HEVELIUS, Johannes (1611-1687). Mercurius in sole visus Gedani, anno christiano MDCLXI... cui annexa est Venus in sole pariter visa, anno 1639... Liverpoliae, a Jeremia Horroxio, nunc primum edita. Danzig: Simon Reiniger for the author, 1662.
2o (352 x 224 mm.), 94 leaves. Engraved allegorical title vignette after A. Boy, 10 engraved plates by Hevelius, letterpress tables, woodcut and type-ornament head- and tail-pieces and initials. (2 leaves browned, occasional light foxing at end.) Bound with 4 other works by Hevelius (see below) in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt, title "I. Hevel Tract varii" gilt lettered iin second compartment, edges red-stained (discreet restoration to upper joint and head and tailcaps, board edges rubbed with slight loss to leather at corners). Provenance: "Mme. Veuve Courcier, "Imprimeur-Libraire pour les Sciences," Paris (early 19th-century typographical bookseller's label on front pastedown).
Hevelius' observations of the transit of Mercury on 3 May 1661, followed by the first published description of the important observations by the short-lived English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks (1618-1641) of the transit of Venus of 24 November 1639, with supplementary notes by Hevelius. Horrocks was the first astronomer to observe a transit (or conjunction with the sun) of Venus, an event that he had predicted through close study and correction of Kepler's tables. His observations enabled him to make the first accurate calculations of the diameter of Venus and of the constants of its orbit. This was the first of any of Horrock's manuscripts to be published.
The final portion of the work contains a description and ephemerides of a new star (probably a nova) in the "neck" of the constellation Cetus, first observed in 1638, and a description of unusual optical occurrences observed by Hevelius in 1660 and 1661, including a paraselene (or mock moon), and a parhelion (or mock sun). Norman 1067.
HEVELIUS. Epistolae II. Prior: de motu lunae libratorio, in certas tabulas redacto... Posterior: de utriusque luminaris defectu anni 1654. Danzig: Andreas Julius Moller for the author, 1654. 2o (352 x 224 mm), 37 leaves. Engraved title vignette (as above), 6 engraved plates by Hevelius, including a double-page plate from the Selenographica (1647), one engraved diagram in text, letterpress astronomical tables, woodcut initials. (Title slightly soiled, double-page plate browned). A continuation of Hevelius's analyses of the libration of the moon, commenced in his great lunar atlas, the Selenographia (1647). "Hevelius' descriptions of a librational cycle of shadow changes in the lunar details, his method of judging the libration by means of changes in the apparent (telescopic) separation of a pair of lunar details, and his introduction of rudimentary lunar coordinate systems provided a sound basis for the work of subsequent astronomers" (DSB). Norman 1065.
HEVELIUS. Dissertatio, de nativa Saturni facie, ejusque variis phasibus, certa periodo redeuntibus. Danzig: Simon Reiniger for the author, 1656. 2o, 24 leaves. Engraved title vignette (as above), 4 engraved plates by Hevelius, letterpress astronomical tables, woodcut initials and tailpieces. (Marginal tear to second leaf, A2-3 slightly soiled). Hevelius' observations of Saturn and his attempt to explain the cause of its mysterious "arms," first noted by Galileo in 1610. The puzzle had been solved by Christiaan Huygens that very year, though Huygens' theory of a ring was not published in full until 1659 (see lot 542). The final section contains Hevelius' observations of the solar eclipse of 26 January 1656. [With:] HEVELIUS. Illustrius viris, Petro Gassendi & Ismael Bullialdo.... Danzig, 1652. 2o, 4 leaves, one full-page engraving by the author, 2 pp. letterpress tables. Contains Hevelius' observations of the solar eclipse of 8 April 1652. [And with:] HEVELIUS. Excellentissimo... Laurentio Eichstadio. Danzig, 1650. 2o, 2 leaves, including double-page table and description of the solar eclipse of 4 November 1649, one engraved plate by the author. Norman 1066.
A FINE SAMMELBAND OF IMPORTANT ASTRONOMICAL WORKS BY HEVELIUS, all FIRST EDITIONS.