RAMELLI, Agostino (ca. 1531-1608) - Le diverse et artificiose machine nelle quali si contengono uarij et artificiosi mouimenti, degni di grandissima speculatione, per cauarne beneficio in ogni sorte d'operatione. Composte in lingua italiana et francese. Paris: presso l'autore, 1588. First edition of one of the greatest illustrated books of the 16th century and a landmark of book design. "Ramelli’s book on machinery, one of the most elegantly produced of all technological treatises, emphasized and explored the unlimited possibilities of machines […] The plates in Ramelli’s treatise are artistically as well as technologically superb, the bilingual text beautifully printed, and both plates and text surrounded by handsome borders of typographic ornaments" (Norman). This work is a very fine example of the exquisite craftsmanship of late 16th-century French printers and artists, and had a major influence on later mechanical engineering. Notably, included here is the earliest European design for a book wheel. Modeled after a water wheel, the device allows for convenient use of multiple large volumes and is considered one of the first "information retrieval" machines. Mortimer French 452; Norman 1777; Dibner Heralds 173. . Folio (350 x 225mm). Engraved frontispiece by Leonard Gaultier, author's portrait on verso, 194 full-page woodcut illustrations of which 20 double-page, text within border, plates XXV and CXXV which are identical in some copies due to a tipographical mistake have here different subjects (some spotting and light soiling, small central wormhole accross volume, bigger from M1 and repaired causing some text loss, tiny wormhole in margins of some central leaves, H2 with repaired corner). Modern vellum, manuscript title on spine.