Lot 209

LANA DE TERZI, Francesco (1631-87). Prodromo, Brescia, 1670, folio, 20 engraved plates including one of a flying machine, [?]later full vellum. FIRST EDITION.

Estimate: £700 - £1,000
Hammer price: £1,600
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

LANA TERZI, Francesco (1631-87).  Prodromo overo saggio di alcune unventioni nuove premesso all' arte maestra. Opera che prepara il P. Francesco Lana Bresciano della Compagnia di Giesu. Per mostrare li piu reconditi principij della Naturale Filosofia, riconosciuti con accurata Teorica nelle piu segnalate inventioni, ed isperienze sin'hora ritrouate da gli scrittori di questa materia et altre nuoue dell' autore medesimo. Brescia: Per li Rizzardi, 1670. Folio (296 x 214mm). Woodcut initials, some historiated, ornaments, tables, 20 engraved plates at the end (occasional light mainly marginal spotting and staining). [?]Later full vellum, spine with gilt lettering-piece, red edges, new endpapers. Provenance: From the Collection of Peter and Margarethe Braune. FIRST EDITION, by the 'Father of Aeronautics', of a compendium of various new inventions, most notably a type of flying machine. "Lana Terzi's Prodromo is best known for presenting the earliest concept of flight derived from demonstrable aerostatic principles. He determined by experiment that a vessel may be made lighter by reducing the air density within it, and proposed to build a 'flying boat' suspended from four large spheres of thin copper, from which all or part of the air would be activated to achieve buoyancy ... While Lana apparently originated the method of reducing air density in a vessel by heating it, the implications of this phenomenon in relation to flight were not fully understood until the advent of the Montgolfier brothers a century later ... " (Norman). A speculative model of the flying machine is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The text of the present copy ends rather abruptly, prior to the plates, at [Qqq2] (p.252) with the description of "Figura LXXII" which is the final figure on the last plate (and not LXX as some authorities cite). Not in Brunet; Dibner Heralds of Science 176: "... the earliest concept of flight based on aerostatic principles"; Gamba 1053; Riccardi II, 12; Norman 1272; Wellcome III, 440; Wheeler Gift Cat. 166.

Read more

Our website uses cookies, as almost all websites do, to help provide you with the best possible browsing experience.

Accept Read more