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by John James Audubon
Simply the most important book of birds ever made. For eighteen years from 1820, to the completion of the project in 1838, John James Audubon painted 435 North American birds, and then arranged to have them engraved and printed in the United Kingdom.
In order to display the birds in as lifelike a way as possible, the size of the original edition was enormous, 39.5″ by 28.5″, or double-elephant folio. The prints were issued in sets of five, with each set containing one large plate and 4 medium or smaller plates.
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by Gerardus Mercator
Some time around 1572 the Crown Prince of Cleves wanted to go on a European tour. But he found there were no reliable atlases. So his father asked Gerardus Mercator, the most famous map-maker of the time, to compile him one from copies of wall maps, cut and pasted to form a handy, portable atlas.
by Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was possibly the most widely talented person ever to live. Painter of The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, engineer, architect, anatomist, he defined Renaissance Man like no other.
Codex Arundel is a collection of notes made between 1480 and 1518, dealing mainly with mechanics and geometry. Amongst the highlights are studies on the moons reflection of light, the movement of water, observations on the production of sound and light, and designs for diving apparatus.
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