4 June 2008
GASSENDI, Pierre (1592-1655). Institutio astronomica: juxta hypotheses tam veterum quam recentiorum. -- Galileo GALILEI (1564-1642). Nuntius sidereus -- Johannes KEPLER (1571-1630). Dioptrice. London: Jacob Flesher, 1653.
8° (177 x 110mm). General title printed in red and black, independent title-pages for other works, drophead-title for Dioptrice, numerous woodcut diagrams in text, 4 plates in Sidereus Nuncius. (One diagram closely trimmed slightly affecting image, light offsetting to B3, corner of E4 strengthened, single tiny wormhole to outer margin.) Contemporary vellum, all edges red (recased). Provenance: Adolphe Delacroix (early ownership inscription to front pastedown).
SECOND EDITION OF THIS IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF SCIENTIFIC WRITINGS. Gassendi's Institutio astronomica, first published in 1647, outlines the various competing models of the cosmos, notably the Ptolemaic, the Copernican, and the intermediate system invented by Tycho Brahe. This is followed by Galileo's Sidereus nuncius, in which he outlined his observations made by telescope; first published in 1610, this constitutes the third edition of this seminal work. The volume is completed by Kepler's Dioptrice, first published in 1611, which is an effective companion piece to the Sidereus nuncius: Kepler had been researching optics since 1600 but it was the publication of Galileo's work which spurred him to complete his treatise on lenses. It contains the first explanation of myopia and the first design for an inverted astronomical telescope. Carli-Favaro 52 (241); Cinti 301 (155); De Caro 82.
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