The Mysteryes of Nature, and Art: Conteined in foure severall Tretises, the first of Water Workes The second of Fyer workes, The third of Drawing, Colouring, Painting, and Engraving, The fourth of divers Experiments, as wel serviceable as delightful: partly collected, and partly of the Authors Peculiar Practice, and Invention by J.B.
by [BATE, John]
Fine added engraved title (a little cropped at foot), woodcut plate between pp. 14 & 15 in the first part (T4), & numerous woodcuts in the text (two slightly cropped). 5 p.l. (incl. added engraved title), 112, , 121-142, , 150-192 pp. Small 4to, cont. calf (a little rubbed), red morocco lettering piece on spine. London: R. Mab, 1634. First edition and quite uncommon on the market; this is "the first comprehensive illustrated English book on waterworks and hydraulic machinery. It also includes sections on drawing, painting, recipes, and folk remedies, as well as one on fireworks and incendiary devices largely derivative of earlier English and continental works on the subject... "Bate's influence extended to the young Isaac Newton, who owned a copy of Mysteries, copied extracts from Bate's section on drawing, and was probably inspired by his section on waterworks."-ODNB. As a schoolboy, Newton neglected his school work in favor of building mechanical works, including a windmill, a water clock (clepsydras), a cart run by a crank, and an airborne lantern. Many of his contrivances, including those just mentioned, as well as a process for making various colored inks, were found in Bate's Mysteryes (see Westfall's biography of Newton Never at Rest, p. 61). It was a book which fully engaged the youthful Newton's natural precocious interests. Indeed, his fascination with color and the mixing of colors stemmed from Bate's book. "All editions, more particularly the first and third, are moderately rare, and are not readily procurable in really nice state [this was written in 1898]...The first book contains a good many ingenious devices worked by water power. In particular, there is a weather glass, a water clock, force pumps, and other contrivances. The second book deals with pyrotechny...The third book is occupied with drawing and painting, and an account is given both of mediums and of colours...the last book, called 'Extravagants,' is merely a collection of miscellaneous secrets relating chiefly to the metals, and there are a few medical receipts at the end. On the whole the book justifies the demand for it that still exists."-Ferguson, Bibliographical Notes on Histories of Inventions & Books of Secrets, Supplement Four, pp. 11-12. The attractive engraved title depicts eight experiments or effects described in the book. There are about 80 woodcuts in the text, many full-page. A very nice copy of a fascinating book. ❧ STC 1577.
(Inventory #: 6002)
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