673, dans l'Amerique Septentrionale." The map is the first to bear the word "Michigan," and shows the lake of that name and the Mississippi River from its headwaters to the sea. A figure appears in the center of the map, identified as "Manit8," representing an Indian god. The map appears here in its third state, as usual, with the date of 1673 in the title of the map. Burden convincingly asserts that the first and second states (known in only one copy each) were almost certainly proofs. This is one of the most important American frontier exploration narratives. Howes says: "The first edition of Thevenot's RECUEIL, while less rare than Le Clerq's PREMIER ETABLISSEMENT DE LA FOI, 1691, is of equal importance...." "The first printed representation of the Mississippi based on actual observation" - Streeter. The other sections of Thevenot's work are of considerable interest as well. The Tasman map is one of the first to show parts of the Australian coastline in detail, based on his 1644 voyage. It shows part of the coast of New Guinea, Tasmania, and much of the east coast of Australia, and is a basic work of Australian cartography. It is present here in its third issue, with the Tropic of Capricorn inserted and with the rhumblines. "In any state the map is a great rarity. It is one of the earliest charts devoted entirely to Australia, and is the first French map of Australia" - Davidson. There is also an account of explorations in polar regions by the Dutch in 1680, which is usually accompanied by a third map, an equipolar projection, which is lacking from this copy. The third exploration piece is an account of a trip overland from Russia to China in 1653. Finally, there is a discourse on navigation, and the natural history sections discussing the illustration of insects. A major work of Americana, with one of the landmark accounts and maps of the discovery of the Mississippi Valley. CHURCH 672. HARRISSE NOUVELLE FRANCE 147. SABIN 95332. WORLD ENCOMPASSED 211. STREETER SALE 101. SIEBERT SALE 659. HOWES T156, "c." EUROPEAN AMERICANA 681/141. BURDEN 540. CLEMENTS, 100 MICHIGAN RARITIES 4. GREENLY MICHIGAN 6. GRAFF 4122. JONES 320. TOOLEY, MAPPING OF AUSTRALIA AND ANTARCTICA, plate 92. Davidson, A BOOK COLLECTOR’S NOTES, pp.28-29. Less
Price: 160000.00 USD