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Arithmetic
L’ ART ET SCIENCE DE ARISMETIQUE MOULT UTILE & PROUFFITABLE A TOUTES GENS: & FACILLE A ENTENDRE PAR LA PLUME & PAR LE GECT SUBTIL POUR CEULX QUI NE SCAUENT LIRE NE ESCRIPRE. PARIS: [A. LOTRAIN] FOR (PIERRE SERGENT), [C.1535-1540]
Estimate
3,0004,000
LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
22
Arithmetic
L’ ART ET SCIENCE DE ARISMETIQUE MOULT UTILE & PROUFFITABLE A TOUTES GENS: & FACILLE A ENTENDRE PAR LA PLUME & PAR LE GECT SUBTIL POUR CEULX QUI NE SCAUENT LIRE NE ESCRIPRE. PARIS: [A. LOTRAIN] FOR (PIERRE SERGENT), [C.1535-1540]
Estimate
3,0004,000
LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London

Arithmetic
L’ ART ET SCIENCE DE ARISMETIQUE MOULT UTILE & PROUFFITABLE A TOUTES GENS: & FACILLE A ENTENDRE PAR LA PLUME & PAR LE GECT SUBTIL POUR CEULX QUI NE SCAUENT LIRE NE ESCRIPRE. PARIS: [A. LOTRAIN] FOR (PIERRE SERGENT), [C.1535-1540]
Small 8vo (132 x 83mm.), gothic letter, woodcut of a scribe on title, large device of Jean Saint-Denys at end, woodcuts of an abacus, counters, etc., woodcut initials, early nineteenth-century boards, modern folding cloth box
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Provenance

Jean-Nicolas Beaupré (c.1792-1869), bookplate; Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), printed label (no. 680); Librairie Thomas (Paris), Catalogue 37, item 204; Cyril Ernest Kenney (1898-1973), sale in these rooms, 28 March 1966, lot 1407, £420, Dawson; Robert B. Honeyman (1897-1987), sale in these rooms, 30 October 1978, lot 152, Dr Paul C. Martin, £1,800; anonymous consignor, sale in these rooms, 26 November 1987, lot 117, £1,800, Erwin Tomash

Literature

Tomash & Williams A93; Fairfax Murray, French 680 (this copy); USTC 79212 (this copy); Guy Bechtel, Catalogue des gothiques français 1476-1560 (Paris, 2008), A-271 (this copy); not in Hoock & Jeannin

Catalogue Note

An arithmetic primer intended for tradesmen, commencing with sections on basic operations, followed by a series of narrative examples, with the “problem” of the hermit and Saints Peter, Paul, and Francis coming last in the sequence. It belongs to a family of texts first printed in Paris about 1515, now recognised as the likely source for the earliest English-language arithmetic, printed in London by Richard Fakes in 1526 (ESTC S124007; Travis D. Williams, “The Earliest English Printed Arithmetic Books” in The Library, volume 13, 2012, pp.164-184). None of the Parisian editions is dated; the presumed earliest, printed by the widow of Jean Trepperel in association with her son-in-law, Jean Jehannot, is known by a single copy in New York (Smith, Rara arithmetica: Addenda, 1939, pp.13-14, assigned to 1520, though on what basis is not clear).

The present edition is substantially similar to another printed by Pierre Sergent, in which his own device is displayed above the colophon (Silvestre, Marques typographiques, 1101). That edition was also very nearly thumbed out of existence: it survives in a single, imperfect copy, held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (USTC 42074; Hoock & Jeannin I, p.288 -6.1). On present knowledge of Pierre Sergent’s activity, both editions may be dated in the mid to late 1530s.

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London