551
551
Recorde, Robert (1510?-1558)
THE WHETSTONE OF WITTE, WHICHE IS THE SECONDE PARTE OF ARITHMETIKE: CONTAINING THEXTRACTION OF ROOTES: THE COSSIKE PRACTISE, WITH THE RULE OF EQUATION: AND THE WOORKES OF SURDE NOMBERS. LONDON: JOHN KINGSTON, (1557)
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 37,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
551
Recorde, Robert (1510?-1558)
THE WHETSTONE OF WITTE, WHICHE IS THE SECONDE PARTE OF ARITHMETIKE: CONTAINING THEXTRACTION OF ROOTES: THE COSSIKE PRACTISE, WITH THE RULE OF EQUATION: AND THE WOORKES OF SURDE NOMBERS. LONDON: JOHN KINGSTON, (1557)
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 37,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London

Recorde, Robert (1510?-1558)
THE WHETSTONE OF WITTE, WHICHE IS THE SECONDE PARTE OF ARITHMETIKE: CONTAINING THEXTRACTION OF ROOTES: THE COSSIKE PRACTISE, WITH THE RULE OF EQUATION: AND THE WOORKES OF SURDE NOMBERS. LONDON: JOHN KINGSTON, (1557)
4to (192 x 133mm.), black letter, woodcut initials and diagrams, 2 folding letterpress tables (signed R1 and D3), late nineteenth-century calf, quires C and D transposed, small marginal wormhole, slight damp-staining in gutter towards end, binding slightly rubbed
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Richard Towneley (1628-1706/7), of Towneley, Lancashire, armorial bookplate dated 1702 on verso of title-page and shelfmark R:50 in upper corner of title-page; sale of the Towneley library, Sotheby's, Wilkinson & Hodge, 18-28 June 1883, lot 2262; Harrison D. Horblit (1912-1988), booklabel; H.P. Kraus, catalogue 168, item 153, $11,500; bought from The Antiquarian Scientist, Acton, MA, 1990

An astronomer and experimenter in several fields, Richard Towneley assembled a valuable library, which was integrated into the already substantial library collected by his brothers (Tony Kitto, “The Towneley family library” in The Book Collector 59, 2010, pp.399-416). An inventory taken around the time of Richard’s death in 1707 lists 1979 books (John Rylands University Library, English MS375). The present volume is entered in that inventory as “Whetstone of Witt", with the shelfmark R.50.

Literature

Tomash & Williams R44; ESTC S110599; STC 20820; Smith, Rara arithmetica, p.286

Catalogue Note

FIRST EDITION of Recorde's treatise on arithmetic, following on from his earlier book entitled The grounde of artes (1543). Recorde introduces the use of parallel lines to represent "equals", which is his only major contribution to have entered common usage. It deals with Boethian numbers and algebra ("Cossike nombers").

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London