Veiling 358 Old & Rare Books - Natural History - Science - Medicine

BRANCA, G. Le machine. Volume nuovo et di molto artificio da fare effetti maravigliosi tanto spirituali quanto di animale operatione, arichito di bellisime figure con le dichiarationi a ciascuna di esse in lingua volgare et Latina (...). Roma, G. Mascardi for G. Marucci, 1629. 3 parts in 1 vol. (3), 40; 14; 23 lvs. W. engr. ti. incorporating the figures of Vitruvius and Archimedes, and 77 full-p. woodcut illustr., numb. in letterpress with Roman numbers corresponding with the numbering of the lvs. 1-40, 1-14 and 1-23. 4°. Cont. limp vellum. (Vellum a bit torn/restored, margins of endpapers & v° ti. strengthened, leaf F w. closed tear, partly browned/foxed and with occas. waterstains in blank margins).

First and only edition of this famous and rare treatise on machinery by the Roman engineer and architect Branca (1571-1645). Among the fine series of 77 woodcuts is the first printed representation of a steam turbine, first described by Leonardo da Vinci in the Codex Leicester. It shows a pair of turbine-operated mortars which is driven by propelling steam which issues from the mouth of a bronze head; it marks the earliest depiction of the use of steam as motive power. - Cat. of Wheeler gift 96; Dibner, Heralds of science, 175; Norman Lib. 333.

€ 3200

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