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Scientific Instruments


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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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THE FIRST ILLUSTRATIONS IN PRINT OF GALILEO'S SECTOR FORERUNNER OF THE POCKET CALCULATOR


FAULHABER, Johann. Newe geometrische und perspectivische Inventiones etlicher sonderbahrer Instrument …. Frankfurt am Main, Richter and Anthonius Humm, 1610.

Rare first edition of this illustrated treatise on instrument making by the Ulm mathematician and military architect Johann Faulhaber (1580-1635), a work principally important in the history of science and technology for its engraved technical illustrations of Galileo Galilei’s (1564-1624) famous ‘proportional compass’ – the first such illustrations to appear in print – and for its revealing anecdote of how Faulhaber came to learn of the instrument and of its inventor, “Gallileus de Gallilei Professor zu Padua.”
$35,000


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MANUSCRIPT OF GALILEO’S ‘LETTER TO CHRISTINA’ WITH A STROZZI PROVENANCE


GALILEI, Galileo. [‘Letter to Christina’ Manuscript.]. Florence (Palazzo Strozzi), c. 1680.

A manuscript version (containing variants of the text) of Galileo’s celebrated ‘Letter to Christina’ of Lorraine (1565-1637), Grand Duchess of Tuscany, which was written in 1615 but not published until 1636 in Strasbourg. This work circulated widely in manuscript, and it was through manuscript copies such this one that some of Galileo’s most controversial ideas about Copernicanism and the relationship between Scripture and science were disseminated. The ‘Letter’ is a “superb manifesto of the freedom of thought. Its purpose was to silence all theological objections to Copernicus. Its result was the precise opposite: it became the principal cause of the prohibition of Copernicus, and of Galileo’s downfall” (Koestler). The volume carries a stamp of the Strozzi library and was recorded as parts of the Strozzi manuscript collection in a catalogue of 1728.
$40,000


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“THE FIRST PRECISE PUBLISHED FORMULATION
OF THE PRINCIPLE OF INERTIA” (H. Jones)


GASSENDI, Pierre. De motu impresso a motore translato. Epistolae duae. Paris, Ludovicus de Hequeville, 1642.

Rare first edition of Gassendi’s (1592-1655) important illustrated treatise on inertial mechanics, containing “the first precise published formulation of the principle of inertia” (Jones, p. 63).
$38,500


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THE INVENTION OF THE AIR PUMP
AND THE ELECTRIC GENERATOR


GUERICKE, Otto von. Experimenta Nova (ut vocantur) Magdeburgica de Vacuo Spatio Primùm à R.P. Gaspare Schotto . . . nunc verò ab ipso Auctore Perfectiùs edita, variisque aliis Experimentis aucta... Amsterdam, J. Janssonium a Waesberge, 1672.

$55,000


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