FINÉ, Oronce.

De Speculo Ustorio, ignem ad propositam distantiam generante, liber unicus…

Lutetiae [Paris]: Ex officina Michaelis Vascosani… 1551

4to, 25 leaves. Without the final blank leaf. Woodcut initials, and 33 woodcut diagrams in the text. Text faintly ruled in red. Paper slightly browned but a crisp copy with generous margins. Modern French marbled boards and red morocco spine. With early annotations in the margins of 12 pages, extensive on the first 8 (with some trimmed). Bookplate of David L. DiLaura.

FIRST EDITION. A rare treatise on burning glasses or concave mirrors, which includes mathematical analyses and methods of their construction. Such mirrors were used in metallurgy and in assaying. Finé’s principal sources were Witelo’s Perspectiva and Alhazen’s recent De Speculis Comburentibus (1548), and although the book is not composed of original material, it is a carefully crafted compilation comprising a much needed textbook on catoptrics. “It was the first such book printed in France, and…esteemed for its careful presentation, straightforward Latin, and the excellence of its figures” (DiLaura). DiLaura, Bibliotheca Opticoria, 21. Norman catalogue 796.


In stock

Unsure of some of these terms? Click here to download a copy of Carter & Barker, ABC for Book Collectors (2006), which has full explanations.