Antwerp: Hieronymus Verdussen, 1645.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #002940
Two parts in one volume. Folio (303 x 205 mm). , 356, [4, blank] pp., 10 engraved plates by Arnold Loemans including a lunar map; , 279 , [28, index] pp. Each part with separate title-page, first title-page printed in red and black, engraved frontispiece, woodcut device on recto of final leaf. Signatures: *-6*4, 7*2, A-Z4, Aa-Vv4, Xx8; *-2*4, A-Z4, Aa-Mm4, Nn6 Oo-Pp4. Contemporary full vellum, blue coloured edges (upper part of spine with unobtrusive repair, some soiling and staining, corners bumped). Text and plates generally crisp and clean, some gatherings and pages with light even browning, occasional very minor spotting, a few contemporary annotations in red and black ink, ink smudge to pp. p.154 and 147, a few smaller marginal waterstains and tears in places. Very good copy. ----
Ashworth, The face of the moon, Linda Hall 3; Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon, p.47. First edition of this very rare and influential work in the history of the telescope. "This treatise on optics includes a map of the full moon - the first on a reasonably large scale. Rheita is noted in the history of optics for his invention of the erecting eyepiece. It is ironic that his lunar map is one of the first to have the south pole at the top, showing the moon inverted, as it appears through an astronomical telescope without his eyepiece ... Rheita's map has not been much appreciated, probably because it was so soon eclipsed by the more splendid efforts of Hevelius, Divini, and Grimaldi, but it captures the brilliant ray system of Tycho much better than any other illustration to that time, as well as the mountainous nature of the Apennines. The floors of the craters Plato and Grimaldi are properly depicted as black." (Ashworth, 3).
"Rheita actually introduced a number of crucial improvements in his work, leading to a real break-through in telescope design. First, Rheita suggested a new and much better method of polishing lenses, leading to a strong reduction of deviations; secondly (and even more importantly), he found that a compound ocular, composed of three or four lenses, resulted in a much better quality than using only a single (compound) ocular" (Van Helden, The Origin of the Telescope, p. 334).
"The map is a copperplate edition, diameter about 18.5 cm, of an original drawing made by Rheita. It is essentially a full-Moon image with a very few craters included from observations made at other phases. The ray systems emanating from Tycho and other craters are very stylistically drawn, and bear little resemblance to reality. Indeed, those lettered H and V are non-existent. The small bright spots are almost entirely randomly placed." (Whitaker, p.47) - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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