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Scienza della Natura Generale
Venice,: Battista Recurti, 1750.. Two volumes, quarto, with a total of 62 plates (including three letterpress tables numbered in series), a fine set in contemporary full vellum with gilt lettered labels. Well-preserved compendium of articles on science and technology, including a splendid array of engraved plates illustrating many different aspects of eighteenth-century science. 'Illustrations of particular interest are those of units of measurement, the pendulum, electrostatical machines, the pointing of mortar, the compressed air-gun, the refraction of light rays, and chyliferous vessels in man. In short Scienza della Natura presents a complete and ordered picture of the state of scientific knowledge in its time' (DSB).Giovanni della Torre (c. 1710-1782) was a prominent teacher of natural science and physics at Italian universities. A man of varied pursuits, della Torre is remembered for his improvement and simplification of the microscope, and as the author of a later separately published book on volcanoes derived from personal observations of Mount Vesuvius in the Bay of Naples.Written during a period when the teaching of science in Italian institutions was increasingly influenced by Newtonian physics, these books combine the older discursive style of natural philosophy with new rigorous experimental approaches. In Scienza della Natura Generale we encounter a curious hybrid of ancient learning within an enthusiastic, and highly rational, environment of experimental science.The scope of these books is considerable, encompassing physics and the natural sciences, as well as anatomy and other subjects. This diversity of subject material is reflected in the large number of engraved plates. Illustrations include hydraulic and pneumatic experiments, vacuum pumps and chambers, centrifuges, and similar physics projects. The design of microscopes, telescopes, and other optical instruments are likewise illustrated in some detail over several plates (interestingly, the anatomical plates include microscopic views of cells and alveoli of the lungs). One curious engraving presents an innovative diving bell suspended from a sailing vessel, presumably for collecting treasure and salvage from the seafloor.Poggendorff, II, 1118; Riccardi, I, 541; Roller-Goodman, II, 508.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-11-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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