The Art of Firing a Mortar

L’art de jetter les bombes.

À Paris: Chez l’auteur. Et se vend À Amsterdam, chez Pierre Mortier, 1699.

Price: $2,000.00

About the item

Sixth edition (first published 1683). With additional engraved title, engraved title-page vignette, engraved headpieces, engravings in text (including several full page), and figures in text. [8], 445, [16] pp. (including “Fautes à corriger” on last page) + final blank leaf [i4]. 4to. The Art of Firing a Mortar. Contemporary vellum; brown morocco spine label; moderate wear. Some internal dampstaining at outer margins, a few leaves repaired; overall, very good. OCLC 17590330; DICTIONARY OF SCIENTIFIC BIOGRAPHY II, pp. 200-203.

Item #257405

Blondel (1618-1686), brilliant mathematician, architect engineer, and topographer, was admitted to the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1669. He became director of the Royal Academy of Architecture in 1671, was appointed director of public works for the city of Paris by Louis XIV in 1672, and in 1673 became mathematics tutor to the dauphin. Earlier, “during his infantry service, Blondel had been amazed at the crude methods of the French bombardiers,” and devised practical rules for determining the angle of a mortar sometime in 1677.
The printing of Blondel’s solution in L'ART DE JETTER LES BOMBES “was delayed by order of Louis XIV, who hardly cared to have the enemy profit by it. The French gunners, however, paid no attention to it until 1731 …” (DSB).