Lot 157: Sir Isaac Newton, Opticks, first edition, first issue, London, 1704. Sold for $87,500.
The top lot of the sale was a first edition, first issue of Sir Isaac Newton’s seminal Opticks, 1704, a treatise on light and color. This excellent copy of the groundbreaking work sold well above its estimate at $87,500. Another highlight of the sale was Euclid’s Elementa geometriae, 1482, the first major mathematical work to appear in print. The printing process used in the first edition, which includes extensive geometrical designs, influenced the design of subsequent editions and similar works into the sixteenth century; it sold for $62,500.
Lot 147: Euclid, Elementa geometriae, Venice, 1482. Sold for $62,500.
Each section of the sale performed well, especially the collection of mountaineering literature from the estate of Timothy Treacy, an adventurer from California. Works in the collection helped to stimulate interest in mountaineering, as well as later classics on the subject. Specialist Tobias Abeloff said, “It was an interesting collection to work on, with many uncommon items. 129 of the 131 Treacy lots sold, so the sell-through rate mirrored the sale as a whole at 98%. The top Treacy lot was Edmund Thomas Coleman’s Scenes from the Snow-Fields, 1859.” That work sold to a collector for $16,250.
Lot 207: Edmund Thomas Coleman, Scenes from the Snow-Fields, London, 1859. Sold for $16,250.
Lot 332: William Windham and Pierre Martel, An Account of the Glacieres or Ice Alps in Savoy, first edition, London, 1744. Sold for $10,000.
William Shakespeare’s A Winters Tale, extracted from the First Folio, sold after steady bidding for $25,000, well above its high estimate. A fourteenth-century vellum manuscript Psalter from England, written in gothic hand and including contemporary calendars, litany and miscellaneous texts, sold to a lucky collector for $8,450.
Lot 83: Psalter with calendar, litany, and miscellaneous texts, manuscript on vellum, England, 14th century. Sold for $8,450.
Early English bibles also garnered much attention: The Byble, 1551 ($15,600); The holie Bible, 1572 ($7,280); and The Holy Bible, 1617 ($13,000), all sold to collectors for more than twice their estimates.
For full results, visit the catalogue. The next sale of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books will be in March 2017.