first edition contemporary calf
1713 · Basel
by BERNOULLI, JAKOB
Basel: Impensis Thurnisiorum fratrum, 1713. First edition. contemporary calf. FIRST EDITION OF BERNOULLI'S FOUNDATIONAL WORK ON PROBABILITY THEORY. PMM 179. Jakob Bernoulli's "great treatise (conjectandi) means literally 'casting', sc. dice) was published posthumously. It was the first systematic attempt to place the theory of probability on a firm basis and is still the foundation of much modern practice in all fields where probability is concerned - insurance, statistics and mathematical heredity tables" (Printing and the Mind of Man, #179). "Jakob Bernoulli's pioneering work Ars Conjectandi (published posthumously, 1713; "The Art of Conjecturing") contained many of his finest concepts: his theory of permutations and combinations; the so-called Bernoulli numbers, by which he derived the exponential series; his treatment of mathematical and moral predictability; and the subject of probability-containing what is now called the Bernoulli law of large numbers, basic to all modern sampling theory" (Britannica). Complete with two folding tables and one folding diagram. Beautifully printed with woodcut initials and woodcut diagrams in text. Basel: Impensis Thurnisiorum fratrum, 1713. Small quarto, contemporary full calf rebacked with original spine laid down; elaborately gilt-decorated spine; marbled endpapers, edges dyed red. Bookplate of Ch. Roulleau de la Roussiere on front free endpaper. Neat small contemporary ownership inscription on title. Light occasional foxing generally to margins, foxing heavier on first few and last few leaves. A very good copy in handsome contemporary binding.
(Inventory #: 2319)