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Physics & Optics


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THE METRIC SYSTEM IN REPUBLICAN PARIS
A CONTEMPORARY COLLECTION OF 26 RARE TITLES
MANY CONTEMPORARY ANNOTATIONS


[METRIC SYSTEM] / [FRENCH REPUBLIC] Mesures Républicaines. Paris, 1793-99.

Contemporary sammelband of 26 rare first-edition tracts relating to the early development of the metric system during the French First Republic. The volume contains titles published in Paris between 1793 and 1799, several of which include large folding tables and engravings illustrating problem surrounding the adoption of various new measurement standards for weights, linear units, monetary units, etc. The earliest and longest title included here has been extensively corrected and supplemented by a contemporary annotator to reflect later official changes to measurement and unit nomenclature.
$4,500


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“THE BIRTH OF ATOMIC PHYSICS” (PMM 203):
BOSCOVICH’S SCIENTIFIC THEORY
ENCOMPASSED IN ONE NATURAL LAW


BOSCOVICH, Rogerius Josephus. Philosophiae Naturalis Theoria Redacta ad Unicam Legem Virium in Natura Existentium. Vienna, In Officina Libraria Kaliwodiana, 1758.

A handsome example of the very rare 1758 first edition of Rogerius Josephus Boscovich’s (1711-87) Philosophiae Naturalis Theoria, a volume “now recognized as a fundamental influence on modern mathematical physics” (PMM 203), and a text whose impact was felt by such scientific luminaries as Joseph Priestly, Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, Lord Kelvin, J. J. Thompson, and Niels Bohr.
$115,000


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THE CASSINI LUNAR MAP
COMPLETE WITH THE LADY OF THE MOON
(if you can find her)


CASSINI, Jean-Dominique / JANINET, Jean-François. Réduction de la grande Carte de la Lune de J. Dom. Cassini. [Paris], [J.-D. Cassini], [1788].

Very rare first and only edition of this separately issued ‘petite’ lunar map published in 1788 by Jean-Dominique Cassini (1748-1845) updating with explanatory text for a more general audience the groundbreaking 1679 map of his famous great-grandfather, Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712).
$8,500


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“CHLADNI HAS MADE SOUND VISIBLE” –Napoleon


[ACOUSTICS] CHLADNI, E. F. F.. Entdeckungen über die Theorie des Klanges. Leipzig, Weidmanns Erben und Reich, 1787.

First edition of this experimental classic – a novel attempt to describe and visualize the production of sound from solid bodies – now considered “the foundation of the modern science of acoustics” (PMM). Chladni devised a method of representing vibrating bodies by means of sand figures (still known as “Chladni figures”) by spreading sand over glass and copper plates and drawing a violin bow over their edges to make the plates vibrate. “The strange and beautiful Chladni figures ... attracted much scientific attention in the early 19th century, inspiring fruitful investigation of the mathematics of elastic vibration” (Norman).
$3,000


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FIRST ILLUSTRATED BOOK ON CHINESE MEDICINE
PUBLISHED IN THE WEST
A LANDMARK WORK ON ACUPUNCTURE
BOUND WITH A CURIOUS WORK
KNOWN TO CHARLES BABBAGE


CLEYER, Andreas, ed. Specimen medicinae sinicae... . Frankfurt, Johann Zubrodt, 1682.

Unusual sammelband of two rare 17th-century medical works. The first and only edition of Andreas de Cleyer’s Specimen medicinae sinicae is the first illustrated book on Chinese medicine published in the West. With 30 full-page engravings, it was the first European book on Chinese medicine to attract significant attention, and the first book to acquaint Europeans with Chinese medical charts. Bound second is he first edition of Johannes Valentin Merbitz’s De varietate faciei humanae is a curious work relating to physiognomy and combinatorics and was of interest to the computing pioneer Charles Babbage.
$28,000


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