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Milestones of Science Books

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Insigniores orbitae cometarum proprietates.

8vo (180 x 110 mm). [8], 128, [4] pp., woodcut device to title, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces; 2 unnumbered leaves with letterpress tables and 2 engraved folding plates bound at end. Signatures: )(4, A-H8, [chi]2. Contemporary half calf and sprinkled paper-coated boards, spine with gilt-lettered label, black-sprinkled edges, original endpapers (spine ends scuffed, corners worn and bumpled, boards and extremities rubbed). Outer margins of endpapers, title and final plate a bit browned from binder's glue; light even age-toning throughout. Provenance: Luigi Gabba (inscribed on first flyleaf), bibliotheque P. G. Phelip (engraved bookplate mounted on verso of title). A very good copy in untouched binding of the time. ---- EXCEPTIONALLY RARE FIRST EDITION of Lambert's theory describing the movement of comets for the area of a focal sector of a conic in terms of the chord and bounding radii. In the Insigniores Lambert introduces the method for the determination of the orbit of comets for the case of parabolic orbits on the basis of three astronomical observations. This method was brought into its final form by Wilhelm Olbers in 1797. In the first part, Lambert states general theorems about the parabola; in the second part, on the "principal properties of the parabolic motion of comets," he demonstrates the four laws of motion of celestial bodies moving around the Sun, including planets and comets. The fourth part is about the nature of elliptical orbits of comets and planets and leads to the general Lambert theorem. Lagrange later wrote: "C'est ce que Lambert a fait dans son beau Traité 'De orbitis cometarum', ou il est parvenu a un des theoremes les plus elegantes et les plus utiles, qui aient ete trouve jusqu'ici sur ce subject, et qui a en meme temps l'avantage de s'appliquer aussi aux orbites elliptiques" (Oeuvres IV, 444). References and literature: Houzeau & Lancaster 11955; Sotheran I 2400; Brüning 1773; Brunet III, 11; Hind 215; Struve 52. O. Volk, Johann Heinrich Lambert and the Determination of Orbits for Planets and Comets, in: Celestial Mechanics, 21 (1980), pp. 237-250; Bauschinger in: Ostwald's Klassiker d. exakten Wiss. No. 133. - Visit our website to see more images!
book (2)

De astronomica specula domestica et organico apparatu astronomico libro duo.

Six parts in one volume. Folio (349 x 253 mm). [25], 2-170, [2], 171-172, [2], 173-174, [2], 175-176, [2], 177-210, [2] pp., engraved frontispiece by A.D. Bertoli and J.J. Sedelmayr, letterpress title printed in red and black and with a vignette (plan od Vienna) by Jo. Christ. Winnckler, engraved headpiece, engraved and woodcut initials and tailpieces, errata on final leaf, 43 engraved folding plates (including one smaller size bound after p.194), 9 engraved illustrations in text (one full size on p. [179]). Unpaginated 4 leaves between pp. 170-171, 172-173, 174-175 and 176-177 are double-sided plates, but part of the signature. Signatures: [a]2 b-d2 )(-2)(2 A-3I2. Bound in contemporary full vellum, spine with gilt-lettered red morocco label, blue-sprinkled edges, original endpapers (vellum soiled and spotted, old repair to head of spine, corners bumped, first flyleaf torn). Text crisp and bright throughout, occasional minor finger-soiling (stronger on lower corner of engr. frontispiece); several plates with mis-folds and creases; a few plates spotted or soiled; p. 113/4 with lower blank corner repaired; plate 3 of pt. 1 with short clean tear at foot, plate 1 of pt. 3 facing p. 64 torn at lower corner with slight loss of image (restored), plates 7 and 8 of pt. 5 with cut-outs at foot (slightly affecting image of plate 7); wear and soiling of plate 6 of pt. 6 causing smaller holes near fold (not affecting image); calculations in ink on final page. Provenance: from a private Italian collection with valid export license from Italian government. Good copy on thick, unpressed paper, collated and complete. ---- FIRST EDITION of this luxuriously printed work, which describes and illustrates the astronomical instruments in the private observatory of Marinoni, mathematician and astronomer to the Imperial Court of Austria and geodetic surveyor. Like the private observatories of Tycho Brahe and Hevelius in the two preceding centuries, Marinoni's observatory was one of the most beautiful and best equipped in Europe in his time. He built his own instruments and those illustrated here include quadrants, telescopes, micrometers, an improved Graham pendulum, and a camera obscura. Marinoni left all the instruments to the Empress Maria Theresa, to whom he dedicated this work. Especially remarkable astronomical instruments are a double telescope, the so-called Culminatorium, for the observation of the meridian passages, Marinoni's wall quadrant, the Quadrans ampliatus, the position micrometer with its screws, a camera obscura, and pendulum clocks ("for his observations he used 5 pendulum clocks; two he had obtained from G. Graham and then had 2 similar clocks built in Vienna. The 5th clock had been built by Faucheuer in Paris in 1736 and had been provided with a dial to indicate the mean time and the equation of time", see Zinner). Giovanni Giacomo Marinoni (Johannes Jacobus Marinonius), born in Udine, Italy in 1676, studied in Vienna and became imperial court mathematician, also "teacher of Empress Maria Theresa in astronomy" (see Wurzbach XVI, 448), director of the Academy of War Science in Vienna in 1726 and died there in 1755. He surveyed the Duchy of Milan and built on his house in Vienna "at his own expense an observatory, which was considered one of the most beautiful existing at his time" (see Wurzbach XVI, 447). "A magnificent work with very beautiful copper engravings" (Mayer). "One of the most exquisitely illustrated astronomical works ever printed" (Kenney). Bibliography: Tomash & Williams M37; Poggendorff II, 53; Kenney, Catalogue of Rare Astronomical Books 115; Riccardi II, 119, "Bellissima ediz."]; Zinner, Astronomische Instrumente p. 436f; Mayer II, 27. - Visit our website to see more images!
book (2)

Treatise on the Excision of Diseased Joints

8vo (213 x 135 mm). viii, 163 [1] pp., 5 lithographed plates by Daniel Lizars bound at the end; plate exlamation on final unnumbered page. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards, spine with gilt-lettered morocco label (leather dry and rubbed, corners scuffed, inner hinge split). Text little age toned ony, the first endpaper, title and preliminaries with light waterstaining at head, plates somewhat foxed. Provenance: Medical library of the University of Manchester (loosely inserted library paper slip with note that this copy is deaccessioned because it is a duplicate; ink stamps to title, a few text pages and first and final plate). ---- FIRST EDITION of this medical-surgical publication on the excision of degenerated joints and bones and its merits in comparison with amputation. The books is exceptionally rare: we can trace only one copy that has been sold at auction in the past 50 years (Sothebys London 1972). James Syme FRCSE, FRCS, FRSE (1799-1870) was a pioneering Scottish surgeon, who became assistant and demonstrator of the dissecting room of Robert Liston in 1818 and in 1824 founded the Brown Square School of Medicine. Announcing his intention to practise surgery only after being unable to fill a vacancy at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Syme started a surgical hospital of his own, Minto House hospital where he worked from May 1829 to September 1833, with great success as a surgical charity and school of clinical instruction. It was here that he first put into practice his method of clinical teaching, which consisted in having the patients to be operated or prelected upon brought from the ward into a lecture-room or theatre where the students were seated conveniently for seeing and taking notes. His private practice had become very considerable, his position having been assured ever since his amputation at the hip joint in 1823, the first operation of the kind in Scotland. In 1833 he succeeded James Russell as professor of clinical surgery in Edinburgh University. Syme's accession to the clinical chair was marked by two important changes in the conditions of it: the first was that the professor should have the care of surgical patients in the infirmary in right of his professorship, and the second, that attendance on his course should be obligatory on all candidates for the medical degree. When Liston removed to London in 1835 Syme became the leading consulting surgeon in Scotland. The celebrated ankle-joint amputation is known by his name. (Wikisource). References: Wellcome V, p. 227; Garrion-Morton 4457; Waller 9437.