Edwin W. Alabone

Multi-Epicycloidal and other Geometric Curves

Published: London: John Swain and Son, Ltd.

Date: 1911

First edition. Presentation copy. Tall 8vo. (250x160mm) pp. [xiv], [2] blank, photographic print of the author and 77 coloured plates. First prelim slightly foxed otherwise fine. All edges gilt. Green morocco-grain cloth, lettering and curve design in gilt to upper board, gilt lettering to spine, floral pattern endpapers; spine slightly rubbed and small patch of soiling to upper board. Author's presentation inscription to opening page, with original mechanical drawing in ink, dated 1911. A fine copy.

Presentation copy of this beautiful anthology of mechanical drawings; artwork “of astounding complexity combined with mathematical symmetry”. The author not only inscribed the initial blank but decorated it with an original multo-epicycloidal ink-drawing. This form of mechanical drawing, using a series of inter-connected wheels with variously offset centres, had a considerable vogue at the end of the nineteenth century. Although several such works were published, including T.S. Bazley’s Index to the Geometric Chuck (London 1875), Alabone’s is the most beautiful presented. It was evidently a popular success since the large number of “letters and personal visits” he received compelled him to produce a second edition two years later (Polycylo-epicycloidal and other Geometric Curves, 1912).