Apr 08, 2021 - Sale 2563

Sale 2563 - Lot 202

Price Realized: $ 75,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 60,000 - $ 80,000
Copernicus, Nicolaus (1473-1543)
De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium.

Basel: Henrich Petrus, 1566.

Second edition, small folio, [¶]6, a-z6, A-Z6, Aa-Ff4, Gg6, final leaf blank but for printer's device and present in this copy; woodcut printer's device to title, illustrated with woodcut text diagrams; early ownership inscriptions removed from title at foot with some loss to blank area under the imprint (repaired on verso), title with marginal paper repairs to verso; 1cm trimmed at bottom of blank margin r3 & r4 (repaired with laid paper); short closed tear to bottom blank margin z1 (2 cm); browning and toning throughout, period marginalia amateurishly and incompletely washed away in several places, with staining, one longer note still legible; bound in modern limp parchment, period style, 11 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.

Provenance: Sold by English physicist and poet Edward Neville da Costa Andrade (1887-1971) at Sotheby's 1 August 1939, lot 692; purchased by Rosenbach; sold to William Marshall Bullitt (1873-1957) of Louisville Kentucky on 26 August 1939 (Bullitt collection pencil manuscript annotation mentioning the date and Rosenbach on ffep, confirmed by Rosenbach records).

This second edition of Copernicus's revolutionary work also contains Georg Joachim Rheticus's (1514-1574) Narratio Prima. In it, Rheticus, Copernicus's only pupil, introduces the concepts of his mentor's heliocentric model. It was published separately in 1540, and did not accompany the first edition of De Revolutionibus.

Adams C-2603; Cinti 48; Gingerich, An annotated Census of Copernicus' 'De Revolutionibus,'; Houzeau & Lancaster 2503.