1737 · Paris
First edition of this introduction to geometry, intended for => young men working in the royal stables who had only scant time available for the study of mathematics. In addition to a mathematician, professor, and contributor to Diderot's Encyclopédie, the author (1704–81) was a scholar of military tactics, responsible for Éléments de tactique and Traité de l'attaque des places among other items.
This now-uncommon textbook is illustrated with five folding engraved plates of diagrams. WorldCat shows => just one U.S. institution (Society of the Cincinnati) reporting a copy, and only a handful of overseas holdings.
Provenance: Title-page with early inked inscription "de Ratzenried" and front pastedown with von Ratzenried armorial bookplate (coat of arms showing greyhounds and a moon with clouds) labelled F.C.V.R.: possibly Franz Carl Anton von und zu Ratzenried. Contemporary mottled calf, board edges with gilt roll, spine with raised bands, gilt-stamped leather title-label, and compartments gilt extra; light wear overall, edges and joints moderately rubbed. All edges speckled red. Bookplate and inscription as above. Pages with occasional small pencilled marks of emphasis, otherwise clean; one plate with outer edge slightly tattered. => A very nice copy, in contemporary binding, of this scarce practical compendium. (Inventory #: 40246)