Item #1071 Manuscript on paper in English, in ink, and highly legible. Illustrated with mathematical diagrams and 14 illustrations on perspective. Perspective.
Manuscript on paper in English, in ink, and highly legible. Illustrated with mathematical diagrams and 14 illustrations on perspective.
Manuscript on paper in English, in ink, and highly legible. Illustrated with mathematical diagrams and 14 illustrations on perspective.
Manuscript on paper in English, in ink, and highly legible. Illustrated with mathematical diagrams and 14 illustrations on perspective.
Manuscript Manual to the History and Techniques of Perspective

Manuscript on paper in English, in ink, and highly legible. Illustrated with mathematical diagrams and 14 illustrations on perspective.

[Cambridge ?], ca., 1800. Item #1071

4to.  231 x 186 mm., [9 x7 ¼ inches]. 27 pp. of text in manuscript including 8 mathematical diagrams, followed by 16 drawings of examples (one folding), a few highlighted in gray, pink, and yellow wash; followed by 120 pp. of blanks; 2 later drawings in pencil on the final two leaves.  The text and drawings are on laid paper with watermarks “TC / TG, 1796, and GR” with bugle device  Bound in full vellum, boards a bit soiled and warped, edges mottled read.  Loosely inserted is 20 pp typed manuscript of the manuscript text (early 20th century) and pencil notes.


A finely illustrated and substantive manuscript on perspective, not located in print, which teaches the history of the subject going back to the Greeks and Romans and offers eight methods using mathematical formulae to create in two dimensions what the eye captures when viewing objects at the distance.  The anonymous author, probably a lecturer at university, incorporates a clear description of the operation of the eye and how light and color are interpreted by the retina.  He uses mathematical diagrams to demonstrate how the eye functions and proceeds with methods of interpreting what is perceived using geometric figures.  The text is learned, useful, and clearly stated and followed by drawings which reinforce and expand his methodology.


Included is a typescript of the text and two pages of notes by a later student or owner about the manuscript.  Although the manuscript is highly legible and written in a beautiful hand, the typescript provides easy access to the text.  Also included are two pages of bibliographical notes, which describe a copy of Jacques Breuil’s La perspective pratique, published in 1663.  At the top of the note, the bibliographer writes, “Title-page of My Copy,” suggesting that this manuscript was a complement to Breuil’s publication.  Given the sophistication of the manuscript text, it is thought that it may have been an attempt by an 18th century artist to bring Breuil’s century old understanding up to date. 

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Price: $3,750.00

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