14 June 2006
[PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS]. Philosophical Transactions: giving some Accompt of the Present Undertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious in many considerable parts of the World. Vols. 1-12 [1665-1677]. London: various printers to the Royal Society, 1665-1677.
Together 12 volumes bound in 4, 4o (205 x 155 mm). Engraved plates throughout, some folding. (Occasional browning.) Contemporary calf (rebacked). Provenance: Bibliothecae Eccl: Cath: Roffens (early ink ownership note on title-page of each volume, bookplate and deaccessioning stamp on front pastedown of each volume).
THE FIRST TWELVE VOLUMES OF THE OLDEST CONTINUOUS JOURNAL OF AN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE. "If all the books in the world except the Philosophical Transactions were destroyed, it is safe to say that the foundations of physical science would remain unshaken, and that the vast intellectual progress of the last two centuries would be largely, although incompletely, recorded" (Huxley, quoted in Norman). It would be impossible to overestimate the historical importance of the Philosophical Transactions, which was first published and financed by Henry Oldenburg from March 1664-65 for the new Royal Society and, following his death, published by the Society itself.
Nearly every contemporary British scientist and numerous foreign scientists contributed extensively to the Transactions in its first hundred years. Included in vol. VI, pp. 3075-3087 is NEWTON'S FIRST SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATION entitled " A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton ... Containing his New Theory about Light and Colors" and in vol. VIII, pp. 6037-38 is Leeuwenhoek's "A Specimen of Some Observations Made By a Microscope ...". Bound-in to the last volume is A General Index or Alphabetical Table to all the Philosophical Transactions from the Beginning to July 1677. Grolier/Horblit 95b; PMM 148 (Vol. 1); Norman 1694. This lot is sold as a periodical not subject to return. (4)
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