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Lot 156 - Web Auction 118

1.000,00/1.300,00 €
1.240,00 EUR

FRANCESCO REDI (1626-1697)
Lettera intorno all’invenzione degli occhiali scritta da Francesco Redi all’illustriss. Signor Paolo Falconieri. In Firenze, per Francesco Onofri stampatore Granducale, 1678

§ 4to (245 x 175); 14, [2] pp (last blanks); signature: A-B1-4 (B4 blank). Large engraved printer’s device on title page, large engraved heraldic head-piece, woodcut initial. Original boards. Unimportant foxing. Fine copy.

The famous controversy on the invention of spectacles began around 1668, when the philologist Carlo Roberto Dati (1619 - 1676) dedicated to his friend and colleague Francesco Redi one of his learned dissertation called vigils (veglie), concerning the invention of spectacles. In it mention is made for the first time of what would appear to be the oldest known reference to the manufacture of spectacles - produced by the Dominican friar Alessandro della Spina (d. 1286) -, as observed in a XIV century chronicle of the convent of Saint Catherine of Alexandria in Pisa (now MS 78 of the Biblioteca Cateriniana of Pisa, leaf 13r).
The Dati’s vigil remained unpublished until 1780 but when Redi disclosed the research contained in it through the present Lettera, he gave rise to a contention that lasted for over two centuries.
Like Galileo, Redi used the Italian language with mastery, both in his scientific works and in the consultations, he produced as a practicing physician.
Ref; Brunet IV, 1175; Gamba 825 : “Prima e rara edizione”; Prandi 19; Razzolini-Bacchi della Lega, p. 288.


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