Lot 69: Cabala Numerica.- , Collection of Fifty Treatises on Systems to Predict the Lottery, manuscripts in Italian and Latin, 599pp., some foxing and browning, some slight staining, 19th century vellum-backed boards, 4to & 8vo, 1750-1850.
15 November 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Cabala Nuimerica.- Collection of Fifty Treatises and shorter pieces on Systems to predict the Lottery, manuscripts in Italian and Latin, 599pp., in different hands, all apparently anonymous (some under assumed names), pen and ink drawings of Astrological diagrams, numbers in tables or pyramids and triangles, some foxing and browning, some slight staining to some inner margins, later endpapers, 19th century vellum-backed boards, spine lettered "Cabale" and "A.C." at tail, slightly yellowed, 4to & 8vo, [c. 1750-1850]. ⁂ All apparently unpublished. An impressive collection of Practitioners' Methods, which circulated in manuscript. With one treatise on Arithmeticall Tricks, the older works also Treat of Divination, by asking a question "Quesito", then reducing it in various ways to a number of several digits, then expanding the number to create an answer, "Riposta". Cabala. Lotteries to raise money for the state date from the 16th century in Europe. In Italy, the chief meaning of 'Cábala' has been for two or three centuries, "the art of of foretelling numbers in the lotteries", and in the plural, "far la Cábale" is "to play systematically in the lotteries". The lotteries in this volume draw numbers in the range 1-90. Of the treatises, the most authoritative in appearance is Treatise 1, which opens with a table of the New Moons in the 19 year cycle 1767-85, and discusses the date of the Creation, the choice of calendar, Solar or Lunar, Hebrew or Roman, the language and alphabet for wording the question, with tables for converting single letters or pairs into numbers, and for involving the planets. Worked examples include (p. 1:22) "Who will succeed Clement XIV?" (Pope, 1769-75).
Notes: Category: Literature, Manuscripts and History