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MARIE CURIE (1867-1934) AND PIERRE CURIE (1859-1906)

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MARIE CURIE (1867-1934) AND PIERRE CURIE (1859-1906)
Les nouvelles substances radioactives et les rayons qu'elles émettent. Offprint from: Rapports présentés au Congrès international de Physique réuni à Paris en 1900. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1900. 8° (252 x 164mm). Diagrams. (Occasional slight spotting.) Original printed wrappers (slight edgewear, soft vertical crease). Provenance: Harvey B. Plotnick (his sale, Christie's New York, 4 October 2002, lot 58).

FIRST EDITION, OFFPRINT ISSUE, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY PIERRE CURIE on the front wrapper: 'hommage des auteurs'. The Curies published several reviews of their radioactivity researches in 1900, the most significant being the present paper read before the International Physics Congress and published in the Congress's Rapports. '[The paper] had a wide dissemination and publicized the accomplishments of the Curies. It is in this report also that a hypothesis of atomic transformation is suggested, and this was later referred to by Marie Curie as the basis of priority over Rutherford' (Klickstein, Curie, pp.15-16). RARE: only two other copies have been located in the United States (Smithsonian Institution and Harvard); none in the English and French union catalogues. Apparently only one other copy sold at auction for over 30 years, also inscribed by P. Curie (to Ludwig Boltzmann; Freilich sale, Sotheby's New York, 10 January 2001, lot 139, $40,000). The present copy belonged to Harvey Plotnick, a publisher and trustee of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, who methodically collected books, pamphlets, letters and manuscripts, particularly those documenting the early 20th-century scientific discoveries.
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