Astronomical and surveying instruments from the time of Galileo, with a world map in two hemispheres with movable volvelles

Gallucci, Giovanni Paolo. Della fabrica et uso di diversi stromenti di astronomia, et cosmografia, ove si vede la somma della teorica, et pratica di queste due nobilissime scienze.

Venice, Roberto Meietti, 1598.

4to (22 × 16.5 cm). With engraved title-page, folding woodcut plate, 3 woodcut volvelles with moving parts, and numerous woodcut illustrations in text. Including a world map in two hemispheres (incl. America and a scattering of islands at the location of Australia) on two facing pages, they reappear with volvelle attachments on both sides of leaf 149 and leaf 153. Contemporary limp sheepskin parchment.


First edition of a well-illustrated encyclopaedia of astronomical and surveying instruments available since classical history, by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Paolo Gallucci (1538-ca. 1621), a well-known private teacher to the Venetian nobility and founding member of the Second Venetian Academy. It gives a comprehensive summary of the knowledge of astronomy, cosmography and mathematics at the time of Galileo. "It describes instruments designed by others (Finé, Apian, Gemma Frisius, etc.) and gives credit to the original inventors. The one exception to this is the Visorio, which Gallucci claims as his own, but an identical instrument by Waldseemüller can be found illustrated in the 1512 edition of Margarita Philosophica by Gregor Reisch. Other instruments, such as the Hemispherical Uranico (a complicated device used for computations dealing with the moon, sun and stars), appear to be of Gallucci's invention. Besides the usual portable instruments, he also includes a simple quadrant and a two-ringed armillary built into the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence" (Erwin Tomash). For some of the instruments this is the only description available. The present second issue of the first edition appeared a year after the first. With the owner's label of the Capuchin friar and astronomer Agostino da Piacenza (1747-1839) and the relating library stamp "Bibliotheca Capucinorum Placentiae" on the engraved title-page. A few marginal water stains and some occasional spots, otherwise in very good condition.


Adams G 167. Burden 96. Cantamessa 1688. Crone 98. Erwin Tomash 23. Shirley 199. for Gallucci: G. Ernst, "Gallucci, Giovanni Paolo" in: Treccani LI (1998).

Art.-Nr.: BN#49029 Schlagwörter: ,