The sale of Islamic Works on Paper had been postponed from March and finally held on June 12. The very first lot offered was an Arabic recension of the Elementa of the Greek mathematician Euclid, originally written in Alexandria c.300BC, but here as printed in Rome in 1594.
This Typographia Medicea edition features a translation made by Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, a 13th century Persian astronomer and polymath best known, said Bloomsbury, for identifying geometry as an independent mathematical discipline.
Textually complete and exceptionally clean in its later 19th century binding, it was an example of the expensively produced editions that emerged in the years 1584-1614 from this important press established under the patronage of Cardinal Ferdinando dei Medici.
The defining quote that opens this report is taken from a study by Robert Jones of the press and the impact in Europe of its Arabic publications.