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Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
(ASTRONOMY.) Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos de. Libra Astronomica, y Philosophica. Woodcut illustrations in the text. 4to, contemporary vellum, minor wear, lacking ties; text block coming detached from binding, moderate worming, mostly in the lower margin; early owners' inscriptions in the half-title, title page, and rear free endpaper. Mexico: Herederos de la Viuda de Bernardo Calderon, 1690
"One of the first scientific books written by a native Latin American to be published in the New World"--Haskell F. Norman Library 1944. Sigüenza was a native of Mexico City, and became a professor of mathematics at the Universidad de México. When a comet appeared in 1680, he issued a broadside which used scientific arguments to assure the public that it was not an omen of doom. This brought a harsh response from Jesuit Eusebio Kino. In 1690, Sigüenza had the last word with the present work, Libra Astronomica. "A book of great importance for its sound mathematical background, anti-Aristotelian outlook, and familiarity with modern authors: Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Kepler, and Tycho Brahe"---DSB XII, 431. Medina, Mexico 1484; Palau 312974; Sabin 80976. See also More's article on the Sigüenza-Kino battle, "Cosmopolitanism and Scientific Reason in New Spain," in Science in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, pages 115-131. Only one other copy known at auction since the 1981 Honeyman sale.
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