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GALILEI, Galileo. Sidereus nuncius. Frankfurt: Poltheanus, 1610.
GALILEI, Galileo. Sidereus nuncius. Frankfurt: Poltheanus, 1610.

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GALILEI, Galileo. Sidereus nuncius. Frankfurt: Poltheanus, 1610.

8 (160 x 89 mm). Printer's device on title, text diagrams, ornamental headlines and initials (lacking the woodcut folding plates of the Pleiades, as often). (Title slightly cropped at head, closely trimmed not affecting illustrations [folded at bottom margin], some worming towards end catching some letters, some light browning.) Modern vellum. Provenance: S.S. Dunham (pencil inscription on front free endpaper dated 16 October 1931; by bequest to); Robert S. Dunham (sold Sotheby's New York, 11 December 1993, lot 680).

Pirated edition of Galileo's work containing "some of the most important discoveries in scientific literature" (PMM), published the same year as the first edition. This the the first publication of any of Galileo's works outside of Italy. The Frankfurt edition uses woodcuts, rather than the more accurate engraved illustrations in the first edition. The Frankfurt woodcuts are the source for the illustrations in most later editions of the Sidereus nuncius, and many lunar handbooks use them to the present day. The woodcuts are extremely rare and are often lacking (as here): only one copy has appeared at auction with them in the last 50 years. Carli-Favaro 31; Cinti 28; PMM 113.

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