Padua: 1607. FIRST EDITION. Engraved title and 42 full-page engravings. Contemporary vellum, remnants of ties, title in ink on spine; signature and date (eighteenth century) crossed out on title, initials and notation to front and back paste-downs, very minor spotting and browning, overall an excellent copy. Item #16080
First edition. This was the first of many works detailing and illustrating machinery (including those by Ramelli, Besson, Strada, etc.), all based upon the unpublished Trattado di architectura by Francesco di Giorgio Martini (1439-1501). Indeed, according to Norman, even Leonardo da Vinci had owned and annotated a copy of Francesco’s treatise. Zonca’s images, copied by many later writers, include inventions for mills such as a water mill running silk-spinners and a water-powered grain mill operated on a boat moored in a river, copper plating and printing presses, a barbeque spit turned by gears and a windmill, as well as a perpetual motion machine. “The work is noted for containing the first printed illustration of a gig-mill for raising nap on cloth, and for spreading knowledge of the mangle” (Norman).
Zonca (1568-1602) was an Italian mechanical engineer. His book on machines went through four editions, and some of the plates were even published in a 1627 Chinese work on European mechanical arts, Qiqi Tushuo by Johann Schreck and Wang Zheng.