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Sunday 18 July 2021

Jacques Androuet du Cerceau’s etching & engraving, “Plate 11: Species Æqvipondii Novi”, 1569

Jacques Androuet du Cerceau (c1520–1586), René Boyvin (1525–1598) and workshop printmakers

“Plate 11: Species Æqvipondii Novi” (a new type of bellows], 1569, a lifetime impression from the first edition (signified by the inscribed Latin text—later editions have the text on the verso of the preceding page [see]) published in Jacques Besson (c1540–c1576) and François Béroalde de Verville’s (1556–1626), ”Theatrum instrumentorum et machinarum Iacobi Bessoni Delphinatis, mathematici ingeniosissimi".

The Curator of the British Museum offers the following insights regarding the plates in this publication:

“… 'Theatrum Instrumentorum et machinarum', a treatise written by Jacques Besson, illustrated by 60 plates (engraved by various artists including Androuet du Cerceau), and allegedly firstly published in Orléans in 1569, though it is also referred as a book firstly published in 1578 in Lyon.

This very popular work was republished several times, in Geneva (1594 and 1626), in Spain (1602) and in Nuremberg (1595)” (  

Etching with engraving on laid paper (partial watermark) with full margins (as published in the first edition).

Size: (sheet) 39 x 27 cm; (plate) 31.7 x 19.5 cm.

Lettered and numbered in plate at upper edge: (centre) “SPECIES ÆQVIPONDII NOVI, QVOD AGITATVM MANV/ VNIVS, ET ALTERIVS, INSTAR CAMPANÆ PVLSATÆ,/ TANTVM VIRIVM HABET AD AGENDVM BINOS, EOSQVE/ IMMANES FOLES IN FODINIS, VT ÆQVARE POSSINT/ EOS, QVI VEL VI AQVARVM, VEL EQVORVM IN/ GIRVM ACTORVM, PROMOVENTVR –“ ([transl.] “New type of aequipondio [bellows?], which is agitated by the hand of one, and by the other in the manner of ringing a bell …” [my apologies if this translation is too far from the original text and I decided not to continue for fear of proposing incorrect meanings); (right) “11”.

Condition: the image is strong but the sheet has water stains along the lower edge and there are flattened printer’s crease (i.e. creases formed during the printing process).

I am selling this rare lifetime impression (c1569) showing a proposed Renaissance Period invention (possibly based on a design from Leonardo’s unpublished notebooks [see]) to effectively pump large furnace bellows, for the total cost of AU$253 (currently US$187.38/EUR158.69/GBP136.08 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this amazing illustration from what is arguably the first published compendium of machine inventions—and certainly the most influential! —please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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