6th Apr, 2022 10:00

Early Printed Books, Historical Autographs & Documents, Travel, Maps & Decorative Prints

  Lot 117

Blundeville (Thomas, 1522?-1606?). A Briefe Description of Universal Mappes and Cardes... , 1589

Sold for £62,000


Blundeville (Thomas, 1522?-1606?). A Briefe Description of Universal Mappes and Cardes, and of Their Use: and also of the use of Ptholemey his Tables. Necessarie for those that delight in reading of histories: and also for traveilers by land or sea, 1st edition, London: Printed by Roger Ward for Thomas Cadman, 1589, [22] leaves, woodcut device on title, black letter, folding woodcut plate of the mariner's quadrant at rear (old ink stain to lower left margin), initials and ornaments, running heads shaved, small tear with loss to blank lower margin of B4, bound as the eighth work in a sammelband with 9 other contemporary surveying, cosmographical and astronomical works by Thomas Hill (1599), Edward Worsop (1582), Edward Wright (1613), Valentine Leigh (1592), Leonard Digges (2 works: 1592 & [?1596]), Thomas Hood (2 works: 1590), Thomas Oliver (1601), contemporary ownership signature of [Viscount] Campden to title of first work, contemporary plain calf, heavily rubbed, leather along fore-edge of upper cover lifting with exposure of board beneath, 4to (178 x 135 mm)

An extraordinary Elizabethan sammelband of rare scientific works in a contemporary binding. The texts have been very carefully cut down for binding with occasional shaving of running heads, signature marks and sometimes touching or shaving larger illustrations and tables. However, the binder has been sensitive enough to trim around these occasional larger page extensions and fold the edges into the text. Even more remarkable is the completeness of the texts with one table (and initial blank) lacking from the work by Leigh and the two very rarely found star charts in the first work by Hood being the notable absences.

Provenance: [Viscount] Campden (boldly signed ‘Campden’ to title). There is ambiguity as to which Viscount Campden this might have been. Baptist Hicks, 1st Viscount Campden (1551–1629), was an English cloth merchant and politician who was created a baronet in 1620. His son-in-law Edward Noel succeeded to the title and he was in turn succeeded on his death in 1643 by his son, Baptist Noel (1611–1682), a politician and military commander. There are two later ownership signatures to the initial blank verso: ’Robert Winckles his book 1716. Price 5 shillings’ (similarly inscribed to front pastedown); and ‘Thomas Banning his book 1817’.

There are two further 17th-century ink ownership signatures of Robert Hillary (‘Ro: Hillarye’) and ‘V. W.’ on the title-page of the first work by Thomas Hood.

The 10 works are bound in the following order:

Hill (Thomas, c. 1528-c. 1574). The Schoole of Skil: Containing Two Bookes: the first, of the sphere, of heaven, of the starres, of their orbes, and of the earth, &c. the second, of the sphericall elements, of the celestial circles, and of their uses, &c…., 1st edition, T. Judson for W. Jaggard, 1599, [8], 267, [5]pp., initial blank (with signature mark ‘A’ to centre of recto) present, woodcut vignette of an armillary sphere to title (old wax stain touching right edge of sphere, imprint date scratched away with old ink manuscript date ‘1712’ inscribed to its left), largely printed in black letter, woodcut illustrations, diagrams, initials and decorations, small burn hole to B8 with loss of a few letters to two words on recto and verso not affecting sense, curious small paper adhesion with dark ink stain to E7v obscuring page number ‘62’ and first word of first line, 17th-century ownership signature of [Viscount] Campden to title and later ownership signatures of Robert Winckles and Thomas Banning to initial blank verso, dated 1716 and 1817 respectively

Signatures: A4 B-S8.

ESTC S104125; STC 13502; Taylor, Mathematical Practitioners of Tudor & Stuart England 98.

In this posthumously printed mathematical and astronomical textbook Hill explicitly rejects Copernicanism and, with Thomas Blundeville, was the only other 16th-century astronomical writer of note to do so. On page 158 appears a description of America and on page 259 an account of Peru.

Worsop (Edward). A Discoverie of Sundrie Errours and Faults Daily Committed by Lande-meaters, Ignorant of Arithmetike and Geometrie, to the damage, and preiudice of many her Maiesties subiects, with manifest proofe that none ought to be admitted to that function, but the learned practisioners of those sciences: written dialoguewise, according to a certaine communication had of that matter, 1st edition, Henrie Middleton for Gregory Seton, 1582, [76]pp., title within typographical border, woodcut initials and diagrams, closely trimmed at upper and outer margins, affecting upper margin of title border and some running heads, four leaves neatly trimmed and folded at foremargins (B3, D1-2, H1), paper flaw at foot of B3 with small piece of paper with letterpress torn away but present

Signatures: A-I4 K2.

ESTC S120271; STC 25997; Taylor, Mathematical Practitioners 186.

According to Taylor it was John Dee's plea for the practical aspects of mathematics which had a huge influence on the surveying ideas of Worsop. This rare work, (ESTC locates 3 copies in UK and 1 in North America), is dedicated to William Cecil.

Wright (Edward, bap. 1561-1615). The Description and Use of the Sphaere Devided into Three Principal Partes: whereof the first intreateth especially of the circles of the uppermost moveable sphaere ... the second sheweth the plentifull use of the uppermost sphaere … the third conteyneth the description of the orbes whereof the sphaeres of the sunne and moone have beene supposed to be made, with their motions and uses, 1st edition, [Edward Allde] for Iohn Tap, 1613, [8], 104pp., full-page woodcut illustration of an armillary sphere, a few woodcut initials and decorations

Signatures: A-O4.

ESTC S120188; STC 26021.

Edward Wright was an eminent mathematician and cartographer who temporarily interrupted his studies to go on the Azores Voyage of 1589 under the earl of Cumberland. ‘His Description and Use of the Sphaere (1613), about a kind of armillary sphere, can be read as a guide to the use of a kind of instrument, but it was specifically written as the manual for the use of one instance of it, the one built for Prince Henry’ (ODNB).

Leigh (Valentine, died 1563). The Moste Profitable and Commendable Science, of Surveying of Lands, Tenementes, and Hereditamentes…, Newly Imprinted and Corrected, [5th edition], John Windet, for Robert Dexter, 1592, [118]pp., woodcut device on title, woodcut diagrams and initials, folding table at rear, lacks initial blank and second table, a few running heads shaved, lower outer corner of M4 torn with blank loss not affecting text

Signatures: A-G4 [-A1 blank] I-Q4, 1 [of 2] folded tables.

ESTC S108414 [120 pp., also noting absence of signature H]; STC 15419.

Leigh’s most significant work, the first edition of this practical, popular guide on surveying appeared in 1577, and was praised by John Norden in The Surveiors Dialogue, 1610.

Digges (Leonard, c. 1515-c. 1559). A Booke Named Tectonicon, briefly shewing the exact measuring, and spedie reckoning all maner of land, squares, timber, stone, steeples, pillers, globes, &c. …, [?7th edition], Printed by Thomas Orwin, 1592, [2], 26 leaves, woodcut diagrams and initials, 2 folding tables, neatly trimmed and folded foremargin at A4 and lower margins at E3/4, blank paper loss to lower outer corner of G1

Signatures: A-G4, 2 folded tables.

First published by John Day in 1556[?].

ESTC S114117; STC 6851.

The mathematician Leonard ‘Digges was an important member of the first generation of English mathematical authors to publish in the vernacular. Only two of his works were printed during his lifetime, a popular almanac and a short treatise on mensuration, both of which appeared in the 1550s. However, his interest in practical mathematics had been established much earlier’ (ODNB).

Digges (Leonard, c. 1515-c. 1559). A Prognostication Everlasting of Right Good Effect, fruitfully augmented by the Author, contayning plaine, briefe, pleasant, chosen rules to iudge the weather by the sunne, moone, starres, comets, rainbow, thunder, clowdes, with other extraordinary tokens, not omitting the aspects of planets, with a briefe iudgement for euer, of plentie, lacke, sicknes, dearth, warres, &c. opening also many naturall causes worthie to be knowne. To these and other now at the last, are ioyned diuers generall pleasant tables … Lately corrected and augmented by Thomas Digges his sonne, [?Printed by the Widow Orwin, 1596], [2], 42, [12] leaves, large woodcut astrological illustration to title, largely printed in black letter, woodcut illustrations, diagrams, initials and decorations, folding woodcut plate of the Copernican universe (signed M3 and foliated 43) bound at end, some leaves closely trimmed at foot, with loss of imprint details to title, also touching illustration at foot of F1, tables at L1/2 and several signature marks, 14 leaves neatly trimmed and folded at foremargins or lower margins (A3-4, B1-2, E1-2, F3, G3-4, H1-2, K1-2, L2)

Signatures: A-O4, folding woodcut.

ESTC S115712; STC 435.57 (formerly STC 6869).

Following the edition of 1576, editions of the Prognostication appeared over the next 30 years, each of which is known in a handful of copies, and in many cases lacking the diagram. This edition appears to be the 1596 edition and is complete with the celebrated diagram, so often lacking in recorded copies of all editions of the work where called for. Digges not only supports the Copernican theory, but in addition advocates cosmological infinity, a feature not explicitly affirmed by Copernicus. It is the very first illustration to depict an infinite universe and all editions of the Prognostication that feature it reuse the same woodblock of 1576, with very minor differences.

Hood (Thomas, bap. 1556-1620). The Use of the Celestial Globe in Plano, Set Foorth in Two Hemispheres: wherein are placed all the most notable starres of heaven…, 1st edition, [John Windet] for Thobie Cooke, 1590, [4], 43], [1] leaves, woodcut device to title, lacks 2 star charts (as usual), lower outer corner of A3 torn with blank loss not affecting text, final blank present, 17th-century ink ownership signature of ‘Ro: Hillarye’ and additional letters ‘V. W.’ to title

Signatures: A-M4, lacks 2 folding charts.

ESTC S118875; STC 13697.

Thomas Hood was an English mathematician and physician who in 1588 became the first lecturer in mathematics to be appointed in England. Of the small number of copies appearing at auction in the last century none appear to have had the two start charts.

‘Hood's works demonstrate both his wide range of interests and his skill as a teacher. He wrote two texts concerning globes, which were just beginning to become widely available: The Use of the Celestial Globe in Plano, Set Foorth in Two Hemispheres (1590) was largely intended to help the student astronomer to recognize the stars and their constellations; The Use of Both the Globes Celestiall and Terrestriall (1592) supplied definitions and applications for both astronomy and geography’ (ODNB).

Blundeville (Thomas, 1522?-1606?). A Briefe Description of Universal Mappes and Cardes, and of Their Use: and also the use of Ptholemey his Tables. Necessarie for those that delight in reading of histories: and also for traveilers by land or sea, 1st edition, Roger Ward for Thomas Cadman, 1589, see description above

Signatures: A-E4 F2, folding table.

Alden & Landis 589/10; Church 137; ESTC S104621; Graesse I:444; Sabin 6022; STC 3145; Taylor, Mathematical Practitioners 71.

Very rare, especially with the folding plate. The most recent complete copy at auction was the Horblit/Streeter copy sold by Christie’s, New York, 16 April 2007, lot 47 (US$72,000).

Thomas Blundeville was an author and translator whose interests included mathematics and navigation. ‘He had been a mathematics tutor in the households of Sir Nicholas Bacon and Justice Francis Wyndham for a time, and among his friends were some of the leading mathematicians of the age, including John Dee and Henry Briggs. His navigational writings were principally directed towards young gentlemen, providing instruction on astronomy, maps, and instruments’ (ODNB).

’This work contains curious notices of the situation of America, the Azores Islands, etc. The discovery of America and circumnavigation of the world are alluded to on the verso of B3 and subsequently throughout the work. Quaritch offered a copy, bound up with six other pamphlets, in 1899. Graesse, Lowndes, and Sabin are the only other bibliographies that seem to have been aware of its existence [at that time]’ (Church).

Hood (Thomas, bap. 1556-1620). The Use of the Two Mathematicall Instrumentes, the Crosse Staffe, (differing from that in common use with the Mariners:) And the Iacobs Staffe: Set foorth Diologue wyse in two briefe and playne treatises: the one most commodious for the mariner, and all such as are to deale in astronomical matters: the other, profitable for the surveyor, to take the length, heigth, depth, or breadth, of any thyng measurable, 2 parts, 1st edition, Tobie Cooke & Robert Dexter, 1590, [22] leaves, part 2 bound before part 1, both titles with woodcut device and within woodcut border, second part title torn with loss to upper right corner, folding table (inverted) at rear, final blank (C2) present at end of first part, running heads shaved

Signatures: A2 B4 C2; A2 B-D4, folding plate (inverted).

ESTC S116550; STC 13699; Taylor, Mathematical Practitioners 179 & 330.

The very rare first edition of Hood’s work explaining the use of two instruments for the taking of latitude (ESTC locates just four copies, apparently all lacking signature A to the first part (title-page and dedication leaf), inferring this signature from STC.

‘This was one of two books on the use of instruments which mathematician and physician Thomas Hood had designed, the other being The Making and Use of the Geometricall Instrument called a Sector (1598)’ (ODNB).

Oliver (Thomas, died 1610?), A New Handling of the Planisphere, Divided into Three Sections. In the first is a plaine and sensible explication of the circles of the Sphere, and such termes as appertaine vnto the doctrine de primo mobili ... The second sheweth how upon any plaine ... hauing one circle divided into degrees … most Conclusions of the Astrolabe may for all Latitudes or Countries be readily and exactly performed onely vvith Ruler and Compasses. In the third … is contained the making of certaine easie instruments … Invented for the most part, and first published in English by Thomas Olyver, 1st edition, Felix Kyngston for Simon Waterson and Rafe Iacson, 1601, 79, 82-[100] pp., cancel illustration from blank N2 placed at p. 35, black letter, woodcut diagrams to text, lacks final blank (N2) which had a cancel illustration but here excised and tipped onto the cancelled illustration on page 35, eight leaves neatly trimmed and folded at foremargins (D3, E2, F1, H1, H3, I1, K2, N1), two old laid paper endpapers at rear

Signatures: A-M4 N1 [-N2, blank with cancel diagram, here excised and tipped onto cancelled illustration on p. 35].

ESTC S113509; STC 18810; Taylor, Mathematical Practitioners 177-78.

'Oliver showed his extensive mathematical knowledge in a work on astronomy which he published in 1601. This was entitled A New Handling of the Planisphere and was intended as a means for solving astronomical problems by the use of ruler and compass, thus obviating the need for expensive instruments. The instrument of the title was simply a circular piece of brass with circular scales for degrees, the zodiac, and the hours of the day, and fitted with sights and a plummet. It could be used for various astronomical observations and was obviously designed as an alternative to the astrolabe. The book includes a clear exposition of cosmography but the use of the instrument is rather more convoluted, involving a great many geometrical constructions. In the preface Oliver acknowledged his debt to Christopher Clavius for his writing on the astrolabe' (ODNB).

Very rare, the last copy appearing at auction as part of a scientific sammelband at Sotheby’s in 2004.

(Quantity: 1)

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Auction: Early Printed Books, Historical Autographs & Documents, Travel, Maps & Decorative Prints, 6th Apr, 2022

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