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Astronomy


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GALGEMAYR’S PROPORTIONAL COMPASS

GALGEMAYR, G.. Organon logikon, Kurtzer grundtlicher...Underricht, Zuberaitung und gebrauch, Des Circkels Schregmess und Linial in wahrer proportion. Augsburg, Weh, 1655.

4to., (4) ff., 128 pp., with four folding plates; lightly toned. Bound in contemporary stiff vellum, with title written in ink on spine in a neat hand. Ownership inscription on title-page, some careful underlining and annotations in a neat contemporary hand; lightly toned. Excellent.

$9,500

Rare edition and a fine copy of Galgemayr's very influential text describing the construction & use of two instruments, a proportional compass and a lineal compass for the measurement of volumes and surfaces. The former, closely resembling Galileo's proportional compass, was a popular calculating device used throughout the 17th C. The work was first published in 1615 and re-printed in 1626, 1633, and 1654 with modifications. All editions, however, are very rare owing to the book's practical utility.

The copy offered here is enriched by annotations that indicate that it was used as a workbook. These are unusually careful and neat, and a few contain calculations that do not appear derived from the exercises; possibly they are calculations for actual (e.g. real life) situations for which the chapters are being consulted as a model or guide. Together with Uttenhofer’s Circinus geometricus (see below), the work provides a vivid picture of a developing technology that ultimately became the modern hand-held calculating machine.


* I. Zinner Astronomische Literatur 5046 & 5025 (1626 ed.); Instrumente p. 568; Poggendorf II. 1163; Kiely, Surveying Instruments, p. 226. II. Berlin Kat. 1716 (1633 ed.). The work is bound with an incomplete copy of: UTTENHOFER, K. Circinus Geometricus, zu Teutsch Mess-Circkel, nemlich: Ein Geometrisch Instrument, durch welches ...einen Acker, Wissmat oder Wald abzumessen.... Geschutz zu richten... etliche... Sonnen Uhrn zu machen. Nurenburg, Simon Halbmayr, 1626. 4to., (8) ff., 136 (e.g. 138) pp., (l) ff., including t-p with elaborately engraved architectural border (signed Hauer), 2 folding-plates, [7 of 10] full-page engraved plates [printing error left 3 pages blank], 60 woodcut illustrations in text and numerous tables.

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