Borrani, Pietro. [Manuscript: Sundials]
Disertazione sopra il retrocedimento dell’ombra solare su l’orologio di Acaz letta nell’adunanza letteraria dei SS.i Accademici Infecondi di Prato nel’giorno 26 di Agosto dell’Anno 1772.
Small 4to. 160pp. Bound in contemporary vellum, untitled, a little bumped around the edges but strong and handsome. Written in a beautiful, clear contemporary hand, this is a meticulous copy of a dissertation on sundials, with reference to the “Dial of Ahaz” (the oldest found reference to a sundial, found in the Old Testament no less), given by Pietro Borrani at the Literary Academia degli Infecondi in Prato in the year of transcription. The paper was officially published in 1773, and textual differences between this manuscript and the published text suggest that this was copied from an earlier incarnation of the paper, prior to preparation for publication. Filled with arcane detail and a rather arcane series of equations and dimensional requirements that are, unsurprisingly beyond me (something they have in common with GCSE Maths), if nothing else this is a memorial to the enduring and borderline obsessive interest in sundials,their construction and perfection that is frequently displayed in 18th century works of rational exploration.