Science Leads Fall 2019 Early Printed Books

 

Our Thursday, October 24 sale of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books saw a full auction room and active bidding on the internet and phones with a particular interest in publications by scientists, as well as incunabula, bibles and manuscript publications.

 
 

Sir Isaac Newton & Science

 
 
Sir Isaac Newton, Opticks, first edition, first issue, image showing the books binding, cover page and inside illustration, London, 1704.
Sir Isaac Newton, Opticks, first edition, first issue, London, 1704. Sold for $40,000.
 

Isaac Newton’s Opticks, 1704, brought $40,000, followed by a 100% sell-through rate for material relating to the acclaimed scientist. Additional highlights included Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica, the third authorized edition and the last edition to appear in the Newton’s lifetime, sold for $9,375, as well as the unauthorized third edition which earned $6,500.

 
Georg Agricola, De re metallica, image of an open book with two illustrations, Basel, 1561.
Georg Agricola, De re metallica, Basel, 1561. Sold for $10,000.
 

Further science material included a first edition of Galileo’s 1649 dialogue on the Copernican and Ptolemaic systems, establishing the validity of heliocentricity, which brought $16,900; and a second edition Georg Agricola’s De re metallica, 1561, on the first systematic treatise on mining and metallurgy, garnered $10,000.

 
 

Incubabula

 
 
Nicolaus Panormitanus de Tudeschis, Lectura super V libris Decretalium, image showing two book pages with decorations in the margins, Basel, 1480-81.
Nicolaus Panormitanus de Tudeschis, Lectura super V libris Decretalium, Basel, 1480-81. Sold for $11,250.
 

Incunabula performed well with “one of the best and most comprehensive of the western medieval lapidaries,” Albert Magnus’s De mineralibus, 1491, realizing $17,500, and a 1480-81 illuminated manuscript by Nicolaus Panormitanus de Tudeschis selling for $11,250.

 
 

Bibles & Religious Text

 
   

Bibles and religious texts included a Bible in Latin printed in Nuremberg in 1477 that sold for $9,375 and The Holy Byble, conteining the Olde Testament and the Newe, London, 1585, that earned $6,250. Also of note was Niccolò Circignani’s 1585 publication with 31 engraved plates of Christian martyrdom scenes by Giovanni Battista Cavalieri, after frescoes in the church of S. Stefano Rotondo in Rome, which brought $8,125; as well as the last official papal addition to the Corpus juris canonici with Pope Clemens V’s collection of decretals compiled during 1305-14, Constitutiones, Nuremberg, 1482, realizing $6,250.

 
Niccolò Circignani, Ecclesiae militantis triumphi, image of three scenes of saints martyrdom, Rome, 1585.
Niccolò Circignani, Ecclesiae militantis triumphi, Rome, 1585. Sold for $8,125.
 
 

Manuscripts

 
 
Andrea Alciato, Emblemas, manuscript in Spanish, image of a page in the book with an illustration and text, late 16th-early 17th century.
Andrea Alciato, Emblemas, manuscript in Spanish, late 16th-early 17th Century. Sold for $11,250.
 

Among the unique items was an unpublished Spanish manuscript version of Andrea Alciato’s 1531 Emblemata­—the first and most frequently reprinted emblem book. The late sixteenth- to early seventeenth-century Emblemas brought $11,250. Additional manuscript material featured an eighteenth- to early nineteenth-century manuscript cookbook in English that was won by an institution for $6,500.

 
 

Browse the complete list of results from our October 24, 2019 sale of Early Printed, Travel, Scientific & Medical Books.

More about consigning with Swann.