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    Sale 2013

    Important Scientific Books: The Richard Green Library

    17 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 71

    DALTON, John (1766-1844). A New System of Chemical Philosophy. Manchester: S. Russell for R. Bickerstaff [vol.1, part 1], 1808; Russell and Allen for R. Bickerstaff [vol.1, part 2], 1810; the executors of S. Russell for George Wilson [vol.2], 1827.

    Price Realised  

    DALTON, John (1766-1844). A New System of Chemical Philosophy. Manchester: S. Russell for R. Bickerstaff [vol.1, part 1], 1808; Russell and Allen for R. Bickerstaff [vol.1, part 2], 1810; the executors of S. Russell for George Wilson [vol.2], 1827.

    3 volumes, 8o (224 x 137 mm [vol.1, part 1]; 223 x 139 mm [vol.1, part 2], 218 x 133 mm [vol.2]). Dedication leaf present in all three volumes. 8 engraved plates (some spotting, plates 2-4 and last leaf of text in vol.1, part 1 detached from textblock, minor marginal dampstaining to the plates in vol.1, part 2). (Vol.2 lacking \Kp\k4, title-page in vol.2 with a few small tears.) Vol.1, parts 1 and 2 bound in contemporary paper-backed marbled boards, vol.2 bound in modern paper-backed boards, paper spine labels, uncut and partially unopened (some overall rubbing and light wear). Provenance: John Yates (signature dated "1809" on front free endpaper of vol.1, part 1).

    FIRST EDITION OF DALTON'S CLASSIC WORK ON THE ATOMIC THEORY OF MATTER. "Dalton reconstructed Newton's speculations on the structure of matter, and, applying them in a new form to chemistry, gave Lavoisier's reformation of that science a deeper significance" (PMM). Dalton maintained that all matter was composed of indestructible and indivisible atoms of various weights, each weight corresponding to one of the chemical elements. These atoms remained unchanged during chemical processes, and their particular weight determined their identity. His New System presented the first chemical atomic theory giving significance to the relative weights of the ultimate particles of all known compounds. It also provided a quantitative explanation of the phenomena of chemical reaction. "He developed a system of chemical symbols and a table [plate 4 in part 1] showing the relative weights of the atoms of a list of elements. From his principles he deduced the law of definite proportions and the law of multiple proportions" (Dibner). Dibner Heralds of Science 44; Duveen, p. 156; Grolier/Horblit 22; Norman 575; Partington III, pp. 799-813; PMM 261.

    [With:]

    DALTON. "Experimental Essays." Extract from: Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society, Manchester, vol.5, pp. 535-602. [Manchester: R. & W. Dean, 1802].

    8o (210 x 130 mm). One folding engraved plate. (Some minor offsetting on first leaf.) Disbound; quarter morocco slipcase.

    FIRST EDITION of Dalton's four essays on the constitution of mixed gases, on the force of steam or vapor from water and other liquids in different temperatures, on evaporation, and on the expansion of gases by heat. (4)


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