Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Ragionamenti sopra la celeste sfera in lingua italiana commune. Con uno breve tractato dela compositione dela sfera materiale... (Reasoning on the Celestial sphere in Common Italian. With a Short Treatise on the Composition of the Material Sphere)

Paris: (Robert Masselin) for Françoise Barthelemy, 1552. First edition. Softcover. Small octavo. Collation: a-h8, i4 (= 68 unnumbered leaves); woodcut printer's device; 2 decorative initials; 46 woodcut diagrams in text; 1 letterpress chart. Text in Italian. Contemporary vellum (repurposed manuscript in two columns), manuscript title at spine in black ink. Text faintly toned, else crisp and clean. Small, nearly invisible expert repairs at top margin first three leaves. A nearly fine, amply margined copy.

First edition of this vernacular treatise on the basic astronomical concepts of the Ptolemaic system, copiously illustrated. Dedicated to and written for Marguerite de Valois (1523-74), commonly known as Maguerite de France. In 1549 she received the title "Duchesse de Berry" (as shown here in the title), and in 1559 she married the Duke of Savoy.

The astronomer and mathemetician Nonio Marcello Saia (fl. 1552-1558) was born in Roccagloriosa in the province of Salerno in Southern Italy. His published works, including an astrological forecast in Italian addressed to Pope Julius III (1551), and a more voluminous Latin opus Prognosticum in Annum 1553 et Partes 1554 are quite rare. Saia seems to have settled in Paris in the late 1550s. There he published his paraphrases of the seven penitential psalms (1558), dedicated to his patron Cardinal Antonio Trivulzio, who had been legate in France since 1557. It is conceivable that Saia accompanied the Cardinal on his way to Paris. Saia also published a work on the Nile, De Nili Fluminis Excrescentia et Inundatione (Paris, 1585), a treatise in which he claimed that there is more earth than water, and in 1588 he published Du Gouvernment du Bon Prince, et l'Office du Parfeit Capitaine," written in Italian and translated into French. This work was dedicated to "la royne mère (Catherine de Médici)," whom Saia served as mathematician, according to the dedication.

Provenance and annotations: Old entry of Jesuit convent at title; later library stamp. About 100 words in old manuscript annotation at h7v and h8v (bleeding through to rectos, but not impairing legibility). Near fine. Item #53450

References: CNCE 47689; Houzeau & Lancaster 2558; Renouard III, 276. An uncommon work, neither OCLC or USTC notes any copies outside of Europe. EDIT16 confirms most surviving copies are located in Italy.

Price: $3,500.00

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