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    The First Edition in English
    "The Greatest Work in the History of Science" --
    Printing and the Mind of Man

    Isaac Newton. The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translated into English by Andrew Motte. To which are added The Laws of the Moon's Motion, according to Gravity by John Machin. In Two Volumes. London: Printed for Benjamin Motte, 1729.

    First edition in English. Two octavo volumes (approximately 7.625 x 4.5 inches). [xxxvi], 320; 393 [13, index], vii, 71, [1, errata] pages. Engraved frontispiece after and by A. Motte in each volume, with 47 engraved plates, 2 folding tables, and 3 headpieces.

    Bound In nineteenth-century half calf over marbled boards, with an earlier spine restored and laid down. Spines with gilt title and five raised bands. Rear joints starting, bindings rubbed. Occasional foxing. The first two leaves of each volume have been excised -- these appear to have been the first free endpaper and a blank. Two leaves in Volume I with minor paper loss to corners, not affecting text; two pages in Volume II mis-numbered. A few faint pencil notations to a few pages in Volume I. Volume I with two large pencil crosses on bottom page edge, Volume II with one large cross. Inked ownership name and the date "1925" in ink on the front pastedown of Volume I. Two sturdy volumes in very good condition.

    First English-language edition of Newton's Principia, published two years after the author's death. Newton had seen three Latin editions through the press during his lifetime. The translator, Andrew Motte, was the brother of the publisher, and he provided the engravings for the frontispieces and three headpieces as well. The third book of the Mathematical Principles is actually a translation (presumably also by Motte) of Newton's Treatise of the System of the World; the first Latin and English publications of this work appeared the previous year. Appended to Newton's texts is a demonstration of their use, "The Laws of the Moon's Motion, according to Gravity," by John Machin.

    Printing and the Mind of Man, 161 [referencing the 1687 edition].




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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
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