France: Manuscript, 1701. Contemporary French calf binding. 4to (17 x 23 cm). Contemporary calf French binding with raised bands, gilt decorative panels and red morocco label; breaks to hinges along spine, cords intact. Loss to ends of spine, wear and some staining to covers, loss at corners and edges.There are marble pastedowns but not same free end papers, suggesting that the manuscript sheets were stitched and textblock cased in this binding. Collation: 221 pp. Pen and ink manuscript illustrated with numerous figures and hand drawn vignettes. Cartouche at bottom of title page has several cupids flanked on each side by floor globes, each holding a different instrument for mapping, measurinmontg, maping and so on. The text in a rectangular front reads “made, written and designed by M(onteg)u. Information on the author is not present in the text proper but discussed along with history of the course on tipped in typed sheets preceeding title page. The author has reproduced part of the title page present in a published edition of this work, making notable changes by adding “enrichie de plusieurs belles demonstrations
d’euclide” and adding information in a center double bordered insert that the manuscript was written in 1701 after taking this course taught by M. Flamuel, professor of mathematics at Metz in the year 1677—1678. M. Montegu went on to become captain of the Second Battalion of the regiment of Bassigny in the Garrison at Avesne. There are 11pp. preceding actual text of published book. These preliminary pages are noted as a preamble, “Tableau Des Mathematiques”, that cover Definition of Mathematics, Logistics or Arithmetics, Geometry – Practical, Diagraphic, Altimetric, Planimetric, Optic or Perspective and so on. On page 9 there is loss of a section of paper that affects four lines of text. The main body of the text follows for the most part the printed text of this scarce title. The published book only has text and no diagrams that the student would add during or after attending the lectures. However, M. Montegu has included additional information and diagrams that are not in the printed work. At the end of the main text there are 7 pages of with information for the presenter of this text.
Although the author has reproduced the text provided him when taking the course, most likely using a copy of the printed book that had blank areas after each proposition, there is a strong element of independent additions and excellent figures and diagrams. The addition of a number of individual hand drawn vignettes is a very fine complement to the manuscript. Good +. Item #0000817
The preliminary typed pages signed by Maurice Besnard gives an excellent history of this manuscript as well as noting that “throughout the history of the polytechnic school the scientific courses taught at this school present a great homogeneity gradually completing as a measure of the development of diverse scientific disciplines but still keeping their structure and general presentation.