• Valuable Printed Books and Man auction at Christies

    Sale 5334

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts

    13 June 2012, London, King Street

  • Lot 66

    GUERICKE, Otto von (1602-1686). Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) Magdeburgica, de vacuo spatio, edited by Gaspar Schott. Amsterdam: Johannes Jansson Waesberge, 1672.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    GUERICKE, Otto von (1602-1686). Experimenta nova (ut vocantur) Magdeburgica, de vacuo spatio, edited by Gaspar Schott. Amsterdam: Johannes Jansson Waesberge, 1672.

    2° (300 x 192mm). Engraved frontispiece, author portrait, one folding and one double-page plate, and 20 engravings in text. (Slight staining to outer margin of preliminaries, some light, even browning, final leaves slightly waterstained, Gg4 and errata leaf with marginal repairs.) Contemporary Dutch calf over wooden boards, covers with central arabesque in blind, gilt spine and board edges (recased, some restoration to spine, endpapers renewed).

    FIRST EDITION of Guericke's book of experiments with air, named after the famous Magdeburg experiment of 1657, in which it was proved that two copper hemispheres from which the air had been evacuated could not be pulled apart by teams of horses. 'A book of prime importance in electrical discovery, air-pressure and the vacuum pump' states Dibner, though Guericke was a Copernican and 'his experimental work represented only one facet of his attempt to reach a complete physical world view'. As the sub-title makes clear, his book also dealt with the problems of empty space and the movement of heavenly bodies, making 'infinite space ... a conceptual possibility' (DSB V, p. 576). Dibner Heralds 55; Grolier/Horblit 44; Sparrow Milestones of Science 90; NLM/Krivatsy 5074; Norman 952; Wellcome III, p.175; Wheeler Gift 170.


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    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED EUROPEAN COLLECTOR