London: printed, for A. Bettesworth in Pater noster Row, & J. Clarke under the Royal Exchange, [1723?]. Full Calf. Unusually scarce first edition of Hewett's book of tables for calculating simple interest, brokerage commissions, and time, entirely engraved throughout by John Pine. Squarish 8vo (149 x 124mm): pp, with engraved frontispiece and armorial vignette. Full calf, spine in five compartments divided by gilt-ruled raised bands, covers with double gilt line border. There appear two extraordinary manuscript ex-libris entries, each filling an entire page: to verso of frontispiece, in elegant calligraphic flourishes, is written "John / Townsend / Newbury / Berks / 1775" and to verso of title page, in black letter, appears "Frederic Calder [?] / Donnington / near Newbury Berks / England." Tightly bound and clean and unmarked throughout, excepting end sheets, which are rubbed and stained, those to rear heavily so. Still, an exceptional survival. Goldsmiths’ 6233. Hanson 3247. BM 8533. Sotheby's, The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing, Lot 641. Very Good+. Item #BB2111
By the dawn of the eighteenth century, questions concerning the “present value” of future wealth were becoming matters of practical concern, as business people and governments began issuing mortgages, bonds, and annuities (the first British consol [bond] was issued in 1752). Hewitt's was not the first publication to answer this computing need, but his preface claims it was the best: the easiest to use (because it had four rates in each of the 48 interest tables); most copious (in respect to principal, from a penny to £100,000, and time, for 365 days, 11 months, and 50 years); most compendious (in regard to the small number of tables required), and most correct (because the tables are engraved, "and so not liable to error."). The DNB describes the engraving style of John Pine as "dry and formal, but of great precision and excellence," exactly what was wanted for such a book as Hewitt's. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).