Publication Date: 1847
Book First Edition
Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. First edn, London, William Pickering, 1847. Printed by Charles Whittingham. Sm 4to, title page, 1-268p. This copy lacks the introduction and the definitions, but the main body of the text of this remarkable book is complete and VG. Some light browning throughout as usual, mainly to the page margins. In an old red half-calf binding, marbled boards, gilt label, front hinge cracked, small signature of J. Earland. Described by Ruari Maclean as 'one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the whole century'. Classic text.
Published by Charles Whittingham for William Pickering, London, 1847
Seller: Milestones of Science Books, Ritterhude, Germany
Book First Edition
Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. 4to (236 x 186 mm).  viii-xxix , 268 pp. Including half-title, four-line woodcut initials, color diagrams throughout printed in red, blue, yellow and black. Contemporary three-quarter calf over cloth, spine-ends and raised bands with gilt-decoration, gilt-lettered red morocco spine-label, original blue endpapers (extremities rubbed, corners bumped). Some pale brown spotting of text as usual*, minor age-toning of paper, but in all a better-than-average, crisp and clean copy. ---- FIRST AND ONLY EDITION OF BYRNE'S SPECTACULAR RENDERING OF EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY USING FOUR-COLOR PRINTING, AND "THE MOST ATTRACTIVE EDITION OF EUCLID THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN" (Oechslin). The stark use of primary colors was envisaged by Byrne as a teaching aid. "Each proposition is set in Caslon italic, with a four line initial engraved on wood by Mary Byfield: the rest of the page is a unique riot of red, yellow and blue . . . attaining a verve not seen again on book pages till the days of Dufy, Matisse and Derain" (McLean). "This truly visual Euclid discards the letter-coding native to geometry texts. In a proof, each element names itself by consistent shape, color, and orientation; instead of talking about angle DEF, the angle is shown - appropriately enough for geometry" (Tufte). Byrne's depiction of Pythagoras is a classic, with the squares being visually interpreted so in vivid blocks of colour. In a technical tour-de-force, Whittingham skillfully aligned the different color blocks for printing to produce "One of the oddest and most beautiful books of the whole century" (McLean). "According to Julie L. Mellby, graphic arts librarian at Princeton University, in her online article "Euclid in Color," Byrne's Euclid was exhibited in London at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Praise was given for its beauty and the artistry of the printing, which may have influenced future publications and artwork. However, the book was sold for an extravagant price by contemporary standards, placing it out of the reach of educators who were supposed to make use of this new way of teaching geometry." *Virtually all copies of this print show more or less heavy brown spotting (or foxing) due to the used paper stock, but this copy is less affected than most copies we have seen. References: Janet Ing, Charles Whittingham, Printer, 46; Keynes, Pickering, pp. 37, 65; R. McLean, Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing p. 50-51 (illustration facing p. 53); E. R. Tufte, Envisioning Information, p.84; P. Lynch, That?s Maths: The rebel who brought Technicolour to Euclid, Irish Times, February 20, 2014; W. Oechslin, ed., Oliver Byrne: The Elements of Euclid (Cologne, Germany: Taschen America LLC, 2013), p.15; J. L. Mellby, Euclid in Color, Princeton University Library, Princeton, New Jersey, 2008. - Visit our website to see more images!.
Published by William Pickering, 1847., 1847
Seller: Michael S. Kemp, Bookseller, Sheerness, KENT, United Kingdom
Association Member: PBFA
Book First Edition
1st Edition. Square 8vo. pp. xxix, 268; colour printed diagrams throughout. Original cloth, cleverly restored on the spine preserving the original binding; lightly foxed throughout as usual with this title, with some light damp staining to lower inner margins. This innovative educational work covered the first six books of Euclid's elements which were standard fare on the mathematics curriculum of the time. Byrne's innovative approach to the representation of the formulae is now considered a precursor to the graphic modernist experiments from the Bauhaus movement.
Publication Date: 1847
EUCLID. The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid, in which Coloured Diagrams and Symbols are used instead of Letters for the Greater Ease of Learners. By Oliver Byrne. xxix, , 268 pp., illustrated throughout with colour-printed diagrams. Small 4to, 237 x 188 mm., bound in original publisher's drab cloth, edges untrimmed, in a new half morocco protective box. London: [Charles Whittingham for] William Pickering, 1847. First and only edition of Byrne's Euclid, surely one of the most remarkable Victorian books. These Mondrian-like designs of bold, primary colours are printed in faultless register, and the striking composition on the page is unique in bookmaking. Ruari McLean describes it as "one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the whole century." Both McLean and Joan Friedman agree that it is Whittingham's "triumph." In describing the complicated printing processes, Friedman writes: "Although the areas of colour were all flat tones without any subtleties, it was absolutely necessary that register -- the proper positioning of the blocks for successive printings -- be perfect, so that the angles and lines meet each other at the proper places. Whittingham achieved this and at the same time designed a page of great elegance and balance." Oliver Byrne devised this edition of Euclid as a completely new system for learning geometry. He determined that by using colours (instead of letters) to indicate angles and lines for the various geometric figures, a student could comprehend Euclid's theories in less than a third of the time. This copy is bound in the plain remainder binding, which followed copies in both blue and red cloth. Foxing throughout, as is true in all copies; nevertheless an excellent unwashed, and fresh copy. PROVENANCE: From the library of Sir Robert Peel, with his bookplate. Friedman 43. McLean 70. Keyes, Pickering 53.