17 June 2008
BOWDITCH, Nathaniel. Methods of Computing the Orbit of a Comet or Planet. Appendix to the Third Volume of Translation of the Mécanique céleste. Boston: Isaac R. Butts for Hilliard, Gray, Little, and Wilkins, 1834.
4o (276 x 222 mm). 19th-century marbled boards rebacked in modern cloth, original spine label (some minor rubbing).
FIRST EDITION. Bowditch's translation, with added commentary, of Pierre Simon Laplace's Mécanique Céleste was published in four volumes from 1829-1839 (see lot 219). In this appendix to the third volume, Bowditch notes important improvements in the calculation of the orbit of a planet or comet.
BOWDITCH, Nathaniel Ingersoll (1805-1861). Memoir of the Translator. Extract from: Mécanique Céleste by the Marquis de la Place... Translated with a Commentary, by Nathaniel Bowditch, vol.4. Boston: Isaac R. Butts for Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1839.
4o (285 x 230 mm). Half-title. Original cloth-backed boards (some staining and light wear, small sticker on front cover). Provenance: Henry Harris Tuckerman (presentation inscription from the author on front cover and on limitation leaf).
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, written by Bowditch's son. PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed by Nathaniel Ingersoll Bowditch to Henry Harris Tuckerman on the limitation leaf: "Henry Harris Tuckerman Esq., with the respects of the author. Boston July 31, 1839," with an additional inscription on the front cover: "Henry Harris Tuckerman Esq. from the author." Sabin 7000 (second edition). RARE: According to American Book Prices Current, no copy of this work has sold at auction in the past 30 years. (2)
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