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FAULHABER Johann Newe geometrische und perspectivische Inventiones etlicher sonderbarer Instrument, die zum perspectivischen Grundreissen der Pasteyen und Vestungen, wie auch zum planimetrischen Grundlegen der Stätt, Feldläger und Landtschafften, dessgleichen zur Büchsenmeisterey sehr nützlich unnd gebrauchsam seynd.


Francfort, Wolffgang Richter pour Anton Hummen, 1610

4to (191 x 147 mm) 38 pp., 2 engraved folding plates. Contemporary flexible vellum, covers decorated with floral corner pieces and a central fleur-de-lys, manuscript title on spine, traces of ties.


1 in stock

Vagnetti, EIIIb5; DSB, IV, 552.

First edition, rare. It contains the description of the newly invented perspectival instruments.

Johann Faulhaber (1580-1635) was teacher of mathematics in the city of Ulm, where the Faulhabers family resided since the 15th century.

Destined to follow the family tradition to become a weaver, Faulhaber soon found his vocation in mathematics. Having helped Johann Kraft to publish an arithmetic text, “he founded his own school in Ulm in 1600. From 1604 on, Faulhaber received a salary of 30 guldens for running this school, but it was withdrawn in 1610 for a few months because he was concerning himself more and more with physical and technical inventions and developing an extensive literary activity that took him away from his pedagogic duties… About this time Faulhaber set up the formulas for the sum of the powers for natural numbers up to the thirteenth power, a problem with which Leonhard Euler was later concerned in a general way” (DSB).

Faulhaber’s reputation as a learned mathematician grew quickly, and he had Descartes among his student and had lively contact with Kepler. Faulhaber designed together with Kepler a gauging kettle for the measurement of length, volume and weight.

“Faulhaber’s lasting accomplishment was the dissemination and explanation of the logarithmic method of calculation” (DSB).

Illustration includes a beautifully engraved border on the title page with portraits of the author (?), instruments and a perspectival view with a draughtsman using Faulhaber’s tool, the engraved coat of arms of the dedicatee Wilhelm Schnoeden, a full-page engraving depicting the perspectival use of the instrument, and 3 folding plates of other measuring tools of the author’s own invention.

Beautiful copy.

Provenance: Donaueschingen (rubber stamp on the title page verso).

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