Patrick Pollak

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KLAPROTH, [Heinrich] J[ulius von].
Lettre A M. Le Baron A. De Humboldt, Sur L'Invention De La Boussole.

Ouvrage Ornée de Trois Planches Lithographiées.

pp. (v), 6-138. 3 folding lithographed plates by RACINET, 2 text figures [one of which is repeated on the rear wrapper]. Original lemon-yellow paper wrappers, new backstrip, lower edge of the rear wrapper torn with a little loss and an old repair, a couple of edge nicks, uncut, a very good copy.

*In this scarce title, Klaproth attempts to make a case for the Chinese invention of the magnetic compass. Modern evidence is, however, against this - see for example, E. G. R. TAYLOR The Haven-Finding Art, 1956, p.96 - 'As to the common story that it [the magnetic needle] had been brought in from China by Arab sailors, there is no evidence whatsoever to support it. A 'south-pointing chariot' known from very ancient times in China has proved to be no magnetic instrument at all, but a mechanical toy.'

A la Librairie Orientale de Prosper Dondey-Dupré. Paris.

Date Published: 1834. First edition. 8vo.

Stock No. 56382

Price: £600.00