Niklaus Goldmann’s book „Tractatus de stylometris sive instrumentis“ is about constructing the five classical orders of columns with the help of architectural tools such as a set of brass rods in leather-covered cases which the author designed himself. Thus, it works as an instruction manual for using these rods. By the use of architectural tools the author aims to establish mathematical rules and regularities in order to decode the correct construction and proportions of the five columns in their specific classical order. Considering the large quantity of calculations necessary for designing a column, Goldmann invented different rods for each of the orders to simplify the process of designing and drawing of the columns. In his writings Goldmann also includes ideas and works of Vitruv.
The book is divided into two parts; a theoretical part with text containing his calculations and analyzations of the five orders and an illustrative part showing his detailed drawings and plans on the column styles.
The dimensions of the book are 303mm x 201mm x 26mm (length x width x height) which approximately translates into an imperial octavo format according to the standard book size format. The book contains 32 pages of text with additional 40 pages of illustrations and is wrapped in marbled paper.