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Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
Natural Philosophy & Physics. In Physicam; Latin Manuscript on Paper.
Italy?, mid- to late-18th century.
Octavo format manuscript on laid paper, each leaf with a pencil border, text in brown ink, single column throughout in a Latin book-hand, about seventeen lines per page, written over 189 numbered pages, with seven hand-drawn folding diagrams at the end; bound in full contemporary Italian parchment over boards, sponged decoration to leaf edges, 7 1/2 x 5 in.
This fascinating manuscript may contain lecture notes, as no published work seems to match it. The writer's initials are likely J.M.B., the only indication of an identity in the text. The spine bears a label referring to a Pere Aloys Schett, but that proved to be a deadend as well. What we can say from the text is that in addition to references to church fathers and the ancients, we also find mentions of Gassendi and Musschenbroek and many references to Newton, regarding color theory, the movement of various bodies, and gravity. Notes regarding electricity are also here, discussion of the nature of smells, sounds, and colors. The diagrams begin with simple geometry and progress to employment of such calculations in practical settings. The penultimate illustration depicts pulleys, screws, and other simple machines.