402J, Gaspar Schott 1608-1666

Mechanica Hydraulico-Pneumatica Ad Eminentiss: S.R.I. Principem Joannem Philippum Electorem Mogunt: Auctore. P. Gaspare Schotto. Soc. Jesu.  [“The appendix to Schott’s work contains the first published report of Guericke’s experiments with the vacuum pump. Guericke had communicated the results of his experiments to Schott in 1657, but did not publish his own account until 1672.”]

Wurzburg: Henricus Pigrin, 1657.                         $ 9,000

Quarto   x 6 ½ inches: []2(engraved title and half title), ≠4,≠4, ≠4, o2, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Rrr4. First and only edition of the first work published by the Schott. This copy is Bound in Contemporary leather binding spine with 4 sewing supports, sections with gilt titles and ornamnets. Elegant illustrated title page engraved on copper, with 46 full-paged engraved plates of instruments, machines and experiments; 13 pages of printed music, and 77 woodcut illustrations of mechanical devices and instruments.The Bookplate of Ludovicus De Puget, Patricius Lugdunenis. and his ownership note.IMG_5428IMG_5426

IMG_5427“Gaspar Schott, German physicist, born 5 February, 1608, at Konigshofen; died 12 or 22 May, 1666, at Augsburg. He entered the Society of Jesus 20 October, 1627, and on account of the disturbed political condition of Germany was sent to Sicily to complete his studies. While there he taught moral theology and mathematics in the college of his order at Palermo. He also studied for a time at Rome under Athanasius Kircher. He finally returned to his native land after an absence of some thirty years, and spent the remainder of his life at Augsburg engaged in the teaching of science and in literary work. Schott also carried on an extensive correspondence with the leading scientific men of his time, notably with Otto von Guericke, the inventor of the air-pump, of whom he was an ardent admirer. (CE XIII:589).”

Before Schott describes the air pump he gives detailed explanation of  machines driven by hydro-pneumatic means. Much of the machines he IMG_5331describes are represented in Athanasius Kircher’s Roman museum, as well as more descriptions of other instruments, such as water clocks, the water organ at the Villa Aldobrandini at Tivoli, and the organ in the Quirinal Palace. Schott include examples of the music played by these instruments. Schott promises to give his readers detailed instructions on how to make instruments,  ‘for garden pleasures, for the utility of houses, for the commodities, and ornaments, particularly of Princes, who derive greater pleasure of their eyes and souls from these things than they might expect profit for their estate. Neither will we be satisfied with delighting only the eyes, we also prepare a feast for the ears, with various self-moving and self-sounding organs and instruments, that we will excite to motion and sound only by the flow of water and the stealthy approach of air, with no less ease than skill.’

 Vomiting Automata:

IMG_5350If we are to take De Sepibus’s list of machines [in the Musaeum Kircheriana] as a guide, we are forced to conclude that the predominantly German princely audience of the productions of Kircher and Schott had a peculiar fascination with regurgitation. From the two-headed Imperial Eagle belching water copiously from its twin gullets, to the ‘water-vomiting hydraulic machine, at the top of which stands a figure vomiting up various liquids for guests to drink’, not to mention the various birds and snakes ingesting and throwing-up water from goblets, the spectacle of retching, puking, and spewing seems to have been the very epitome of good taste and noble amusement for the visitors to Kircher’sIMG_5429 museum. Schott further confirms this impression of an “emetophiliac” Catholic elite. One of the most endearing machines of his Mechanicais a “cancer vomitor” illustrated as a nauseous lobster, bending forlornly over the edge of a goblet in its unhappy state.” (From “Athanasius Kircher and the Baroque culture of machines” by Michael John Gorman in “The Great Art of Knowing: The Baroque Encyclopedia of Athanasius Kircher”, ed. Daniel Stolzenberg, Stanford: Stanford University Libraries, 2001, pp. 59-70)

STC German S-1246; Norman 1910; Sommervogel vol. VII No.940; Baillie, Clocks and Watches ,I p.51; Dibner p.67;  Norman 1910; Dünnhaupt, S. 3811, 3; RISM B VI/2, 771; Eitner IX 66 f;  Poggendorff II, 838; Wheeler Gift I, 142; DSB 12, 210.