London, South Kensington
25 October 2007
SPRAT, Thomas (1635-1713). The History of the Royal-Society of London, for the Improving of Natural Knowledge. London: T.R. for J. Martin and J. Allestry, 1667. 4° (206 x 150mm). Folding engraved frontispiece by Hollar after Evelyn (possibly Mary Evelyn), engraved arms of the Society on verso of half-title, 2 folding engraved plates, with the final errata leaf (top margins lightly soiled, Y3 lightly spotted and with a short tear in the blank fore-margin) but a crisp copy in contemporary panelled calf (rebacked, corners worn, lacks front free endpaper). Provenance: Sir Joseph Scott (early 19th-century signature on front paste-down endpaper and possibly his armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of the first history of the Royal Society. 'Evelyn's intimate connexions with the foundation and early fortunes of the Royal Society, and his friendship with Thomas Sprat, suggest that he may have had some hand in the compilation of this book. It contains, however, no visible sign except the engraved frontispiece made after his design. The print is found only in the first edition of Sprat's History, and by no means always in this', Keynes 178; Wing S5032.
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