Tentamina Experimentorum Naturalium captorum in Accademia del Cimento sub auspiciis Serenissimi Principis Leopoldi Magni Etruriae Ducis, et ab ejus Academiae secretario conscriptorum: ex Italico in Latinum sermonem conversa. Quibus commentarios, nova experimenta, et orationem de methodo instituendi experimenta physica addidit Petrus van Musschenbroek…

Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden]: Apud Joan. et Herm. Verbeek, Bibliop. .1731

2 parts in 1 volume, 4to, pp. xvi, xlviii, (xii), 193; 1 leaf, pp. 3–192, (14), 32 folding engraved plates, 1 folding letterpress table. Title printed in red and black. Foxing on the first 4 leaves and on fore-edge margins on some other leaves. Contemporary calf, rebacked, part of lower cover stained darker. Large coat-of-arms in gilt on both covers of Sir George Savile of Rufford.

FIRST EDITION, incorporating the first edition in Latin of the Saggi di naturali esperienze (1667) of the Accademia del Cimento in Florence, with substantial additions to each section by Musschenbroek. The work is prefixed by Musschenbroek’s Oratio de Methodo Instituendi Experimenta Physica, which sets out his experimental philosophy, inspired by Newton. The Accademia del Cimento [Academy of Experiment] was founded in Florence in 1657, before the formal foundation of either the Royal Society or the Académie des Sciences. Two of its founder members, Viviani and Torricelli, were disciples of Galileo; others included Borelli, Steno, Redi and Cassini. This text was written by Count Lorenzo Magalotti, and includes accounts of experiments on temperature and air pressure (including Torricelli’s invention of the barometer), the velocity of sound and light, phosphorescence, magnetism, amber and other electrical bodies, the freezing of water, etc. The many fine plates in this translation by Musschenbroek illustrate the Accademia’s work and his own later experiments, one of which includes the first description of the pyrometer (a term coined by him). Musschenbroek was one of the great physical experimenters and lecturers of the eighteenth century, and the teacher of Nollet. Wheeler Gift 276. For the Accademia del Cimento see Wheeler Gift 196 and Duveen p. 636: “…highly important experiments”; also Dibner 82 and Norman Catalogue 485 for the first edition of 1667. Wolf, History of science, I, pp. 55–59.


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.