A Printer’s Device Honouring the Sciences (1724).

Printer’s Device: A graphic symbol usually associated with the Publisher of Antique books.
Newly arrived here and new to my experience are some volumes of the journal Suite des Memoires de Mathematique et de Physique tirez des Registers d e l’Academie Royale des Sciences, a significant and beautifully-designed series of books which are small (only about 16cm) and very light, and their fine binding makes the book feel “correct” in your hands.
I’ll be writing quite a bit about what I find in them over the next weeks and months, but the very first thing that stopped me was the scientific instrument-laden printer’s device on the title page–this the work of Pierre de Coup, of Amsterdam.
The original is only about 3″ square (35x60mm), but it presents an abundant allegorical punch in a tiny space: Memoire de le Math
And the full page:
Memoire de le Math detail I can identify most of the instruments around the putti (cupids): right in the middle of it all is a crest with a blazing sun, no doubt indicating the reign of holy light on the impact of science and mathematics; to its rear and left is a telescope and to the right is a drawing table with a considerable balancing weight.
One of the putti cuts a bit of the potted plant on the right, while another on the left works on a globe with a set of dividers (and may actually be standing on the plans of a fort).
The putto (cupid) in the center (with an armillary sphere just behind him?) works on some sort of drawing, and looks down and away to the right.
Additionally there are some bits an pieces: a right angle, a cauldron, perhaps an alembic, though I don’t know what that T-shaped instrument (on the right) is, or the clock-like-looking clock-like device at top-central…and I’m not sure why the bellows is figured so prominently (except for symbolic reasons).
Source: JF Ptak Science Books: A Lovely Printer’s Device Honoring the Sciences (1724)

About Derwombat

My name is Rod Parham, Hot Metal Compositor. I was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1947. Single with two children and a grandson. I Love History, Movies and Words.