NEWTON (ISAAC) Opticks: or, a Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. Also Two Treatises of the Species and Magnitude of Curvilinear Figures, FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE
Lot 60
NEWTON (ISAAC) Opticks: or, a Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. Also Two Treatises of the Species and Magnitude of Curvilinear Figures, FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE
Sold for £18,000 (US$ 30,468) inc. premium
Lot Details
NEWTON (ISAAC)
Opticks: or, a Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. Also Two Treatises of the Species and Magnitude of Curvilinear Figures, FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, title printed in red and black, 19 folding engraved plates, second book with page 120 misnumbered 112, occasional soiling and spotting (mainly to first and last few leaves), repair in margin of Q4, 3B4 with blank corner torn, short tear (without loss) in plate 10, one or two small wormholes in margins, some figures in pencil and crayon in margins of pages 72-73, one plate with pencil sketch of a flower on verso, eighteenth century panelled calf, rebacked [Babson 132; PMM 164], 4to (245 x 190mm.), Samuel Smith and Benjamin Walford, Printers to the Royal Society, 1704

Footnotes

  • "Newton's Optics did for light what his Principia had done for gravitation, namely, placed it on a scientific basis" (Babson, quoting Prof. E.W. Brown of Yale University). Although Newton began writing the work in the 1670s, he delayed publishing it (the first issue was anonymous) until after Hooke's death, to avoid repeating previous controversies he had faced. In addition to expounding Newton's theory of the colours of light, the work was also notable for containing the author's first mathematical papers in print, and for giving the first full explanation of the rainbow.
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