It is with great sadness that we are announcing the death of Hamish Riley-Smith on the 10th August. 'Hamish Riley-Smith Rare Books' will be run by his wife, Gita, and his sons Damian and Crispian. Any enquiries contact crispian@riley-smith.com

Hamish Riley-Smith

Rare Books And Manuscripts

Pierre Forcadel

L’Arithmeticque 1557-1558

‘Perhaps the most elaborate French treatise on arithmetic published in the 16th century’

L’Arithmeticque de P.Forcadel, de Beziers. En laquelle sont traictes quatre reigles briefues, qui contiennent les deux cents qurante anciennes: & plusieurs autres reigles, pour l’exercice des nombres entiers, par lesquels on peut facilement paruenir à la cognoissance de l’Agebre. Le tout de l’inuention dudi?t Forcadel...Le Second Livre...Le Troysiesme Livre...

Paris, Chez Guillaume Cauellat, à l’enseigne de la Poulle grasse, deuant le college de Cambray 1557, 1557, 1558

Three volumes bound in one volume, quarto, 20.0 x 14.5cm, contemporary blind stamped calf, spine with four raised bands, skilful old repairs to head and tail of spine, ff.[6], 93, [1] errata on recto of final leaf; pp.(6), 310, (1); ff.4, 111, (1), full title page to each volume with printer’s device of a cockrel within an elaborate decorated border, larger printer’s device of a cockrel within an oval border to last leaf of each volume [the final one hand coloured], historiated woodcut initials, many woodcut diagrams and typeset mathematical formulae, *iii and *iv in volume I misbound to the end of volume I, skilful paper repair to lower blank margin to title of volume I, faint dampstain in the lower margin of some leaves, privilege is in volume III dated June 1557, text in Middle French throughout, an excellent copy.

Smith, Rare Arithmetica pp.284-286. Adams F744 [Emmanuel Coll]. Renouard, 97-98.
See Hoock & Jeannin, Ars Mercatoria.
Very rare NUC, RLIN and OCLC record copies only at Columbia, Brown & Harvard.
£3,250

First edition, second state, complete with the very rare third volume [first state is dated 1556, 1556, 1557] Dedicated to Michel de l’Hospital dated 27th February 1555 in volume I , 15th July in volume II and to Cardinal de Lorraine 2nd July 1557 in volume III.
Pierre Forcadel of Beziers [died 1574], protégé of Ramus, was professor of mathematics in the Collège Royal, Paris in 1560. He was the first to teach mathematics in the French language. He also wrote on astronomy and translated the works of several Greek mathematicians, notably producing the first French Euclid, published by Cavellat in 1564. Smith describes this work here ‘perhaps the most elaborate French treatise on arithmetic published in the 16th century’. Relying on the recent algebra of Cardano and Stifel’s calculus, Forcadel gives a theoretical account of arithmetical calculations and rules, comparable to Tunstall and Tartaglia. A sophisticated work in the theory of arithmetic, the book is an unusually fine example of 16th century French book design, with complicated equations laid out in fine configurations.

Pierre Forcadel - L’Arithmeticque 1557-1558
Pierre Forcadel - L’Arithmeticque 1557-1558
Pierre Forcadel - L’Arithmeticque 1557-1558
Pierre Forcadel - L’Arithmeticque 1557-1558

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