Philosophical Transactions: giving some Accompt of the Present Undertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious in many considerable parts of the World. Vols. 1-54 [1664/5-1764]. London: various printers to the Royal Society, 1667-1765.
Together 54 volumes bound in 49, 4o (206 x 157 mm [Vols. 1-46, in 36], 222 x 174 mm [Vols. 47-54, in 13]). A profusion of engraved plates (many folding). (Occasional browning or spotting.) Vols. 1-46 uniformly bound in 18th-century sprinkled calf gilt in 36 volumes (occasional wear to joints and edges, some chipping to spine ends, a few lettering pieces worn or lacking); Vols. 48-54 uniformly bound in contemporary calf gilt in 13 volumes (occasional wear to joints and edges, bindings somewhat dried and rubbed).
Provenance: John Jay (not the American jurist statesman) (late 17th-century notation regarding binding of set in Vol. 13/14 which reads: "January 29. 84 rec'd in full to December 1684 for Philoso. Trans. Acts. John Jay Rec'd + Hen. Hunt."); Sir William Cavendish (1808-1891), later the seventh Duke of Devonshire (presentation inscription presumably from his cousin William George Spencer Cavendish, the sixth Duke of Devonshire, on the front free endpaper of Vol. 1: "Devonshire to William Cavendish May 21 1831"); Hans Sloane (1660-1753), secretary of the Royal Society from 1693-1712 and president of the society from 1727-1741 (bookplate in each of the 13 volumes containing Vols. 48-54).
A COMPLETE RUN OF THE FIRST CENTURY OF THE "OLDEST CONTINUOUS SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL AND SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT RECORD OF THE FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT AND COMMUNICATION OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES AND INVENTIONS" (PMM). 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, founded in 1662 (see lot ***). The Society took over publication after his death. Scientists and great thinkers from all over Europe communicated or published in the journal, which served as a model for the later published proceedings of other scientific academies.
Nearly every contemporary British scientist and numerous foreign scientists contributed extensively to the Transactions in its first hundred years. Contributors include Thorbern Bergman, Edward Berkeley, Boerhaave, Boscovitch, Borelli, Boyle (58 contributions), Celsius, Euler, Fahrenheit, Ferguson, Flamstead, Franklin, Hales, Halley (over 80 contributions), Harvey, Hevelius, Hooke, Huygens, Lancisi, Leeuwenhoek (over 120 contributions), Leibnitz, Locke, Malpighi, Mather, Morgagni, Newton (20 contributions, including his first scientific paper), Petty, Ray, Redi, Smeaton, Steno, Swammerdam, Edward Tyson, John Wallis, William Watson, John Winthrop, Christopher Wren, James Young, and numerous others.
In his Heralds of Science, Dibner mentions the following first publications of important discoveries (duplicated with further additions in Printing and the Mind of Man):
no. 12 Halley, "Astronomiae cometicae synopsis" (1705)
144 Newton, "A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton, containing his New Theory about Light and Colours" (1671)
147 Hooke, "Lectiones Cutlerianae: A Collection of Lectures made before the Royal Society at Gresham College" (1674-79)
177 Savery, "An Account of Mr. Thos. Savery's Engine for Raising Water by the Help of Fire" (1699)
189 Leeuwenhoek, "Some observations made by a Microscope" (1673)
The high number of important medical contributions presented in the Philosophical Transactions are reflected in the following list of Garrison-Morton citations this run includes: Lower (2012), Hooke (916), Lower & King (2014), Leeuwenhoek (860), Briggs (5822), Browne (3613), Halley (1687), Cowper (1214, 2730), Bonono (4012), Timoni (5409), Pylarini (5410), Blair (3419), Houstoun (6017), Rawlinson (3420), Cheselden (5828), Martine (5048), Machin (4013), Belchier (584), Amyand (3559), Freke (4731), Cleland (3355), Reid (4284), Sharp (5830), Crusio (4014), Baker (4013 note), Wathen (3356), Nicholls (2734.1).
THE SET APPEARS TO BE A COMPLETE RUN AS DESCRIBED AND IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. As usual, however, it is sold as a periodical not subject to return. Grolier/Horblit 95b; PMM 148 (Vol. 1); Norman 1694.
[With:] MATY, Paul Henry. A General Index to the Philosophical Transactions, from the first to the end of the seventieth volume. London: L. Davis and P. Elmsly, printers to the Royal Society, 1787. 4o (222 x 177 mm). (Some scattered foxing). Contemporary calf gilt (rebacked, joints cracked). FIRST EDITION of a very useful index which covers the entire run above, and indexes to volume number by both subject and author. (50)