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
HISTOIRE DE LA NAVIGATION DE JEAN...
Linschoten, Jan Huygen:
Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana
Amsterdam: Th?ore Pierre, 1610.. Six engraved maps on eight sheets (two double- page, two folding, two on two folding sheets), fifty-eight engraved... More
Amsterdam: Th?ore Pierre, 1610.. Six engraved maps on eight sheets (two double- page, two folding, two on two folding sheets), fifty-eight engraved in-text illustrations. Folio. Expertly bound to style in old vellum. Five illustrations shaved into image area; occasional expert restoration. Very good. In a half black morocco folding box. Very rare first edition in French of the great classic of travel literature. "When Linschoten returned from Goa to his home in the Netherlands, he did so at a time when the people of northern Europe and particularly his countrymen were especially interested in what he had to report concerning the trading activities of the Portuguese in the East. He had lived in Goa for six years from 1583, and while he never ventured far from the Portuguese capital, he did have an 'avaricious thirst for knowledge which enabled him to get detailed information of land and sea as far afield as the Spice Islands and China'" - Penrose. But his most important and far-reaching observations concerned the gradual decline of Portuguese power in the East and her ability to protect her trade routes and monopolies. This, together with the trading possibilities he detailed, encouraged a series of Dutch, French and English fleets to set sail for the Spice Islands and beyond to China and Japan. An important work that served not only as a valuable record, but also as a catalyst for change in the balance of power amongst European trading nations in the east. This first edition in French is translated from the Latin edition of Linschoten published in parts II-IV of De Bry's PETIT VOYAGES in 1599 and 1601 (which also contained other narratives). The illustrations are printed from exactly the same plates as used in De Bry, and other aspects conform with the text as it appears in the PETIT VOYAGES. This includes the commentary on Linschoten's text by Bernard Paludanus, first appearing in the De Bry edition, and only otherwise appearing here. It is particularly useful for notations on botany and food. It has generally been accepted that this edition was actually printed in Frankfurt rather than Amsterdam, despite the imprint. probably by the same printer who printed De Bry's work (see Tiele 685). There are two issues of the first edition in French published in 1610: one by H. Laurenszoon, and one by Pierre (as here). It would have made sense for De Bry to have done this; the PETIT VOYAGES appeared only in Latin and German, but the demand for Linschoten made it worthwhile to publish separately in French. Because of De Bry's strong anti-Catholicism, he could not reach the french market directly, but did it by using the Dutch publishers as intermediaries. The differing imprints reinforce this, suggesting the Laurenszoon and Pierre were really publishers, not printers, of the work. One of the most important early editions of Linschoten, the first to appear in French, and indicative of the complex printing and publishing relationships of the time. Ernst van den Boogaart, JAN HUYGEN VAN LINSCHOTEN AND THE MORAL MAP OF ASIA. BORBA DE MORAES, p.489 (ref). EUROPEAN AMERICANA 610/69. JCB (3)II:71. SABIN 41369. TIELE-MULLER 95(f). Less
Price: 90000.00 USD