De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. -- De libris revolutionum Nicolai Copernici Narratio prima. . [Bound with:]Primum Mobile.

Lot Number 57
Author COPERNICUS, Nicolaus (1473-1543). -- Georg Johann RHETICUS (1514-1574). SCHRECKENFUCHS, Erasmus Oswald.
Title De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. -- De libris revolutionum Nicolai Copernici Narratio prima. . [Bound with:]Primum Mobile.
Year Published 1566
Place Printed Basel: Heinrich Petri,
Printed By
Description COPERNICUS, Nicolaus (1473-1543). De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. -- Georg Johann RHETICUS (1514-1574). De libris revolutionum Nicolai Copernici Narratio prima. Basel: Heinrich Petri, 1566. [Bound with:] SCHRECKENFUCHS, Erasmus Oswald. Primum Mobile. Basel: Heinrich Petri, 1567. 2 works in one volume, 4. (299 x 201mm). Woodcut diagrams, printer's device on title, a different device on final verso, woodcut historiated initials. (Dampstain on title and first few leaves, and margins of some leaves, wormtracks in the fore-margin of the first 80 leaves of the first work and in the last c.30 leaves of the second.) Contemporary German blindtooled pigskin, centred with a panel with the caption 'honora patrem et matrem', incorporating a roll with scenes from the life of Christ, the initials 'WSZ', and dated 1567, one spine compartment titled in manuscript and with remnant of paper label (some soiling, covers slightly bowed, some wear at the extremities). Provenance: 'W. S. Z.' (binding) -- various early readers (annotation in various hands, including salient light marginalia, long manuscript on the front blank, and a manuscript of coded calendrical calculations on the rear blank) -- Gymnasium in Most, Czech Republic (Latin inscription; 19th-century stamp when this became the Staatsgymnasium in Brux, and cancelled shelf-mark). SECOND EDITION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATION OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY AND A 'LANDMARK OF HUMAN THOUGHT' (PMM). A tall copy in a strictly contemporary binding. De revolutionibus was the first work to propose a comprehensive heliostatic theory of the cosmos, according to which the sun stood still and the earth revolved around it. It thereby inaugurated one of the greatest ever paradigm shifts in the history of human thought. This edition is the first to contain Rheticus's Narratio prima, first published in an exceptionally rare edition at Gdansk in 1540. The Narratio summarises and champions the Copernican heliocentric hypothesis, and records Rheticus' indefatigable efforts to persuade Copernicus to publish. The text follows the 1543 first edition, including Andreas Osiander's controversial unsigned preface, where he attempted to placate potential critics of the work by emphasizing its purely theoretical aspect. Petri added a prefatory recommendation by the noted astronomer Erasmus Reinhold (printed at the end of the index), stating that 'all posterity will gratefully remember the name of Copernicus, by whose labor and study the doctrine of celestial motions was again restored from near collapse' (Owen Gingerich's translation, Eye of Heaven, p.221). In his census of the 1543 and 1566 editions, Owen Gingerich located 317 copies of the second edition, making it only slightly less rare than the first. The total edition size has been estimated at 500 copies only. The present copy, taller than the Richard Green copy and preserving some deckle edges, was unknown to Gingerich when he prepared his census. Bound with Schreckenfuchs's rare Primum Mobile, which has sold just once at auction according to Jahrbuch der Auktionspreise (Reiss, 1997, lot 496a). Adams C-2603; Cinti 48 (3); Gingerich, An annotated Census of Copernicus' 'De revolutionibus'; Houzeau & Lancaster 2503; Taylor, Mathematical Practitioners, pp.184, 199 and 138; cf. PMM 70 for the first edition.
Comments
References
Provenance 'W. S. Z.' (binding) -- various early readers (annotation in various hands, including salient light marginalia, long manuscript on the front blank, and a manuscript of coded calendrical calculations on the rear blank) -- Gymnasium in Most, Czech Republic
Estimated Price GBP 40,000.00 - 60,000.00
( USD 67,200.00 - 100,800.00 )
Actual Price GBP 85,250.00 ( USD 132,137.50 )

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Christies
Website http://www.christies.com
Auction Name Books
Sale Number #5334
Auction Date June 13, 2012 - June 13, 2012
Book Images