The first textbook on scientific instruments and one of the first about astrolabes – Reisch 1512

The first textbook on scientific instruments and one of the first about astrolabes – Reisch 1512

5700 euros

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Categories: Bookshop, Scientific, Scientific Books, Early Technology


[REISCH, Gregor], Appendix matheseos in Margaritam philosophicam [is linked to the top] Margarita philosophica nova cui insunt sequentia. Epigrammata in commendationem operis, Strasbourg, Johann Grüninger, 1512.


4to of (64) leaves ; half-calf stamped on wooden boards in the style of the time, clasp.


Rare first edition of the Appendix matheseos following the sixth edition, the third in Strasbourg, of the first modern encyclopaedia, the Margarita philosophica.


This rare and important scientific supplement, Appendix matheseos, which appears here for the first time. After 24 leaves about languages and musics, it deals with architectur, with sundials and surveying instruments, perspective and its instruments, astrolabes and its composition, then torquetuem.

It should be noted that the figures of geometry are directly inspired by the famous treatise of Jean Pelerin, De Artificiali perspectiva, published in 1505.

This Appendix is the first printed book systematically dedicated to scientific instruments.


Published for the first time in 1503 at Schott in Friborg, the Margarita philosophica covers all the academic knowledge of the time, summarized in twelve richly illustrated sections corresponding to the disciplines of trivium and quadrivium: Latin grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, arithmetic , music, geometry, astronomy, physics, natural history, physiology, psychology and ethics.

It should be noted that the geometrical and astromomical parts are annoted by a contemporary hands.


The Margarite contains the oldest representation of the structure of the eye, noted music, a wood engraved according to Hieronymus Bosch’s philosophy, and a folding map of the world known at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Based on the Ptolemaic model, it mentions new geographical discoveries, and contains the first allusion to the New World on a printed map.


In our copy, this world map is a facsimile on a paper of the seventeenth century, as we can deduce from the filigree to the mad head (see Lighter).

A seminal text.

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FR Le Zograscope

Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris at 5 rue de Condé, 75006, very close to Odéon, Le Zograscope specializes in antique and rare books in Science, Medicine and Technology, and rare antique instruments in the same fields. We have especially a strong interest in early and continental microscopy, early and special mathematical/drawing instruments, medical and surgical instrument, and rare technology.

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