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Emission of neutrons by uranium'. [Offprint from:] Physical Review 56

Emission of neutrons by uranium’. [Offprint from:] Physical Review 56, 1939

SZILARD, Leo (1898-1964) and Walter H. ZINN (1906-2000) 4to (268 x 201 mm) pp 619-624, with illustrations in text; a very good copy, stapled as issued.First edition, offprint issue and presentation copy, inscribed 'With Compliments of Leo Szilard' on first page.The second of Szilard and Zinn's two most important papers on the experimental production of fast neutrons from uranium-an essential component of the nuclear chain reaction. Lise Meitner, using the experiments she suggested to Hahn and Strassmann, had discovered nuclear fission in 1938, and Szilard immediately realised that fission would be the key to releasing nuclear energy. In that year Szilard had emigrated from England to the United States, and he began a series of experiments with Walter Zinn at Columbia University in New York to determine which characteristics of fission would make it possible to establish a chain reaction. '"All we needed to do," [Szilard] said later, "was to get a gram of radium, get a block of beryllium, expose a piece of uranium to the neutrons which come from the beryllium, and then see by means of the ionization chamber which Zinn had built whether fast neutrons were emitted in the process . . ." 'He got his radium, two grams sealed in a small brass capsule, early in March, after he arranged admission to the Columbia laboratories for three months as a guest researcher. He and Zinn immediately set up their experiment. They made an ingenious nest, like Chinese boxes, of its various components: a large cake of paraffin wax, the beryllium cylinder set at the bottom of a blind hole in the paraffin, the radium capsule fitted into the beryllium cylinder; resting on the beryllium, inside the paraffin, a box lines with neutron-absorbing cadmium filled with uranium oxide; pushed into that box, but shielded from the radium's gamma radiation by a lead plug, the ionization tube itself, which connected to an oscilloscope. With this arrangement . . . they could measure the flux of neutrons from the uranium with and without the cadmium shield . . . ' (Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, pp 288; 291). Szilard and Zinn found that about two neutrons were emitted per fission, which matched the results of similar experiments conducted at the same time by Fermi and Anderson at Columbia and by Frédéric Joliot and his colleagues in France. Szilard and Zinn made preliminary announcement of their findings in a brief paper ('Instantaneous emission of fast neutrons in the interaction of slow neutrons with uranium,' Physical Review 55 [April 1939]: 799-800), following it in October with the full account in the present paper, which also describes their further experiments.'Unquestionably, the most important event in Szilard's life took place in England. This was the growth, in his mind, of the conviction that a nuclear chain reaction was possible and thata nuclear bomb could be developed on the basis thereof. The original basis of Szilard's conviction proved to be erroneous, but he held on to his idea tenaciously and it indeed came to fruition when nuclear fission, discovered in 1939, provided the missing key. Szilard was probably the first to suggest that neutron emission might accompany the fission reaction, that the number of neutrons emitted in the process might exceed 1, and that, as a result, it should be possible to establish an energy-producing chain reaction' (Wigner, Leo Szilard 1898-1964: A Biographical Memoir (1969)Szilard was a Hungarian-German-American physicist and inventor. He conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, patented the idea of a nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi in 1934, and in late 1939 wrote the letter for Albert Einstein's signature that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb.Provenance: from the library of Theodore von Kármán, docketed and stamped with Kármán's cataloguing symbols. Theodore von Kármán (1881-1963), Hungarian physicist, was founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; he made fundamental advances in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics
Autograph letter signed

Autograph letter signed, to naval agent Thomas Stilwell, giving an account of recent events concerning the H.M.S. Beagle voyage through the Straits of Magellan under his command.

FITZROY, Robert (1805-1865) 4 pages on a single folded sheet (sheet 225 x 372 mm); in good condition. An important letter documenting the first voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle (1826-1830), and events following FitzRoy's appointment as commander after the suicide of its prior commander, Captain Pringle Stokes, in Tierra del Fuego in December 1828. Were it not for Stokes' tragic death FitzRoy would not have become commander of the Beagle, and Darwin would not have been chosen as naturalist for the second voyage (1831-1836), nor visited the Galapagos, and in all probability never arrived at his theory of evolution by natural selection.FitzRoy gives an account of the Beagle's voyage through the Straits of Magellan, during which the Beagle was separated from the Adventure, ship of Captain Phillip Parker King, overall commander of the expedition and who had appointed Fitzroy to take over the Beagle.'Your will be glad to hear that the Beagle has arrived safely at this Port, without sustaining any particular loss or damage during her late winter voyage in the Straits of Magellan. We parted Company with the Adventure on the 1st of April last, at the Eastern Entrance of the Straits; - It was Captain King's intention to proceed round Cape Storm, to Valparaiso & thence to this Port, where he had arranged to meet me on the 10th of this month, or sooner. I am sorry to say I can obtain no Intelligence of him; and I know he had not arrived at Valparaiso on the 20th of June.My opinion is that he has been obliged to put back, owing to the dull sailing of the Adventure. The Adelaide Schooner - his Tender was all well on the 16th of July. She is at present surveying a passage between some Islands, lying North-West of the Western Entrance of the Straits, and the Mountains, and will arrive here about the middle of next month.I shall sail hence, in the Beagle, (if Captain King does not arrive) the end of next month, on a surveying Voyage to Terra del Fuego, and shall employ the whole Season there - hoping to be at Monte Video or Rio de Janerio (probably the latter) in May next, on my way to England. The Adelaide's Employment will be similar.Both Vessels have been remarkably healthy and fortunate in the progress they have made this Season'.It was during this period that 'FitzRoy's seamanship and endurance were tested when he and his surveying crew spent thirty-three days in an open whaleboat in the depths of the subantarctic winter while exploring away from their ship' (ODNB). In the event, FitzRoy was unable to rendezvous with the Adventure, and as outlined here returned to survey Tierra del Fuego.The letter goes on to praise the surveying instruments provided by Worthington and Allans, and in particular the telescope: 'I shall feel much obliged by your settling Worthington and Allans account for me, and mentioning to them how very much I am pleased with the Instruments they sent out to me. They are indeed excellent. Their Spy-Glass is by far the best I have ever seen at Sea: but all are good.'Extended description upon request.The recipient of this letter, Thomas Stilwell was director of Stiwell & Sons, a merchant bank that served as the naval pay agency. It handled all the accounts and financial services for voyages such as this of the Adventure and Beagle.While the second voyage of the Beagle, with Darwin aboard, has been justly hailed as the greatest scientific voyage of all time, the first voyage has been unjustly neglected in the annals of exploration. During the first voyage FitzRoy proved himself an outstanding coastal surveyor and mapmaker. The 600-some pages first volume of Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the Years 1826 and 1836, describing their Examination of the Southern Shores of South America, and the Beagle's Circumnavigation of the Globe (1839), is entirely devoted to the first voyage.
De inaequalitatibus quas Saturnus et Jupiter sibi mutuo videntur inducere praesertim circa tempus conjunctionis. Opusculum ad Parisiensem Academiam trasmissum et nunc primum editum .

De inaequalitatibus quas Saturnus et Jupiter sibi mutuo videntur inducere praesertim circa tempus conjunctionis. Opusculum ad Parisiensem Academiam trasmissum et nunc primum editum .

BOSCOVICH, Ruggero Giuseppe] (1711-1787) 4to (200 x 127 mm), pp xxiv 187 [1], with woodcut ornament on title, woodcut initials and headpieces, and four folding engraved plates; a fine copy in contemporary Italian vellum, labelled in gilt on spine. First edition of Boscovich's work on the aberrations observed in the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter from the predicted Newtonian paths. Taking into account the Earth, this was a version of the classic three-body problem of determining the paths of three moving bodies which affect each other's gravitational field, and which has no rigourous algebraic solution, and requires approximation techniques.Isaac Newton had suggested in the second and third editions of his Principia (1713, 1726) that the observed perturbations in the motions of Jupiter and Saturn were a consequence of gravitational interaction, but neither he nor Flamsteed could devise equations to solve the problem. As a result the Paris Académie des Sciences had proposed a competition on solving the problem in 1748, 1750, and 1752, with Clairaut and d'Alembert acting as judges. They awarded the prize to Euler for the years 1748 and 1752, but the 1750 prize remained unassigned. Boscovich had submitted a paper on a proposed solution, which received an honourable mention and was considered for publication in the Mémoires of the Academy, but he wasn't awarded the prize. He decided to expand his paper, the result of which was the present work.Boscovich's approach arose from his study of comets and his method for determining parabolic orbits which, as DSB remarks, 'comes close to the classic method of H.W. Olbers (1797). An interesting treatise of 1749 concerns the determination of an elliptical orbit by means of a construction previously employed for resolving the reflection of a light ray from a spherical mirror. Boscovich employed this method again in 1756, in a treatise discussing the reciprocal perturbations of Jupiter and Saturn, which he entered in a competition on the subject set by the Academy of Sciences in Paris.'Riccardi I.1 179 n 9; Sommervogel I 1840 n 61
Opera Philosophica et Mineralia. Tres tomi.

Opera Philosophica et Mineralia. Tres tomi.

SWEDENBORG, Emanuel 3 vols, folio (331 x 198 mm), pp [xvi] 452 [recte 448]; [xii] 386 and leaf 'Mappa Geog. 1734' after p 164; [xiv] 534 [2, instructions to bookbinder on placement of plates]; with engraved portrait, engraved vignettes on titles and dedication leaves, and 157 engraved plates on 127 leaves (50 folding), including two maps; some very light browning occasionally affecting text and some plates, a fine copy in contemporary mottled calf, gilt fillets on sides, spines with gilt panels with coronets and red morocco labels. First edition of Swedenborg's cosmological and metallurgical masterpieces, comprising the Principia rerum naturalium, Regnum subterraneum sive minerale de cupro ., and Regnum subterraneum sive minerale de ferro. In the first work, 'probably conceived as a counterpart to Newton's Principia, he sought a comprehensive physical explanation of the world based on mathematical and mechanical principles. While remaining faithful to the general principles of Cartesian natural philosophy . Swedenborg elaborated upon them. According to his cosmogony the physical reality had developed from the mathematical point, which was an entity between infinite and finite . In contrast to Descartes, Swedenborg believed that the planets had developed from the chaotic solar mass through expansion of its surrounding shell, which finally joined to form a belt along the equatorial plane of the sun. It then exploded, forming the planets and the satellites. Although the basic construction of Swedenborg's thought heralded the later planetary theories of Buffon, Kant, and Laplace, there is nothing to indicate that it exerted any direct influence on posterity' (DSB).The following two volumes, the results of his official duties and investigations as assessor to the Swedish Board of Mines, are on the mining, mineralogy, and metallurgy of copper (and brass), and iron (and steel). They give a highly detailed survey of the industry, the mining techniques employed, the chemistry utilised, and the geology of the ore deposits, and are illustrated with exceptionally fine plates, the best illustrations of mining technology since Agricola in my opinion. In addition, there are several plates devoted to mineral specimens and fossils discovered in the mines.This copy is absolutely complete and conforms to the plate list on the leaf of instructions to the binder, often missing. Vol I has 28 plates on 26 leaves, including one map; vol II has 38 plates on 27 leaves, including a large folding map; plate xxviii was not published, and is not listed in the instructions; vol III has 91 plates on 74 leaves; there is an unnumbered plate signed with a dagger after plate xxix. Plate xxxviii is followed by plate xxxviii n 1 and xxxviii n 2. These are followed by a large folding plate labelled 'Tab 2', in lieu of plate xxxix which again was not published.Provenance: the Earls of Macclesfield, Shirburn Castle, with bookplates and blindstamp Macclesfield crest on blank margins of titlesMacclesfield 1980 (with erroneous plate count); Hyde 228-230; Hoover Collection 773-775 (with erroneous plate count); Parkinson p 151 (for the Principia volume); Ward and Carozzi 2140; Waller 11018; Wheeler Gift 283
Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche

Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche, intorno à due nuove scienze Attenenti all mechanica & i movimenti locali . con une appendice del centro di gravita à d’alcuni solidi.

GALILEI, Galileo (1564-1642) 4to (190 x 137 mm), pp [viii] 306 [recte 314] [6], with numerous woodcut diagrams and illustrations in text; a very clean, crisp copy in untouched contemporary English blind-ruled sheep, paper label on spine, hinges slightly rubbed and small chip to head of spine. First edition of Galileo's most important work, the foundation of modern physics.This work was Galileo's 'greatest scientific achievement ? Mathematicians and physicists of the later seventeenth century, Isaac Newton among them, rightly supposed that Galileo had begun a new era in the science of mechanics. It was upon his foundation that Huygens, Newton and others were able to erect the frame of the science of dynamics, and to extend its range (with the concept of universal gravitation) to the heavenly bodies' (PMM 130). 'Unable to publish this treatise on mechanics in his own country because of the ban placed on his books by the Inquisition, he published it in Leyden. Considered the first modern textbook in physics, in it Galileo pressed forward the experimental and mathematical methods in the analysis of problems in mechanics and dynamics. The Aristotelian concept of motion was replaced by a new one of inertia and general principles were sought and found in the motion of falling bodies, projectiles and in the pendulum. He rolled balls down an inclined plane and thereby verified their uniformly accelerated motion, acquiring equal increments of velocity in equal increments of time. The concept of mass was implied by Galileo's conviction that in a vacuum all bodies would fall with the same acceleration. Newton said he obtained the first two laws of motion from this book' (Dibner).The book has a dedication to the Comte de Noailles, French ambassador to Italy, dated Arcetri, 6 March 1638, in which Galileo praised the publishers for their taste and skill. With all his writings banned by the Inquisition, Galileo had given the manuscript to De Noailles with instructions to have it published in Leiden by the Elseviers, to whom Galileo owed a debt of gratitude for the publicity given to his earlier writings, the Latin translations of the Dialogo and Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina published in 1635 and 1636.The binding is a typical 'cheap' English binding of the period, with no pastedowns, leaving the pasteboards showing.Provenance: eighteenth-century engraved Hopetoun bookplateCarli and Favaro 162; Cinti 102; Dibner 141; Evans 27; Horblit 36; Norman 859; Parkinson pp 80-81; PMM 130; Sparrow 75
De maculis in sole animadversis

De maculis in sole animadversis, &, tamquam ab Apelle, in tabula spectandum in publica luce expositis, Batavi dissertatiuncula .

SNEL, Willebrord] (1580-1626) 4to (193 x 150 mm), pp 18 [2, verses from Lucretius on recto, verso blank]; with woodcut printer's device on title, a very good copy in nineteenth-century plain blue wrappers. First edition of this extremely rare work on sunspots and the telescope, written as an anonymous response to Christoph Scheiner's Tres epistolae de maculis solaribus, 1612, which had been published under the pseudonym 'Apelles'. This tract, the first to respond to Scheiner's Tres epistolae, has been variously catalogued under the names of Scheiner or Fabricius, but Snel has been conclusively demonstrated to be the author. Snel published this work the year before Galileo's own similarly argued response. Snel dedicated it to the Leiden University rector, Cornelius Vandermil.Snel begins by singing the praises of the wonderful invention of the telescope (the opening words of the text, 'Batavica dioptra', the 'Dutch telescope'), and then proceeds to analyse and refute Scheiner's 'three letters' point-by-point. He dismisses Scheiner's arguments about Venus in relation to the sunspots. Scheiner had observed the lower conjunction of Venus with the Sun and had concluded, correctly, that Venus and Mercury revolve around the Sun. He therefore took the sunspots to be miniature planets also circling the Sun. Snel notes how the spots thin at the extremities of the solar disc, sometimes join there and part at the centre, and move faster at the centre than at the extremities. He concludes, correctly, that they must be surface phenomena of the Sun. Galileo uses precisely this argument in his second letter to Welser attacking Scheiner, published in 1613. Finally, Snel recognises that the spots provide evidence for proving or disproving the Copernican system. It is extremely interesting to find a 'proto-Galilean' in Leiden at such an early date. The text of course does not mention Galileo, who hadn't as yet published his own response to Scheiner's sunspot observations, but the congruence of ideas and observations is remarkable, and there must almost certainly be a connection; it seems probable that Galileo must have known about Snel's work. Snel already possessed a telescope in 1610, but complained that while it made things appear larger, it didn't make them appear any clearer.Willebrord Snel, the eponymous discoverer of the law of refraction, had studied with Van Ceulen and Stevin, and later had gone to Prague to work under Tycho Brahe; while there, he met Kepler, and subsequently in Tübingen he met Kepler's teacher, the Copernican astronomer Michael Mästlin. Provenance: nineteenth-century stamp 'Hamburg. Publ. Bibliotheca' on verso of title and 'duplum' release stamp below; 'Dupl DFa III. 37' in pencil on verso of front wrapper, various other pencil notes in German and French, attributing the work to ScheinerSee Rienk Vermij, The Calvinist Copernicans: the Reception of the New Astronomy in the Dutch Republic, 1575-1750 (2002), pp 44-5Carli and Favaro 55; Cinti 41; Lalande p 157; Simoni, Catalogue of books from the Low Countries 1601-1621 in the British Library B35; Sommervogel VII 736; OCLC records Cornell, CalTech, and Yale for North America
Les Oeuvres de Iacques et Paul Contant pere et fils maistres apoticaires de la ville de Poictiers. Divisées en cinq Traictez. 1. Les Commentaires sur Dioscoride. 2. Le Second Eden. 3. Exagoge mirabilium naturae e gazophylacio. 4. Synopsis plantarum cum ethymologiis. 5. Le Jardin & Cabinet Poëtique .

Les Oeuvres de Iacques et Paul Contant pere et fils maistres apoticaires de la ville de Poictiers. Divisées en cinq Traictez. 1. Les Commentaires sur Dioscoride. 2. Le Second Eden. 3. Exagoge mirabilium naturae e gazophylacio. 4. Synopsis plantarum cum ethymologiis. 5. Le Jardin & Cabinet Poëtique .

CONTANT, Jacques and Paul Five parts in one vol, folio (355 x 225 mm), with engraved coat-of-arms on general title, one engraving in text, and 15 engraved plates (including engraved titles) on 12 leaves (for collation details see below); some corners crumpled, paper repair on lower margin of one leaf and at foot and gutter of another, occasional incidental stains but a large, fresh, honest copy in contemporary limp vellum, with remains of ties.First edition, first issue (see below) a great Wunderkammer book of great rarity. The fifth part, Le Jardin et Cabinet poétique, first appeared in 1609; the other four works are published here for the first time.Jacques and Paul Contant were Huguenot apothecaries in Poitiers and great collectors, amongst the first in France to assemble a cabinet des curiosités. The first work, a commentary on Dioscorides, was written by Jacques (who died in 1588) and revised for publication by his son Paul. The text is devoted to the most remarkable plants, animals, spices, minerals, and natural wonders and oddities mentioned by Dioscorides, with a commentary on their unusual features and properties. The frontispiece and plate illustrate 120 of these different specimens, and are keyed with a page number referring to the text. These finely engraved vignettes have the quality of emblems, which is enhanced by the emblematic 'devices', brief verses in French accompanying the text entries. It is stated that Contant was also the designer of the plates. The Dioscorides commentary serves as an introduction to the second work, Le second Eden, a poem devoted to the 'wonder garden' that Adam and Eve created after their expulsion from Paradise. The frontispiece illustrates the garden, filled with remarkable flowers and trees, with various scenes of Adam and Eve working in the garden, making love, discovering fire, etc, surrounded by frolicking beasts of land and sea. A further 24 plants are illustrated, with numbers keyed to the text.The third part opens with a remarkable frontispiece/title depicting one of the 'cabinets' of the Contants, labelled 'Capsulae 32 varia naturae mirabilia complectentes', comprising 32 specimen drawers above and a bookcase containing 15 folio volumes below; these are presumably Contant's hortus siccus. Again, the border illustrates various seeds, shells, and fossils in the collection. The text describes the contents of the Gazophylacium, subdivided into fruits, woods, roots, flowers, gums, various fossils, stones, marine specimens, shells, minerals, fish, and exotic animals. Several hundred specimens are listed. The pagination continues with the fourth part, the Synopsis plantarum. This contains an engraving of in the text of the cedar of Lebanon.The fifth part, Le Jardin, et Cabinet Poetique, is dedicated to Paul Contant's fellow Huguenot, the Duc de Sully. The large floral bouquet plate depicts some 58 flowers and plants, and is presented in a shallow vase, signed by Paul Contant. Each plant or flower is numbered to key it to the corresponding passage in the text. The ten engraved plates that follow are also keyed to the text, which is a verse description of the cabinet. They illustrate 43 animal specimens and feature teratological creatures, such as a pair of Siamese twins, a one-eyed and also a two-headed sheep, various 'sea monsters', a horseshoe crab, sawfish and blowfish, seahorse, a 'canoe' made out of a marine animal skin, a dragon, bird of paradise, etc.Extended description upon requestSee Schnapper, Le géant, la licorne, la tulipe. Collections françcaises au XVIIe siècle, pp 222-225OCLC records Morton Arboretum, University of Kansas, NLM, New York Academy of Medicine, Holden Arboretum, and Harvard for North America
Observations diverses sur la sterilité

Observations diverses sur la sterilité, perte de fruict, fecondité, accouchements, et maladies des femmes et enfants nouveaux naiz .

BOURGEOIS [BOURSIER], Louise (1563-1636) 8vo (167 x 95 mm), ff [12] 12 [recte 3, without terminal blank], with fine engraved allegorical title and two engraved portraits (the author and Marie de Medici, Queen of France); a fine copy, in nineteenth-century French brown morocco, panelled in blind with gilt corner ornaments, spine gilt, slightly worn. First edition, first issue, very rare, of the first obstetrics book written by a woman to be published, and a work that founded obstetrics as a science. It was one of the most popular and influential textbooks of its day, and was credited by Jean Astruc with greatly advancing French midwifery. 'She was one of the pioneers of scientific midwifery; her Observations was the vade mecum of contemporary midwives' (Garrison and Morton).Louise Bourgeois became interested in midwifery after the birth of her first child, with the result that she studied medicine and obstetrics practice under her barber-surgeon husband, Martin Boursier, and his teacher the great Ambroise Paré. The guild of midwives tried to oppose her application for a licence, fearing her increasing reputation amongst Paré's circle of surgeons. Their opposition was of no avail, however, and she was summoned to attend the confinement of Marie de Medici, Queen of France, for the birth of the future Louis XIII. She thus became midwife to the French court for 27 years, and delivered all the children of Marie de Medici. The death by puerperal sepsis of the child of the Duchess of Orléans, the princess Marie de Bourbon-Montpensier, in 1627 brought an end to her reign at the age of 64, and as a result Louis XIV required that at all future royal births a surgeon should be present.Bourgeois drew on the practice of Paré and Guillemeau. She 'advocated the induction of premature labor for contracted pelvis and gave original descriptions of prolapsed umbilical cord and face presentation and their management' (Speert).The collation of this work is a8 e4 A-P8, Q4, with I8 cancelled, with numerous errors in foliation and two in signatures (D3 and E3); the work was reset correcting these errors in the later issue, which can be distinguished by having Q4 blank (or absent)Provenance: presentation inscription on front flyleaf 'Au Docteur L. Santé Amicitior memoria sacrum Langres 1915 Paris [infinity sign] Georges Grappe'; Georges Grappe (1897-1947) was an art historian and curator of the Rodin museumGarrison and Morton 6145; Cutter and Veits pp 73-76; Speert Iconographia gyniatrica pp 72-73; Krivatsy 1625 (imperfect); Waller 1365; OCLC records NLM, UCLA, Yale, Kansas, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Philadelphia College of Physicians, and UBC for North America (both issues, mostly the second)
Gabinetto mineralogico del Collegio Nazareno descritto secondo i caratteri esterni e distribuito a norma de' principi constitutivi.

Gabinetto mineralogico del Collegio Nazareno descritto secondo i caratteri esterni e distribuito a norma de’ principi constitutivi.

PETRINI, Giovanni Vincenzo] (1725-1814) Two vols, 8vo (218 x 145 mm), pp LII 384 [2, errata and blank]; XXXIX [1, blank] 387 [1, blank]; some faint marginal waterstaining to first leaves of second vol, some corners of prelims crumpled, really a very attractive, fresh, and unpressed copy in contemporary Italian patterned boards (differing but both vols with the same provenance), slightly worn. First edition of this extensive catalogue of the mineralogical museum in the Collegeo Nazareno in Rome, founded by the author, Father Petrini and arranged by Scipione Breislak.'Rare. Extensive descriptive collection catalog of the mineral specimens held in at Nazareno College in Rome at the end of the 18th century. The preliminaries of the first volume provide some history of the formation of the collection and a synopsis of the new chemistry of Lavoisier. The catalog then commences, classifying the specimens into a standard structure of salts, earths, bitumens and flammable bodies, and metals. Volcanic objects and fossils are given their own classifications and are treated at the end of volume two' (Curtis Schuh, Biobibliography of Mineralogy online). The organiser of the collection, Scipione Breislak (1750-1826) was '. one of the founders of volcanology in Italy, Breislak was the first to determine that basaltic rocks were of extrusive origin; he also emphasised that the tufaceous deposits of Campania originated under water, and he reconstructed the evolution of Vesuvius' (DSB). He was the author of Introduzione alle Geologia (Milan, 1811).'Antiquarians and polymaths in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries pursued del Riccio's interest in the geological and geographic origins of marble with even greater scientific rigor. The secretary of the papal nephew Francesco Barberini, Cassiano del Pozzo, assembled a vast collection of drawings of the objects, buildings, and other material remains of the ancient world. This corpus of drawings, known as the paper museum (museo caraceo), included a catalogue of stones painted on paper. Dal Pozzo worked with the Venetian painter Jacopo Ligozzi and the director of the opificio fiorentino, Matteo Nigetti, in painting and compiling the samplings. Painted compilations such as Dal Pozzo's became the actual marble-sample panels of the eighteenth century: to this end Father Giovan Vincenzo Petrini (1725-1784) founded a mineralogical museum in the Collegio Nazareno in Rome' (Radical Marble, Architectural Innovation from Antiquity to the Present, J. Nicholas Napoli and William Tronzo, eds)Provenance: early ownership inscription 'C. Guicciardi' on both endleavesWard and Carozzi 1754; OCLC records Smithsonian, Chicago, Illinois, Oklahoma, McGill, and Cornell in North America
De novo telescopii usu ad objecta coelestia determinanda dissertatio .

De novo telescopii usu ad objecta coelestia determinanda dissertatio .

BOSCOVICH, Ruggero Giuseppe, or Rudjer Josip BOSCOVIC] (1711-1787) 4to (220 x 161 mm), pp XI [1], with one engraved plate; a fine, unpressed copy in gilt Buntpapier wrappers. First edition of Boscovich's dissertation on a new telescope design. It presents 'an account of the principle of the circular micrometer based on the idea that the circular aperture of the objective may serve for determination of the times at which a celestial body enters and leaves the field of vision of a telescope; these values, when compared with those of a known star, give the relative positions of the two bodies' (DSB).Boscovich 'was recognized as a gifted teacher, an accomplished leader in scientific enterprises, an inventor of important instruments which are still employed (such as the ring-micrometer, etc.), and as a pioneer in developing new theories . The invention of the ring-micrometer just mentioned, which Boscovich describes in his memoir "De novo telescopii usu ad objecta coelestia determinanda" (Rome, 1739), has been ascribed without reason by some to the Dutch natural philosopher Huygens. The chief advantage of the simple measuring instrument devised by Boscovich consists in its not requiring any artificial illumination of the field of the telescope. This makes it useful in observing faint objects, as its inventor expressly points out in connexion with the comet of 1739' (Catholic Encyclopedia v 2 p 693).This is one of Boscovich's first publications.Riccardi I.1 173 n 5; Sommervogel I 1830 n 5; OCLC records American Philosophical Society, Harvard, Princeton, and Brown for North America
Alcuni opuscoli filosofici . Al serenissimo

Alcuni opuscoli filosofici . Al serenissimo, e reverendiss. principe il sig. cardinale de’ Medici.

CASTELLI, Benedetto (1578-1643) 4to (224 x 160 mm), pp [viii] 79 [1, blank], title with large vignette of the arms of the Medici dedicatee, engraved by Pietro Tedeschi, and five woodcut optical diagrams in text; a fine copy on thick paper, unpressed, in nineteenth-century calf-backed boards, minor wear to spine. First edition of this rare posthumous publication, containing Castelli's most important contributions to the field of optics. The text comprises miscellaneous pieces, including the first publications of two letters to Galileo (dated 27 June 1637 and 2 August 1638, pages 47-79) detailing experiments on the absorption and transmission of radiant heat by differently coloured surfaces.'Castelli's optical investigations were continued in a treatise sent to Giovanni Ciampoli in 1639 and published in 1669 [in the present work]. Included are many observations and conclusions with respect to the persistence of optical images, by which Castelli explained the perception of motion, the illusion of forked tongues in serpents, and other phenomena. In the same treatise he recommended the use of diaphragms in telescopes to impede transverse rays, anticipating Hevelius. His discussions of the camera obscura, the inversion of images on the retina, and of cataract (from which Galileo had recently lost his sight), although less novel, are not without interest.'More celebrated is Castell's discussion of heat in a series of letters to Galileo (1637-1638) and particularly his experiments with the absorption of radiant and transmitted heat by black and white objects. Two of these letters, in which the pursuit of experimental science is even more clearly described than in Galileo's work on bodies of water, were published in 1669 [in the above]' (DSB).In a treatise on the preservation of grains (pp 39-46) Castelli suggests keeping wheat in sealed containers so that pathogens are kept out, anticipating later discoveries by Francesco Redi in microbiology and the discrediting the theory of spontaneous generation.Carli and Favaro 322; Riccardi I 291 n 3; OCLC records Cal Tech, Huntington (Burndy), Yale, American Philosophical Society, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and UC Berkeley for North America
Bybel der Natuure . of Historie der Insecten . [Latin title:] Biblia naturae

Bybel der Natuure . of Historie der Insecten . [Latin title:] Biblia naturae, sive historia insectorum .

SWAMMERDAM, Jan (1637-1680) 2 vols, folio (356 x 234 mm), pp [lxii] 550 [recte 548]; [iv[ 551-910; [xxxvi] 124; text in Dutch and Latin in parallel columns, with titles in red and black, each with different engraved vignettes, and 53 folding engraved plates; a fine, clean copy in contemporary Dutch vellum. First edition, a lavish production edited by Hermann Boerhaave, with Latin translation of Swammerdam's Dutch text by Hieronimus David Gaubius.Published 57 years after the author's death, the Bybel der Natuure contains Swammerdam's epochal investigations of the microscopic anatomy of insects. He demonstrated that the various developmental phases of an insect, from egg, larva, pupa, to the adult form, are a continuous process of anatomical change, and not sudden and complete transformation, the prevailing and Aristotelian doctrine of insect metamorphosis at the time. He asserted that all biological processes are fundamentally the same, and that there was no distinction between insects and 'higher animals'. He gave visual proof that the queen bee was in fact female, not male as was assumed at the time, and that the drones were male and worker bees were female bees but without ovaries and therefore unable to reproduce. Swammerdam developed techniques of micro-dissection and injections to preserve delicate structure, which are displayed in the extraordinary plates in this work. The engraved plates were prepared from Swammerdam's own drawings by Johannes van der Spyck (1716-1761).'This early collection of microscopical observations is based on Swammerdam's own collection of over 3000 species of insects. He gave up his medical training to devote himself to the study of minute anatomy, and so intense were his efforts that he injured his sight and health. To the advantages of the microscope he added his own manipulative skill and a series of fine dissecting instruments which he made under a magnifying glass. With Redi, he rejected spontaneous generation and proposed that the process of decay in organic matter was the result of living organisms' (Dibner).This work was assembled and edited by Hermann Boerhaave, utilizing Swammerdam's unpublished manuscripts. Boerhaave wrote the extensive biography of Swammerdam that prefaces the work.Cole pp 270-305; Dibner 191; Norman 2037
An Essay on the Food of Plants and the Renovation of Soils.

An Essay on the Food of Plants and the Renovation of Soils.

INGENHOUSZ, Jan 4to (247 x 192 mm), pp [ii] 20; folding crease across all leaves, paper fault on last leaf affecting two letters, some occasional spotting, a very good copy in contemporary calf-backed marbled boards. First edition, extremely rare offprint (one of three copies known), of Ingenhousz's final publication and his most developed articulation of his discoveries of photosynthesis. In this work Ingenhousz states conclusively that carbon dioxide extracted from the air is the source of carbon in plants. 'Ingen-Housz's last work was a sequel to his Experiments on vegetables, summarizing the results of his research on photosynthesis and reinterpreting his findings in the light of Lavoisier's new oxygen-based chemistry' (Norman catalogue).'During this period Ingen-Housz met Sir John Sinclair, president of the Board of Agriculture, who encouraged his studies of plant nutrition. The chemistry of plant growth was not yet understood, especially the origin of carbon in plants. The French chemist Hassenfratz had proposed the theory that the carbon was taken up from the soil by the roots of the plants, the so-called humus theory; the humus, decayed remains of animals and plants in the soil, being the storehouse of the carbon. In a contribution intended for publication by the Board of Agriculture, 'On the Food of Plants and the Renovation of Soils', Ingen-Housz declared that carbon dioxide in air is the source of carbon in plants, thus explaining the disappearance of the gas and the production of oxygen in photosynthesis' (DSB).This work is exceptionally rare. Ernst Weil, who had a copy in an Ingenhousz collection offered in his catalogue 33 (n. 148), wrote that 'this is by far the rarest and most valuable item in the collection' and notes that only 40 copies are said to have been printed.Provenance: inscribed by Ingenhousz on the title 'Richd. Acklom, from Dr. Ingen-Housz 1796'; the 1933 reprint notes: 'of the original, printed in London, in 1796, two copies are known, one in the British Museum (Natural History), the other in a private library')Norman 1143
De cometis dissertatio .

De cometis dissertatio .

BOSCOVICH, Ruggero Giuseppe or Rudjer Josip BOSCOVIC] (1711-1787) 4to (222 x 160 mm), pp XXXIX [1, blank], with one folding engraved plate; a fine, unpressed copy marbled wrappers. First edition of Boscovich's dissertation on comets, one of his most important works on observational astronomy, and also a work in which he introduces the concept that motion in space is relative and not absolute.'His essay De Cometis dissertatio of 1746 is a demonstration of his observational activity and, as acknowledged by Boscovich himself, is the starting point of all the following works on the problem of cometary motion. In these works Boscovich is still forced to accept the dogma of the immobility of the Earth but on the other hand, by demonstrating the validity of Newton laws of motion, surreptitiously lays the foundation for overcoming that hypothesis. We must also note that Boscovich was driven to write the De Cometis dissertatio and to tackle the theoretical problem of cometary motion by the observations of the passage of the great comet of 1743-1744 he performed in Rome at the Collegio Romano' (E. Proverbio, 'Boscovich: scientist and man of letters' in Memorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana Supplement, v.23, p.49 (2013).' . Boscovich took up the study of comets. A widely read work of 1746 offered his opinions on a number of questions concerning comets. In it he proposed his first method . for the determination of parabolic orbits. The procedure was essentially similar to that afterward introduced by J. H. Lambert (1761). Boscovich's method . comes close to the classic method of H. W. Olbers (1797)' (DSB).'The second phase of Boscovich treatment of Earth's motion appears as a product of a great frustration. He was clearly enchanted by Newton's rigorous geometrical approach and the idea that a number of natural phenomena can be explained by a single physical law. This did not stop him criticising various aspects of the Newtonian physics, which, of course, will lead to his "Philosophiae naturalis theoria" (Boscovich 1758), but by this moment, he must have realised if Newtonian gravity was true, motions of the Earth, both annual and diurnal were inevitable. How to reconcile his progressive scientific thoughts with the doctrine of the Church and the guidelines of the Ratio Studiourum of the Collegium Romanum? His answer was to develop a scientifically driven hypothesis, acceptable to both the theologians and scientists.'Boscovich's opinion that motion is relative, or that absolute motion is impossible to deduce or prove empirically, is what led him to the miraculous path out of the dilemma. Suppose there is a space which contains all visible Universe, the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, all the planets and all the fixed stars, whatever their distance from the Sun might be. If this stellar space, performs all the motions like the Earth, exactly but in an opposite direction, then the Earth will appear to stand still to an observer outside of this space. The omnipotent observer who can view the Universe from the absolute space, will see Earth motionless, because the stellar space moves to cancel the Earth motions within it. Observers within this stellar space, however, will see the Earth moving, as they cannot detect the motion of the space of which they are a part. 'This was Boscovich's solution which he presented firstly in the dissertation in "De cometis", 1746 (Davor Krajnovi , Understand assumptions and know uncertainties: Boscovich and the motion of the Earth, Leibniz Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, 2011; Sommervogel I 1833 n 26; OCLC records UC Berkeley, Harvard, Boston, Brown, and USN Observatory for North America
De viribus vivis dissertatio .

De viribus vivis dissertatio .

BOSCOVICH, Ruggero Giuseppe] (1711-1787) 4to ( 221 x 164 mm), pp XLIX [1, blank], with folding engraved plates; a very faint occasional marginal spotting, a very good copy in plain wrappers.First edition, first issue of Boscovich's earliest published work on his dynamic point theory, and which was the precursor to his great Philosophiae naturalis theoria redacta ad unicam legem virium in natura existentium (1758), a work considered as the 'birth of atomic physics' and praised by Faraday, Maxwell, and Heisenberg. Boscovich stated in the Philosophiae naturalis theoria that his work originated in this 1745 publication.Boscovich's dynamic point theory 'was not only the first general mathematical theory of atomism . but more specifically it was the first scientific theory: to treat all the ultimate constituents of matter as identical; to employ finite numbers of point particles; to eliminate Newtonian mass as a primary quantity, substituting a kinematic basis; to postulate a relational basis for the mathematical treatment of inertia and of all space and time observations; to propose to derive all physical effects from a single law; to eliminate the scale-free similarity property of the Newtonian law, introducing natural lengths into continuous laws so as to determine unique equilibrium positions and other scale-fixed properties; to employ a power series to represent an observable.' (L. L. Whyte in Roger Joseph Boscovich . Studies of his life and work, London, 1961).'The Theory of Natural Philosophy is now recognized as having exerted a fundamental influence on modern mathematical physics . As the title of his book implies, he considered that a single law was the basis of all natural phenomena and of the properties of matter; that the multiplicity of physical forces was only apparent and due to inadequate mathematical knowledge' (PMM).Boscovich's 'heterodoxy in mechanics began to be apparent at least as early as 1745, when he published an important discourse on the subject of living force (vis viva) . This discourse contained the first statement of Boscovich's universal force law.'That law was inspired partly by Leibniz's law of continuity and partly by the famous thirty-first query with which Newton concluded the fourth edition of his Opticks. There Newton raised speculatively the question whether there might not exist both attractive and repulsive forces alternately operative between the particles of matter. From this idea Boscovich proceeded by way of an analysis of collision of bodies to the enunciation of a "universal law of forces" between elements of matter, the force being alternately attractive or repulsive, depending upon the distance by which they are separated. As that distance diminishes toward zero, repulsion predominates and grows infinite so as to render direct contact between particles impossible. A fundamental role is played by the points of equilibrium between the attractive and repulsive forces. Boscovich called such points "boundaries" (limes, the Latin singular). Some of them are points of stable equilibrium for the particles in them and others are points of unstable equilibrium. The behavior of these boundaries and the areas between them enabled Boscovich to interpret cohesion, impenetrability, extension, and many physical and chemical properties of matter, including its emission of light.Extended description upon requestThere are two issues of this publication, an academic one as here, and a commercial one, the latter containing a differing imprint and also naming Boscovich as the author. A comparison of the two makes clear that both were printed from the same standing type, apart from the title page. The commercial issue has the imprint 'Sumptibus venantii Monaldini bibliopole', and also a different title ornament.Manuscript corrections to the text on pages V, IX, and XXXIX, as in the BSB copyRiccardi I.1 174 n 21; Sommervogel I 1832 n 22; OCLC records Huntington, Smithsonian, American Philosophical Society, Harvard, Princeton, and Brown for North America
La Dissection des parties du corps humain ?[bound with:] VESALIUS

La Dissection des parties du corps humain ?[bound with:] VESALIUS, Andreas ( ) and Jacques GRÉVIN (ca 1539-1570). Les Portraicts anatomiques de toutes les parties du corps humain ?

ESTIENNE, Charles (1504-1564) and Estienne de la RIVIÈRE (died 1564) 2 vols in one, folio (400 x 255 mm), I: pp [xvi] 405 [3, including terminal blank], with Colines' 'Tempus' device on title, 62 full-page woodcuts (including 6 repeats), 101 smaller woodcuts, and criblé initials; II: pp [viii] 106 [2] with printer's device on verso, and 40 engraved full-page plates; both works ruled in red throughout, both large, fine copies in early reversed calf.First edition in French of the Estienne and the first edition of Grévin's adaptation of Vesalius' Fabrica, and the first appearance of Vesalius in the French language.The Estienne is of one of the most attractive illustrated anatomical books of the sixteenth century. It is the French book which most superbly illustrates the union of art and science in Renaissance anatomy, to paraphrase En Français dans le texte. A Latin edition was published by Colines the year before, but the French version, his penultimate book, is much rarer and also contains two full-page woodcuts not included in the Latin edition, including the famous skeleton on p 13 by Mercure Jollat (dated 1532).The full-page woodcuts are striking examples of Mannerist art and are some of the most memorable images in medical iconography. As an illustrated anatomy it is surpassed only by Vesalius. Although published two years after Vesalius, the woodcuts were begun in 1530 and much of the printing had been completed by 1539, when work was interrupted by a lawsuit brought by the co-author, the surgeon Étienne de la Rivière, against Estienne. It is in fact likely that Vesalius, who was in Paris from 1533 to 1536, saw Estienne's work and was influenced by it.This is the 'first published work to include illustrations of the whole external venous and nervous systems' (Garrison and Morton) and is particularly important in neurology for containing the most detailed pre-Vesalian brain dissections. 'His eight dissections of the brain, made in 1539, give more anatomical detail than had previously appeared, particularly the first graphical presentation of the difference between convolutional patterns of the cerebrum and cerebellum' (McHenry, Garrison's history of neurology). 'In the De dissectione, Estienne stated at the outset the principle of the new anatomical method: "One should not believe in books on anatomy but far more in one's own eyes"' (DSB).Full description provided upon request.
Lyell family album of 85 autograph letters written to or concerning Charles Lyell from eminent chemists

Lyell family album of 85 autograph letters written to or concerning Charles Lyell from eminent chemists, physicists, physicians, and explorers.

LYELL, Sir Charles (1797-1875) and others Together 85 letters by physicists, chemists, explorers, geographers, geologists, and doctors and surgeons, the letters edge-mounted in a large contemporary autograph album (361 by 265 mm), contemporary dark purple half morocco over purple roan boards, gilt edges, with manuscript label 'Chemists, Physicians, Travellers, and Geographers'. In fine condition, with its original waxed linen protective cover. Most of the letters are accompanied by a facing photograph or portrait print of the letter's author. The album was compiled by a member of Lyell's family, Leonard Lyell (1850-1926), nephew of Charles Lyell and son of Katherine Mary Lyell. His signature is on the inside front cover.An autograph album from the family of Sir Charles Lyell, and a veritable Who's Who of Victorian scientists, doctors and surgeons, and explorers. It reveals the complex weave of scientific, social, and institutional connections that formed the fabric of the Lyell family's life in particular and Victorian science in general. It also illuminates Lyell's Scottish connections in the sciences, the role of the British Institution and its lecturers, the Royal Society, and the Athenaeum Club, the leading London club for intellectuals. Many of the letters are written on Royal Institution or Athenaeum stationery. This is an immensely valuable archive that has never been researched before and none of which has been published; it sheds new light on the working practice of Charles Lyell, Michael Faraday, Francis Galton, and many others, and in particular the network of correspondence Lyell maintained in gathering geological information from far-flung parts of the Empire and elsewhere.The correspondents include Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday, William Wollaston, Jacob Berzelius, Justus von Liebig, August Wilhelm Hoffman, John Tyndall, Edward Frankland, David Brewster, Hermann von Helmholtz, William Grove, Benjamin Brodie, Alexander Shaw, Matthew Ballie, James Clark, Henry Holland, Andrew Clark, Joseph Lister, Alexander Burnes, Basil Hall, John Richardson, William Parry, Leopold McClintock, George Back, Charles Augustus Murray, James Brooke, Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, Francis Galton, James Grant, John Wilkinson, Henry Lefroy, Karl Lepsius, Friedjof Nansen, and others.Full details of contents upon request.
A Discourse of Gravity and Gravitation

A Discourse of Gravity and Gravitation, grounded on Experimental Observations: Presented to the Royal Society, November 12. 1674 .

WALLIS, John (1616-1703) 4to (200 x 155 mm), pp [iv] 36, with folding engraved plate; a very good copy in plain wrappers, worn.First edition of Wallis's response to Sir Mathew Hale's critique of Boyle's experiments on the weight and spring of air, and part of Wallis's project to provide the mathematical basis of mechanics. 'In 1673 and 1674 Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676), the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, anonymously published two books criticising the explanation of the barometric experiments by the weight and spring of the air. For some reason, Boyle was not willing to answer and John Wallis was commissioned to do so. Wallis dealt with the weight of fluids in the . Discourse concerning Gravity . presented to the Royal Society in November 1674 The Council ordered it to be printed at its expense in January 1675. We cannot deal here with Wallis' tract except to point out that although Wallis avoids the mixed mathematics format, he provides a detailed theoretical critique of Hale's explanations of the barometric experiments and of new experiments adduced by Hale. What seems highly relevant here is that in a matter in which Boyle was the highest authority, the Society's answer to Hale's challenge was entrusted to Wallis. This suggests that the experimentalist's and the mathematician's approach to hydrostatics and pneumatics were regarded as conflicting in no fundamental way. On the contrary it suggests that it was thought useful to combine them for answering critics. Boyle and Wallis did agree in rejecting to pay serious consideration to the investigation of the "nature" of key physical notions such as gravity or spring. Judging from the occasions in which they cooperated in crucial matters, this agreement seems to have powerfully brought them together.' (Antoni Malet in The Mechanization of Natural Philosophy, p 177).Hale's two anonymous works were Essay touching the gravitation or non-gravitation of fluids (1673) and Difficiles nugae, or, Observations touching the Torricellian experiment (1674). These two prompted both the present work by Wallis and also a reply by Thomas Hobbes in his Decameron physiologicum (1678, chapter VIII).Wallis begins by setting out his mathematical approach to the laws of motion, stating that it is not his intent to discuss the causes or nature of gravity, but rather to give as precise as possible a mathematical description of gravity and related phenomena. He then embarks on a detailed critique of Hale's 'explanations', which are rooted in philosophy and not in quantitative analysis.Wing W574
Prose de' Signori Accademici Gelati di Bologna distinte ne' seguenti trattati.[bound

Prose de’ Signori Accademici Gelati di Bologna distinte ne’ seguenti trattati.[bound, and possibily issued with:] Leggi dell’Accademia de’ S.S.ri Gelati di Bologna .

MONTANARI, Geminiano (1633-1687) et al. ACCADEMIA DEI GELATI 2 vols in bound in one, 4to (206 x 155 mm), pp xvi, including frontispiece] 432 [recte 442]; 24, with engraved frontispiece to first work, 16 engraved emblems within borders, and 2 full-page white-on-black woodcuts of the Pleiades, numerous head- and tail-pieces and other woodcut illustrations; a few marginal tears, some occasional worming to inner blank margins, overall a very good copy in contemporary Italian vellum with title in manuscript on spine.First edition, Montanari's discovery of variable stars, 'one of the earliest and most important chapters in the history of astrophysics' (see below). The volume itself is a collection of essays on various topics by the Accademia members, noted especially for Montanari's essay 'Sopra la Sparizione d'alcune Stelle et altre novita Celesti. Discorso Astronomico' (pp 369-392 [recte 402], a pioneering work on periodic variable stars. Montanari catalogues a number of stars of variable brightness. Montanari had devoted himself to 'inventing and marking precision instruments. He constructed enormous objective lenses, that were greatly praised by Cassini; one of them, dated 1666, is preserved in Bologna .'Montanari's greatest achievements, however, were in astronomy, particularly in his observations of the star Algol, which contributed to one of the earliest and most important chapters in the history of astrophysics, the study of the variable stars. He sent the results of his observations, which struct a fresh blow at the Aristotelian concept of the heavens' immutability, to the Royal Society in London and gave the first report of them in the paper "Sopra la sparizione d'alcune stelle et altre novita celesti," published in Prose de' signori accademici Gelati ((1671). In this paper he catalogued many stars of variable brightness, again drawing particular attention to Algol . Montanari seems not to have noticed the regularity of the phenomenon, but he was reasonably accurate in indicating the extremes of the variation' (DSB, which goes to explain that his failure to notice the periodicity was due to deterioration of his sight which prevented him from making regular observations).There are two striking white-on-black plates illustrating 'Pleiades Montanarii 1668' and "Pleiades Galilaei 1610'. The frontispiece, featuring the emblem of the Accademia, is by Lorenzo Tinti after Agostino Carracci. Praz notes 'the widespread interest of men of letters in the composition of their own devices' in this work (Praz, p 77).The second title sets out the rules governing the Accademia, along with a list of its members. They include many prominent artists and scientists such as Ferdinando Cospi, Ovidio Montalbani, Antonio Manzini, Giovanni Paolo Castelli, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Caro Dati, Lorenzo Magalotti, and of course Montanari himself.The pagination of this work is in full: [xvi] pp 160 ff 161-169; pp 171-390; ff 391, 392; pp 393-432; 24. The text contains significant corrections in manuscript.Riccardi I.2 172
De lucidis in sublimi ingenuarum exercitationum liber. In quo disseritur de radiis solis directis nullam attritionem

De lucidis in sublimi ingenuarum exercitationum liber. In quo disseritur de radiis solis directis nullam attritionem, nullamque caliditatem in aere producentibus, ad reflexorum refractorumque discrimen: De duplici galaxia, caelesti, & elementari: De cometis in caelo, & in ignis elemento genitis, tum per consensationem aetheris utriusque sine gravitatis acquisitione; tum etiam per astrorum concursum, antiquioribus ignotum; De cometarum eclipsi; de cauda lucente solum in umbra cometici capitis, & de nubium triplici differentia specifica, densiorumque levitate summa cum puritate conjuncta.

GALILEI, Galileo (1564-1642)] LICETI, Fortunio (1577-1657) 4to (195 x 140 mm), pp [viii] 120, author's woodcut device ('Fortasse Licebit') on title; a very good, unpressed copy, some very slight browning, in contemporary vellum, old stamp and inscription on title.First edition of this treatise on astronomy, covering optics, comets, the galaxies, and the interpretation of astronomical observations. The work is written in the form of a dialogue between Liceti and Libert Froidmont (1587-1658), author of two anti-Copernican texts). This work, comprising 183 sections, was written in response to, and quotes extensively from, Galileo's 'Letter to Leopold'. 'Liceti's book on the Bolognese stone attacked Galileo's explanation (in the Starry Messenger and the Dialogue) of the secondary light of the moon seen in thin crescent as a reflection of sunlight from the earth. These attacks became the subject of several letters to Galileo early in 1640. On 11 March, Prince Leopold wrote from Pisa that although to him Liceti's arguments seemed too frivolous to deserve reply, nevertheless he would like to have Galileo's opinion. Galileo then composed a lengthy treatise in the form of a letter to Prince Leopold, copies of which circulated for several months before Liceti asked to have one in order that he might formally reply. Galileo's Letter to Prince Leopold was several times revised and expanded, the final version occupying about fifty printed pages.'It was not until January 1641 that Galileo finally sent off his polished and amplified text of the Letter to Leopold. Liceti acknowledged receipt of a copy on 5 Feburary, and in due course he published his reply to it, in 183 sections [the present work]' (Drake, Galileo at work, pp 410-12).Liceti discusses Galileo's Sidereus nuncius, his observations of sunspots, and other findings, along with the theories of Brahe, Kepler, Snell, and others. The nature of galaxies and the possible plurality of worlds are also examined.The fourth preliminary leaf is a catalogue of Liceti's works, 44 titles listed.Fortunio Liceti, a friend and adversary of Galileo, was an Aristotelian university man '"of great reputation" (as one can read in [Galileo's] Dialogue), the great teratologist, professor of philosophy and medicine at the University of Bologna. Professor Liceti had an incomparable intellectual formation in medicine, literary and archaeological erudition, and astronomy and natural philosophy. He knew a good twenty-two hypotheses on comets and all the theories of Aristotle's commentators on the nature of light.' (Redondi, Galileo: heretic pp 20-21).Carli and Favaro 185; Piantanida 2199; OCLC: Michigan, Toronto and Yale; Harvard also has a copy
Appendix. Scientiam Spatii Absolute Veram exhibens: a veritate aut falsitate Axiomatis XI Euclidei (a priori haud unquam decidenda) independentem: adjecta ad casum falsitatis

Appendix. Scientiam Spatii Absolute Veram exhibens: a veritate aut falsitate Axiomatis XI Euclidei (a priori haud unquam decidenda) independentem: adjecta ad casum falsitatis, quadratura circuli geometrica. [in:]BÓLYAI, Farkas (1775-1856). Tentamen Juventutem Studiosam in Elementa Matheseos Purae. Tomus primus [-secundus].

BOLYAI, János (1802-1860) 2 vols, 8vo (I: 228 x 145 mm; II: 214 x 125 mm), I: pp [iv] XCVIII; 502; [ii] 26 [2, errata] XVI [subscriber's list and Latin-Hungarian lexicon of mathematical terms], with one large folding letterpress table, and 4 folded engraved plates (plate 3 with 7 small folding slips); II: pp [vi] xvi [Index Tom II] 402, with 10 folded engraved plates (plate 7 with 10 slips, plate 8 with 4 slips, plate 9 with 3 slips and plate 10 with 5 slips and 1 volvelle), manuscript corrections to line 6 of p 380 vol II; vol II with some worming to inner blank margins and text in several gatherings, affecting some letters but still legible, also affecting first four plates in same vol, just touching some of the figures, some paper flaws as often; first volume uncut, second with some outer edges uncut, together in uniform contemporary blue boards, paper labels on spines, spines and joints cracked but sound, preserved in a morocco box.First edition of 'the most extraordinary two dozen pages in the history of thought' (Halsted) and one of the few absolute rarities among the classics of science. This work contains the independent foundation (along with the work of Lobachevsky) of non-Euclidean geometry. I have located some 23 other copies worldwide, all of them exhibiting variations in issue or completeness (the present copy represents the most complete state of the text for both volumes).Lobachevsky and János Bolyai had independently created non-Euclidean systems by challenging the 'parallel postulate' of Euclid. János Bolyai's work was conceived in 1823, when he wrote to his father 'I have now resolved to publish a work on the theory of parallels . I have created a new universe from nothing'. It was published as an appendix to his father's mathematical treatise, the Tentamen, 1832-3. Lobachevsky's work appeared in a Kazan academic periodical between 1829-1830, and in fuller form as Geometrische Untersuchungen, Berlin 1840. Whereas Lobachevsky initially had only demonstrated the possibility of a geometry in which Euclid's fifth postulate (or 11th axiom) was untrue, János developed a geometry completely independent of the fifth postulate and applicable to varieties of curved space. However, the epochal significance of the work of these two was to remain largely unappreciated until the beginning of the twentieth century when it provided the mathematical basis for the Theory of Relativity.Currently 24 copies of the Tentamen are known to exist, including the present copy, and one (Berlin) that was lost in WWII. Of these 24, one comprises Janos Bolyai's Appendix only. A further three comprise volume one only. In addition, some copies are seriously defective, apart from the standard issue variations. There are numerous variations in collation, etc. amongst these copies.Full description provided upon request.
Lezioni elementari di astronomia ad uso del Real Osservatorio di Palermo .

Lezioni elementari di astronomia ad uso del Real Osservatorio di Palermo .

PIAZZI, Giuseppe (1746-1826) 2 vols, small 4to (200 x 140 mm), pp [xviii] [xix-x] 240; xxvi 446 [recte 416, pages 361-390 omitted in pagniation, text complete], with engraved vignettes depicting the observatory on title-page and 11 engraved plates, some folding; some slight foxing on plates, a very good copy in later nineteenth-century red leather-backed cloth boards.First edition of Piazzi's astronomical textbook for use at the Palermo Royal Observatory, of which he was the director. Having obtained a grant from the Viceroy of Sicily, Piazzi set up the observatory in the Santa Ninfa tower of the Royal Palace in 1789; as the southern-most European observatory, it offered unequalled access to the southern skies. Piazzi was able to acquire a great masterpiece of eighteenth-century technology, the five-foot vertical circle completed for him by the English instrument maker Jesse Ramsden, for the observatory (illustrated on plate II of the present work). It was here that Piazzi discovered the first minor planet, Ceres, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This, together with the great star catalogue he published at Palermo in 1803 (Praecipuarum Stellarum Inerrantium Positiones), listing 6,748 stars, established his reputation. Using this catalogue, he was able to show that the majority of stars exhibit proper motions relative to the Sun. The present work, a detailed technical handbook intended for the use of astronomers at the Palermo Observatory, became the leading astronomical textbook of the period, considered sufficiently important to be translated into German, with a preface by Carl Friedrich Gauss (Lehrbuch der Astronomie, Berlin 1822).Piazzi's Lezioni consists of seven chapters: Vol I: First observations and results; Basic facts of modern astronomy; On stars; Vol II: Theory of the motion of the planets; The solar system; Eclipses; Comets. Detailed information about the discovery and orbit of Ceres is included in vol II (pp 198-204). Many problems with their solutions are included to assist the reader.DSB X pp 591-593; Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers II pp 902-3; Houzeau & Lancaster 9275
Seven manuscript notebooks comprising three catalogues of minerals and four notebooks on mineralogy

Seven manuscript notebooks comprising three catalogues of minerals and four notebooks on mineralogy

MAXWELL, Henry, 7th Baron Farnham (1799-1868) 7 manuscript books, 8vo (various sizes), ink on paper, details below; all in original paper wrappers (marbled, mottled, or plain), one lower wrapper with some minor dampstaining, generally in fine condition, uncut.A fascinating collection of catalogues of minerals and meteorites, along with a few fossils, mostly relating to the family collections of minerals at their estates in County Cavan and Newtonbarry. The manuscripts reveal that Maxwell was well-read in geological and mineralogical literature, and some of the notes refer to quite early works, such as Gesner's De omni rerum fossilium genere, gemmis, lapidibus, metallis (1565-66). Maxwell is unknown in the annals of mineralogy, but it is possible that he shared his interests with his contemporary and neighbouring Irish peer William Willoughby Cole, third Earl of Inniskillen (1807-1886), geologist and palaeontologist. Cole amassed a world-famous fossil collection at his residence Florence Court, south-west of Enniskillen and in proximity to Farnham House, Maxwell's residence. Both Cole and Maxwell served in Parliament together, both were members of the Orange Order, of which Cole was master and also Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge.1. General Account 1818 (So titled on front cover), with Maxwell's signature to paste-down. The text is headed 'Constituent parts of Minerals' and lists various minerals and their composition. 21 numbered pages, 9 blanks.2. Catalogue of the Minerals in the Collection of Henry Maxwell Esqr Newton Barry October 1822. With the note, 'The arrangement is that adopted by Phillips, in the 2nd Edition of his excellent "Introduction to Mineralogy", with occasional references to other Works' signed 'Henry Maxwell. Plain grey wrappers. Foliation title and 52 numbered leaves. 3. Mineralogical Memoranda. Inscribed 'Henry Maxwell / Newtown Barry / 1822' to paste-down. Original marbled wrappers. Pagination: 12 numbered pages, followed by several blanks. Commences 'On the Egyptian Breccia Tomb of Alex[ander] / The following extract from Winkelmann / (sur la Breche d'Egypte, Tom. I p. 184) is of importance, as it described a substance little known, and proves the extreme rarity of this kind of stone .' with concluding remarks by Maxwell.4/5. Catalogue of Minerals in the Collection of Henry Maxwell Esqr at Farnham House, Cavan. Two volumes. With the motto (quotation from Virgil) 'Vires acquirit eundo' on title and the note, 'The arrangement is that adopted by Phillips, in the 3rd Edition of his excellent "Introduction to Mineralogy", with occasional references to other Works.' Signed 'Henry Maxwell' at the base of both title pages. Plain paper wrappers, stitched. Foliation vol I title, 1-29, 21-26 (26 is blank) numbered leaves; vol II title, 26 (some blank) numbered leaves, followed by several unnumbered blank leaves. 6. Mineralogical Miscellanea. Foliation: title, blank, 18 numbered leaves, followed by numerous blank leaves.7. Chronological List of Meteoric Stones. Pagination: 10 numbered pages, followed by several blanks. The manuscript is divided into two sections, 'Before the Christian Era' (in two divisions, and 'After the Christian Era'. It is arranged in chronological order giving dates (excepting the second division of the first section) and places where meteors have been recorded under various descriptive names.Provenance: Henry Maxwell, 7th Baron Farnham, was an Irish peer, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and Trinity College, Dublin. Holdings of manuscript material by or related to Maxwell: Farnham Papers (correspondence diaries, accounts and papers, 1817-63), National Library of Ireland; MSS 40488-580 (correspondence with Sir Robert Peel, 1841-45), British Library; L 29/700/14 (corresp with Earl de Grey, 1843), Bedfordshire and Luton ArchivesFull description provided upon request.