Italian descritpion of the Foullon’s holometer with 16 engravings – 1564

Italian descritpion of the Foullon’s holometer with 16 engravings – 1564




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Categories: Scientific, Scientific Books, Surveying Instruments & Mining


FOULLON (Abel), Descrittione et uso dell’holometro, per saper misurare tutte le cose, Venice, Giordano Ziletti, 1564. 

Small 4°, (12)-60 pages ; 18th-century Italian limp vellum.


First Italian edition of the description of the holometer published some years earlier in Paris. It is dedicated to Sforza Pallavicino marchese di Cortemaggiore (1519-1585) and illustrated with 16 copper engravings including 8 full-page, copied from the French original edition of 1555. The original figures were probably designed by Jean Cousin. 

Abel Foullon (1513-1563), valet to Henri II, was a mathematician, poet and translator. In 1545, he married Catherine Clouet, the sister of the portraitist François Clouet. He was the inventor of the holometer, a geodesy instrument. 

The name of this instrument was crafted by the poet Mellin de Saint Gelais. For this invention, the king granted Foullon a 10-year exclusive monopoly, the first patent in French history. 

Mortimer-Harvard, Italian Sixteenth Century Books, 197.

A superb copy.

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