Sammelband with the major works by mathematician and engineer Niccolò Tartaglia, 1554-62


Niccolò TARTAGLIA: [Sammelband] (1) QUESITI … (2) REGOLA GENERALE … (3) NOVA SCIENTIA … 3 vol. in 1. Venice:  1554, 1562 and 1558.

Niccolò TARTAGLIA: [Sammelband] (1) QUESITI ET INVENTIONI DIVERSE. (2) REGOLA GENERALE DI SOLEVARE OGNI FONDATA NAVE & NAVILII CON RAGIONE. (3) NOVA SCIENTIA CON UNA GIONTA AL TERZO LIBRO. 3 volumes in 1. (1) Folded flap, numerous illustrations and diagrams, of which 1 portrait of the author on the title page and 11 illustrated initials. (2) 22 illustrations and diagrams, of which 5 full-paged, as well as 9 illustrated initials and printer's device. (3) 1 large illustration on title page, 35 illustrations and diagrams, of which 1 full paged, as well as 3 illustrated initials, all executed as wood-cuts. (1) Venice: Niccolò de Bascarini for the author, 1554. (2) Venice: Curzio Troiano Navò, 1562. (3) Venice: [Niccolò de Bascarini] for the author, 1558.

4to (Cut by the binder to 20,3:15 cm). (1) Sign.: A-II4. [1-4], 5-128 ll.; (2) Sign.: A-H4. [32 ll.]; (3) Sign.: *4, A-H4. [36 ll.]. Woodcut and letterpress, bound in the 18th ct. in marbled cardboard over 3 raised bands using two different paste papers, gilt spine title printing on a mounted leather label, as well as marbled head, tail and fore-edge.

Sammelband with the major works by eminent Italian Renaissance mathematician and engineer Niccolò Tartaglia.

Author, Content: Present Sammelband contains 3 profusely illustrated volumes with early editions of the major works of Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia (1499/1500-1557), an important Venetian mathematician, engineer, translator (of Archimedes and Euclid into Italian) and author of scientific works.

(1) The 2nd edition of 1554 (1st in 1546) of his seminal work about mathematics and their technical application in the fields of military ballistics (for calculating canon trajectories in particular), fortification, statics and topographic surveying, with the addendum to part no. 6 (of 9), which is considered one of the most important early publications on fortification. Present copy also includes the often missing folding flap (depicting a fortification wall) to the addendum, mounted to fore-edge of l. 71r. „Tartaglia's »Quesiti« contains his most important mathematical accomplishment: the independent discovery of the rule for solving third-degree (cubic) equations...“ (Norman).

(2) The 3rd edition of 1562 (1st in 1554) of Tartaglia's »Regola«, a particularly rich illustrated treatise on retrieving sunken ships, on which subject he was also interested in his function as accountant for the Venetian Republic. The book, written in the form of imaginary dialogues between Tartaglia and his student, Richard Wentworth, also deals with deep sea diving (3 striking woodcuts with divers for illustration), meteorology for maritime shipping, as well as it prints extracts of Archimedes treatise »De insidentibus aquae«, completely translated and published by Tartaglia in Italian only 3 years later.

(3) The 4th edition from 1558 of Tartaglia's Chef d'Œuvre »Nova Scientia« (1st published in 1537), the very first printed treatise on ballistics and a seminal work on motion in general, that led to the discoveries of Galileo and others in this area. The title page of »Nova Scientia« consists of a large woodcut illustration with the coat of arms of Francesco Maria II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, and a full-paged allegorical depiction showing the author in the midst of the scientific disciplines (all incorporated female) and surrounded with the great scholars of the ancients, like Euclid, Aristotle and Plato.

These three treatises were probably issued together by Venetian printer and co-publisher Curzio Troiano Navò in 1562, using sheets left over from previous editions of (1) and (2), originally printed Niccolò de Bascarini.

Provenance: Engraved pictorial ex-libris with the monogram „F. C.“ at front paste down.

Condition: Cover at corners and edges bumped and worn, boards creased, ll. 1 and 2 of (3) with old repair at bottom, some leaves with water-stains at margins and occasionally foxy, (3) with tight bookbinder's cut to lower margin, no text loss however; generally a solid copy of this Sammelband of particular importance for the history of mathematics and military engineering.

Reference: (1) Adams T 184; Breman 293; CNCE 31875; Cockle 660; Norman 2055; Riccardi I/2, 499. (2) Adams T 187, CNCE 31563; Cockle 660, Riccardi, I/2, 504. (3) Adams T 191; CNCE 31552; Riccardi I/2, 496; Scherrer 49.