Description

    An Interpretation of the Number 666

    Francis Potter. Interpretatio Numeri 666. Qua, tum Modus unicus, quo Numerus hic Interpretandus est, perspicue probatur & demonstratur; tum ostenditur, Numerum hunc perfectum esse & accuratum Characterem, quo vere, exacte & essentialiter, describitur Status ille & Regimen, cui reliquae omnes Antichrist notae conveniunt... Amsterdam: Jacobus Junior, 1677. Second edition, first in Latin. Octavo. *8, **4, A-N8, 06. (22), 218 pages. Engraved frontispiece. Contemporary calf, rebacked, boards rubbed, book plate "Fried August H.z.B.O." to inside front board. Pages lightly cockled, holographic annotations and light soiling on endpapers, tape on first blank leaf, small paper repair in margin of engraved plate not affecting image, otherwise, clean copy. STCN 167708. Watt: Biblio Britannica II: 771. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Francis Potter. Interpretatio Numeri 666. Qua, tum Modus unicus, quo Numerus hic Interpretandus est, perspicue probatur & demonstratur; tum ostenditur, Numerum hunc perfectum esse  & accuratum Characterem, quo vere, exacte & essentialiter, describitur Status ille & Regimen, cui reliquae omnes Antichrist notae conveniunt... Amsterdam: Jacobus Junior, 1677.          

    Second edition, first in Latin. Octavo. *8, **4, A-N8, 06. (22), 218 pages. Engraved frontispiece. Contemporary calf, rebacked, boards rubbed, book plate "Fried August H.z.B.O." to inside front board. Pages lightly cockled, holographic annotations and light soiling on endpapers, tape on first blank leaf, small paper repair in margin of engraved plate not affecting image, otherwise, clean copy.            

    "Potter (1592-1664) was a practical mechanician and inventor, and admired Dr. John Wilkins. He made quadrants, and invented a beam compass which could divide an inch into a thousand parts. The compass was later given to Aubrey. He experimented with blood transfusion in the 1640s, and Aubrey sent him a surgical lancet for this work. Potter hoped to use transfusion to cure diseases, and later communicated his results to the Royal Society via John Aubrey. He was proposed for fellowship of the Royal Society on 18 March 1663, and admitted on 11 November of that year. He probably made the fine dial (probably seen in Loggan's view in Oxonia illustrata) on the north side of the original quadrangle of Trinity College, Oxford. He also drew and painted; the copy of the founder's portrait in Trinity College hall is his work, and Aubrey said that he devised an instrument for drawing in perspective, which was afterwards reinvented by Wren. He was fond of chess, which he played with a contemporary at Trinity, Colonel Bishop, who was accounted by Aubrey 'the best in England'. Potter also cultivated and experimented with bees; he and Aubrey examined them under the microscope.

    "Potter was interested in computing the number of the beast, connecting 25, the 'appropinque' square root of 666, with various institutions in the Roman Catholic Church. His ideas were elaborated in a manuscript which was read in 1637 by Joseph Mede, and commended as a wonderful discovery, the 'happiest that ever yet came into the world', and as calculated to 'make some of your German speculatives half wild' (Mede to S. Hartlib, 29 Jan 1638, Mede, 1077). It was published as An Interpretation of the Number 666, by Leonard Lichfield of Oxford in 1642, with a symbolical frontispiece, an opinion by Mede prefixed, and a preface date from Kilmington. Wood (2.612) wrote that it was translated into French, Dutch, and Latin, printed in a small octavo at Amsterdam in 1677, and attributed to Thomas Gilbert (1613-1694) of St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Potter's work on the number of the beast was read in November 1666 by Pepys, who considered it to be 'mighty ingenious'. It continued to be influential and was reprinted in Worcester as late as 1808." -Oxford DNB.  

    STCN 167708. Watt: Biblio Britannica II: 771.



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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
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