Sale 15BP01 | Lot 179

NEWTON, ISAAC, SIR [MOTTE, ANDREW-TRANS.] The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

Catalogue: Rare Books, Autographs & Photographs
NEWTON, ISAAC, SIR [MOTTE, ANDREW-TRANS.]  The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

Lot Details

Lot 179
NEWTON, ISAAC, SIR [MOTTE, ANDREW-TRANS.] The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. London: Benjamin Motte, 1729....
. London: Benjamin Motte, 1729. The first edition of the Principia in English. Two volumes. Contemporary panelled calf, finely rebacked to style, retaining original endpapers, edges speckled red. 7 3/4 x 4 5/8 inches (20.2 x 12 cm); volume I with frontispiece, [38], 320 pp., with 25 sequentially numbered leaves of plates (all folded); volume II with frontispiece, [2], 393, [13], viii, 71, [1] pp., with 19 sequentially numbered leaves of folding plates, 3 additional folding plates at the rear of the work, and the two folding charts in the text. In all, there are two frontispieces, 47 plates, two charts and three head-pieces by Motte, as called for. The title page to volume I in an expert facsimile, the endpapers signed "T. Jones" and the title of volume II signed "C. Arthur Sanson," infrequent ink marginalia, intermittent stains but generally very clean, some spotting to endleaves, some wear to old calf.
The first edition of Newton's Principia was published in Latin in 1687 with further London editions following in 1713 and 1726 in addition to a 1714 Amsterdam edition. This first translation into English, handsomely printed by Benjamin Motte, brought Newton's theories to a wider lay audience with revolutionary effect (Einstein described it as "perhaps the greatest intellectual stride it has ever been granted for any man to make").
This edition contains John Machin's attempt to rectify Newton's lunar theory, The Laws of the Moon's Motion, according to Gravity. Motte's translation of Newton's System of the World occupies p. 200 on in the second volume. Because the book saw wide circulation and is of enduring interest, the work is infrequently found in clean condition. Babson Newton 20; Gray 23; Norman 1587; Wallis 23. See Printing and the Mind of Man 161 (for the 1687 edition).

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Sold for $20,000 (includes buyer's premium)

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Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Sold for $20,000 (includes buyer's premium)

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Rare Books, Autographs & Photographs

Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 10am EDT
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