Rome: apud Joannem Mariam Salvione, 1728.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #002179
Folio (390 x 270 mm). viii, 92 pp., including engraved frontispiece, title printed in red and black and with engraved vignette, two engraved initials, engraved headpiece, 3 mezzotint engraved illustrations in text, and 10 (4 folding) engraved plates (the first in mezzotint). Contemporary calf, spine with 5 raised bands gilt-tooled in compartments and with gilt-lettered red morocco label (rubbing and scratching to extremities and boards, spine ends chipped, corners scuffed). First endpaper browned in outer margins and with cut out at upper corner. Very little browning of text and plates, minor occasional mostly marginal spotting, light dust-soiling to outer margins. A very good, wide-margined copy. ----
Ashworth, The face of the moon, Linda Hall 11; Brown, Astronomical Atlases, p.139; Graesse, I, 437; Riccardi I 132.15; Honeyman 323. - FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST ATLAS OF THE PLANET VENUS - A fine copy of the first book of telescopic observations of the planet Venus, and containing important illustrations of lunar topography. The work also documents Bianchini's observations of the dark spots on the surface of Venus, and the Campani telescopes he used in his discoveries.Bianchini (1662-1729) sought to determine the rotational period of the planet Venus from the dark patches on the disc, and to draw a map of its surface. Cassini had earlier determined a period of revolution or libration of about 23 hours; Bianchini concluded, on the basis of several successive observations, that the rotational period was in fact 24 and a half days; that the north pole of this rotation faced the 20th degree of Aquarius, and was elevated 15 degrees above the plane of the ecliptic, and that the axis kept parallel to itself during the planet's revolution around the sun. Although his results on the rotational period were incorrect, due to Venus's thick cloud cover, his observations were pioneering efforts in investigating the planet. He utilised an enormously long, single-lens long-focus refracting telescope, designed by the brilliant Roman lensmaker Giuseppe Campani.Of great interest are the two mezzotint views of lunar features in the text. They depict the crater Plato and the Alpine Valley and were the result of the problems of determining topography from shadow patterns. 'This small engraving, which appears in the text as part of the introductory chapter, shows the crater Plato at the right, with Aristotle and Eudoxus at left, and the mountain range of the Alps cut by the dramatic slash of the Alpine Valley. Bianchini noted with surprise that the valley did not appear on the great Cassini map, and he was right; Bianchini was the first to see and to portray this most impressive of lunar valleys' (William Ashworth jr, The face of the moon p 11).The fine frontispiece was engraved by Rocco Pozzi (d. 1780) after a design by Stefano Pozzi (1707-1768). It depicts Minerva on a throne, supporting a portrait the King of Portugal. A putto presents a globe of Venus to the King's portrait; other astronomical instruments are also depicted. The figure of Atlas supports the celestial globe on which the constellations are visible. The Bologna Astronomical Museum has a globe of Venus made by Bianchini (Riccardi I 132.15). - Visit our website to see more images!
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