Extremely rare book on the astrolabe by Bion 1702

Extremely rare book on the astrolabe by Bion 1702




Country of manufacture


Categories: Bookshop, Scientific Books, Timekeeping Books


Bion (Nicolas) (1652-1733)


L’Usage de Astrolabes, Tant Universels que Particuliers, accompagnéd’un Traité, qui en explique la Construction par des Manières simples & faciles, avec les figures nécessaires pour l’intelligence de ce Traitè.

Avec Privilège du Roy, a Paris Chez Laurent d’Houry & Jean Boudot, 1702.


First edition

8°  (16,5 x 10cm), 242pp, 9 folding plates.

Contemporary calf, compartmented back, Title and gold tooling.

Very good copy throughout. Extremely fresh copy, crisp paper. COMPLETE.


“The last book entirely about astrolabes to be published in the French language.”


A very rare book on astrolabes, especially written by Bion to understand its use and the way to make them.


Astrolabe by Bion are very rare: he made cardboard/paper instruments with delicate green and red colouring. One of these is in the Greenvich Observatory collection (https://www.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/rmgc-object-10717).


Quoting Greenvich: “ This is a rare example of an astrolabe that has been printed on paper, cut out and mounted on board. Other surviving examples are mostly French of German and are from the 16th century, This instrument is a ‘complete’ astrolabe incorporating all the different types of astrolabes. As such, it forms an interesting teaching device that can demonstrate the history and development of the astrolabe. The fact that was brightly coloured would certainly have enhanced its instructive nature (…..)”.


A comprehensive study on Bion has been published in 2014 by A. Turner, Nicolas Bion, Globe-maker, instrument-maker author and business-man, Globe Studies No. 59/60 Jena, by the International Coronelli Society.






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IT Alpha et Omega

Alpha Et Omega

Alpha et Omega is a recently established firm, based in Milan, Italy. We specialise in antique Scientific Instruments and rare Books to supply collections worldwide. Focus is given to optical and time-related instruments, especially before the Industrial Revolution but we are also interested in rare-to-find scientific and natural items and wunderkammer objects. Alpha et Omega also deals in rare books related to Early Science and Scientific Instruments. Please feel free to contact us for individual requests or desiderata.

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