Paris: Estienne Michallet, 1684.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003632
8vo (156 x 84 mm). , 1-204, 241-248,  pp., including errata leaf and final blank, woodcut text diagrams, 4 engraved plates, woocut initials, head- and tailpieces. Bound in contemporary French calf, spine with 5 raised bands, gilt decorated in compartments and with faint lettering piece (spine chipped at head and foot, extremities rubbed, bumped bumped and scuffed). Text only little browned, occasional minor spotting, first preliminary pages with small brown spot at upper margin, the third plate with two figures separated as often and bound-in at the named pages. A very good, clean copy. ----
FIRST EDITION of Picard's book on surveying and leveling, written as a by-product of his researches into the measurement of the circumference of the earth. This work was prepared for the press by Philippe de la Hire (1640-1718) after Picard's death, and was considered one of the prime books on the subject, being reprinted in numerous editions until 1780. De la Hire supplies descriptions and illustrations both of Picard's level and of alternative instruments designed by Huygens, Römer and himself. These levels were some of the most accurate instruments available at the time. Picard's instrument was used to supply the chateaux of Marly and Versailles with water, a surveying project undertaken by the French Academy in which king Louis XIV took a keen interest and which Picart and Römer carried out under Colbert's instructions: 'on this occasion [Picard and Römer] succeeded in transforming the art of levelling by the high degree of accuracy they introduced' (see M. Daumas, Les instruments scientifiques aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, Paris, PUF, 1953, p.55). References: Honeyman 2474; Sotheran, First Supplement, 2604. - Visit our website to see more images!
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