The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid in which coloured diagrams and symbols are used instead of letters for the greater ease of learners. By Oliver Byrne.
London: William Pickering, 1847. Small 4to, xxix, 268 pp., color diagrams throughout printed in red, blue, yellow and black; wood-engraved initials. Original half brown morocco, gilt-lettered backstrip, a very bright and clean copy without the usual heavy foxing and staining. First edition of Byrnes presentation of Euclidean geometry, in which colors are substituted for the usual letters to designate the angles and lines of geometric figures. Written and designed to simplify Euclids propositions, this remarkable example of Victorian printing is described by McLean as one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the whole century. Designed and printed by Charles Whittingham of the Chiswick Press, each proposition is set in Caslon italic, with a four line initial: the rest of the page is a unique riot of red, yellow and blue: on some pages letters and numbers only are printed in color, sprinkled over the pages like tiny wild flowers, demanding the most meticulous register: elsewhere, solid squares, triangles and circles are printed in gaudy and theatrical colors, attaining a verve not seen again on book pages till the days of Dufy, Matisse and Derain. (McLean). Ing, Charles Whittingham Printer 46; Keynes, Pickering pp. 37, 65; McLean, Victorian Book Design p.51.
(Item Id: 107051)