Nürnberg: Johann Petreius, 1539.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003252
4to (195 x 143 mm). , 126,  pp. Signatures: A-R4. Bound in 18th century German half-calf, blind-tooled spine with 4 raised bands, sprinkled paper-covered boards, blue-dyed edges (slight rubbing to extremities, inner upper hinge repaired and first endpaper renewed). Little dust-soiling and browning of title-page, very minor occasional spotting, faint brownstain to first gathering, oversized woodcut diagram on p. 63 shaved at fore-margin, 3 further woodcuts elsewhere only very slightly affected from trimming, but generally crisp and clean throughout. ----
VD16 S 3115; Honeyman 2795; Graesse, VII, 308; M. Friedman, A History of Folding in Mathematics, p. 67/68; Fleur Richter, Die Ästhetik geometrischer Körper in der Renaissance, Stuttgart, 1995, pp. 60-61. VERY RARE FIRST EDITION. The Geometria is one of the oldest treatises on geometry published in the German language. Wolgang Schmid was a citizen and master of calculations for the city of Bamberg. The work is dedicated to his friend the famous writer, calligrapher and creator of characters from Nuremberg, Johann Neudörfer. Inspired by Euclid's Elements, Schmid seeks to simplify the geometry of Albrecht Dürer's Underweysung (1525) for a less learned and more practically oriented readership. The work is divided into four chapters and begins with a general introduction to geometry. He begins with simple demonstrations before arriving at complicated geometric bodies, ending with a figure with 20 facets. Schmid then developed his text with more complex applications of geometry for the use of architects and craftsmen (stonemasons, masons, etc).
"The descriptions given for each Platonic solid are extremely short, usually describing only the number of faces, their shape, and the shape of the resulting solid. But despite the short descriptions, Schmid solves with his drawings, as Fleur Richter notes, several problems that Dürer had posed: for example, how is one to draw the Platonic solids from an angle, thus showing not only the distortion that a perspectival drawing causes (i.e., shortening of the edges), something which Dürer did not consider, or drawing the icosahedron from above, thus not implying, as Dürer did, that all of the vertices are on the same circle." (Friedman, p.67).
The work is rare. USTC lists only one copy in the United States (Columbia, Butler Library). - Visit our website to see more images!
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