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Astronomy and Cosmology

Rare books and first editions, including copies in fine bindings, concerning Astronomy and Cosmology.

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  1. The Barritt-Serviss Star and Planet Finder Northern Hemisphere.

    The Barritt-Serviss Star and Planet Finder Northern Hemisphere.

    The Heavens without a Telescope, the only Practical Combination, Star, Planet, and Sun and Moon Map … [together with;] Planet Tables, Moon Phases and the Sun’s Daily Position; [&] Star Explorer, Revised Edition [planisphere].
    A beautifully preserved example of the Barritt-Serviss Star and Planet Finder in its original plain card mailing box, a superb, complex Edwardian planisphere. This device was developed originally in 1906 by Garrett P. Serviss (1851-1929), an American astronomer and early science fiction writer - his first book Edison's Conquest of Mars was commissioned as a sequel to the Boston Post's Fighters of Mars, a plagiaristic take on Wells's War of the Worlds, but became influential in its own right - who teamed up with Leon Barritt (1852-1938), a highly-regarded political cartoonist, and amateur astronomer who founded the long-lived astronomical journal Monthly Evening Sky Map after paralysis of the right hand had robbed him of his ability to draw. Learn More
    £1,500

    Date of Publication: c.1906; 1947, 1955

    Published: New York & Brooklyn, NY

    Stock Code: 115607

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  2. Interplanetary Flight. An Introduction to Astronautics.
    signed

    Interplanetary Flight. An Introduction to Astronautics.

    Technical Trends Series.
    First edition, first impression, presentation copy of Clarke's first book inscribed on the front free endpaper, "To Frank Richards, with best wishes, Arthur C. Clarke, Oct ‘51". Very scarce signed and in such superb condition. Learn More
    £1,250

    Date of Publication: 1950

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 114544

    Signed: Yes

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  3. .

    Epitoma in Almagestum Ptolemaei.

    (Edited by Caspar Grosch and Stephan Römer.)

    First edition in any form of Ptolemy's Almagest, the foundation of ancient astronomy. Regiomontanus' Epitome of Ptolemy is an epochal text that both made available the canonical astronomy of the ancient world and heralded the birth of the revolutionary astronomy of the new learning. This is the only appearance in print of the Almagest in the fifteenth century. Learn More

    £80,000

    Date of Publication: 1496

    Published: Venice

    Stock Code: 114113

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  4. The Young Geographer and Astronomer's best Companion.

    The Young Geographer and Astronomer's best Companion.

    Containing, I. The Elements of Modern Geography, in which, besides many other useful Articles, the Latitude and Longitude of a great Variety of Places are given from the latest Observations. II. A comprehensive System of Ancient Geography, both sacred and profane, particularly adapted to the Illustration of the Classic Authors, and of the Historical Parts of the Bible. III. The Description and Use of the Celestial and Terrestrial Globes, in which particular Attention has been given to the regular Disposition, and most convenient Solution of a numerous Collection of Problems, which are succeeded by several ingenious and entertaining Paradoxes for the Exercise of the Learner. - Also the Principles of Dialling, as it is performed and illustrated by the Globes;-And the Construction, and Use of the different Kinds of Maps. IV. The Elements of Astronomy, in which, besides a large Account of the Solar System, and of the various Motions, Revolutions, &c. of the Planet and Comets, are given the Theory of the Four Seasons, the Harvest-Moons, Eclipses, Tides, and several other Phaenomena too numerous to be here mentioned. To this Part is added a copious Appendix, containing the Elements of Chronology, a Science very intimately connected with that of Astronomy. The Whole is illustrated with The Necessary Engravings. And, though principally intended for The Use Of Schools, May serve as a convenient Memorandum-Book for those Gentlemen and Ladies who have been already instructed in the Sciences above-mentioned.
    First edition of this juvenile text on geography and astronomy. Jones, described on the title as "Teacher of the Classics and Geography, at Bromley, in Kent", is known principally by this work. He also wrote A New and Universal Geographical Grammar: or, a Complete System of Geography (1772), a version explicitly for adults. The book is dedicated to John Hawkesworth, who was governor of a girls' boarding-school housed in Thornhill Mansion, Bromley, before he established himself as a literary figure of some note; Jones was presumably a master at Hawkesworth's school. Learn More
    £975

    Date of Publication: 1773

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 114067

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  5. Matter and Motion.

    Matter and Motion.

    First edition of Maxwell's textbook on dynamics. In the modest guise of a brief introduction to Newtonian mechanics, Matter and Motion, one of the finest elementary scientific treatises ever written, anticipates problems with distant synchronization that led, via its influence on Henri Poincaré, to Einstein's special theory of relativity. "A masterpiece of natural philosophy, notable especially for introducing into physics the term relativity in a passage that combines strenuous scientific insight with a mystical awareness" (Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, p. Learn More
    £2,000

    Date of Publication: 1876

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111557

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  6. Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno alle macchie solari e loro accidenti
    signed

    Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno alle macchie solari e loro accidenti

    comprese in tre lettere scritte all’Illustrimissimo Signor Marco Velseri Linceo.
    First edition, the so-called export issue, of Galileo's earliest published endorsement of the Copernican theory. The book is in the form of three letters to his fellow academician Marcus Welser of Augsburg. The book is illustrated with the famous series of sunspot observations made by Galileo in 1612 during the summer months. Galileo demonstrated that sunspots were not small satellites, as the traditional Aristotelian interpretation suggested. Learn More
    £37,500

    Date of Publication: 1613

    Published: Rome

    Stock Code: 110141

    Signed: Yes

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  7. .

    Opere, divise in quattro tomi, in questa nuova edizione accresciute de molti cose inedite.

    First complete collected edition of Galileo's works, the third overall, and the first to include the Dialogo, along with other material published here for the first time. Galilei's Opere, first published in two volumes in 1656 in Bologna by Carlo Manolessi, was reprinted with some revision and the addition of a third volume in 1718 in Florence by Tommasso Bonaventure, assisted by Guido Grandi and Benedetto Bresciani. Learn More

    £16,000

    Date of Publication: 1744

    Published: Padua

    Stock Code: 109916

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  8. A Survey of Islamic Astronomical Tables.

    A Survey of Islamic Astronomical Tables.

    First Edition
    First edition of this valuable monograph surveying "the number, distribution, contents and relations between zijes [astronomical tables] written in Arabic or Persian … from the eighth through the fifteenth centuries of the Christian era" (p.123), this copy from the collection of American Islamicist Nicholas Heer, with his ownership inscription dated "Stanford 1960" to the front panel. Learn More
    £25

    Date of Publication: 1956

    Published: Philadelphia

    Stock Code: 104057

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  9. image1

    Griechische Planetendarstellungen in arabischen Steinbüchern.

    First and only edition of this interesting treatise describing Greek planetary representations in Arabic stone-carvings, published in the Proceedings of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. Ruska (1867-1949), was a German Arabist and historian of science. This copy from the collection of American Islamicist Nicholas Heer, with his ownership inscription on the front panel. Learn More
    £50

    Date of Publication: 1919

    Published: Heidelberg

    Stock Code: 104035

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  10. Tycho Brahe Sistemi Hakkinda XVII. Asir Baslarina Ait Farsa Bir Yazma.

    Tycho Brahe Sistemi Hakkinda XVII. Asir Baslarina Ait Farsa Bir Yazma.

    An Early Seventeenth Century Persian Manuscript on the Tychonic System.
    Offprint from the Annual Review of the Institute of Archaelogy at the University of Ankara, describing a manuscript in the Vatican Library (MS Vat. Pers. 9), namely a 1631 copy of renowned explorer Pietro della Valle's Persian translation of a short pamphlet by one Christophoros Borrus, a Milanese Jesuit and astronomer, defending the planetary system of Tycho Brahe yet making no explicit mention of the Copernican system that was to supersede it: an interesting insight into the defining contest in 17th-century astronomy. Learn More
    £50

    Date of Publication: 1958

    Published: Ankara

    Stock Code: 104031

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  11. La sfera del mondo. Di nuovo da lui ripolita, accrescuita, & fino

    La sfera del mondo. Di nuovo da lui ripolita, accrescuita, & fino

    Eighth edition of the first printed star atlas, originally published in 1540. All early editions are rare. De la sfera del mondo is a traditional Ptolemaic-Aristotelian geocentric cosmography, but its appendix, De le stelle fisse, "represents the first printed star atlas, containing maps of the stars as opposed to simple pictures of constellations, and introducing the practice of identifying stars by letter, a method later adopted and expanded by Bayer" (Norman). Learn More
    £5,000

    Date of Publication: 1548

    Published: Venice

    Stock Code: 92530

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  12. A Treatise of the System of the World.

    A Treatise of the System of the World.

    Translated into English.
    First edition in English. Also published the same year in Latin as De Mundi Systemate and originally intended as the third book of Principia—"but that afterwards to avoid the disputes which might arise, if those who were unacquainted with the principles laid down in preceding books, and full of the prejudices which many years had made natural to them, should take it in hand, he put the substance of that book into propositions in the mathematical way, that it might be read by those only who had studied the principles beforehand" (Newton, Preface). Learn More
    £9,500

    Date of Publication: 1728

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 89645

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