Basel: Henricus Petri, 1557.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Fair. Item #002866
8vo (161 x 113 mm). , 1194,  pp. Woodcut portrait of the author on title verso, two folding plates, folding table, woodcut initials, and several woodcut illustrations and diagrams in text (2 full page). 19th century half calf over marbled boards, plain spine with gilt-lettered label (rubbing to spine and extremities). Internally little browned throughout, occasional spotting an dampstaining, up to 7 mm of upper blank corner of book block lost by animal bites affecting about half of the gathering affecting page numbering on 4 leaves, first 28 leaves of gatherings aa-bb8 and a-b8 with paper defect at gutter due to paper embrittlement with loss of letters at inner margin of 8 leaves and with several lines obscured by old paper reinforcements, larger paper repair at inner margin of title-leaf, leaves A1-4 glued at gutter just into text field, upper margin trimmed close occasionally touching headline text and with partial loss of headline on 8 pages text and final leaves of index, a few scattered annotations in contemporary hand, gathering f (pp. 449-464) misbound after p.332. Provenanve: Giovanni Battista Pinelli (old ink inscription on title). ----
Norman 402; DSB III, p.66; Dibner 139 (note); NLM/Durling 844; Duveen 117; Wellcome I, 1298. The first octavo edition of Cardano's immense encyclopedia, published the same year as Petri's folio edition. De rerum varietate is a continuation of Cardano's 1550 De subtilitate; "the two works, written in an elliptical and often obscure Latin, contain a little of everything: from cosmology to the construction of machines; from the usefulness of natural sciences to the evil influence of demons; from the laws of mechanics to cryptology. It is a mine of facts, both real and imaginary; of notes on the state of the sciences; of superstition, technology, alchemy, and various branches of the occult. The similarities between the scientific opinions expressed by Cardano in these two works and those of Leonardo da Vinci, at that time unpublished, has led some historians, particularly Pierre Duhem, to suppose that Cardano has used Leonardo's manuscript notes; others insist that the similarity is entirely coincidental. Be that as it may, Cardano must always be credited with having introduced new ideas that inspired new investigations." (DSB). - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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