Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sir Isaac Newton's "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" at auction

"Sotheby’s to offer first edition of Newton's 'Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy'"


Ashoke Nag

Nov,ember 23rd, 2013

The Economic Times

On 27th November 2013, Sotheby's London will offer a first edition of the most important book in the history of science - Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical principles of natural philosophy"), which was published for the Royal Society in 1687. The highlight of Sotheby's Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts sale, this exceptionally rare first issue copy of the first edition, which is in its contemporary vellum binding, is estimated to realize £250,000-300,000.

The Principia explained a system of the universe that, once established, was unchallenged until the twentieth century ushered in quantum theory and the theories of relativity. Probably fewer than three hundred copies of the first edition of Principia were printed.

Dr David Goldthorpe, Sotheby's senior director, senior specialist, Books and Manuscripts Department commented in an email statement: "This book changed man's understanding of the universe. Newton's Principia was the culmination of the scientific revolution, effectively ushering in the era of modern science and modern physics with its mathematical explanations of gravity and motion. Through its legacy, the book has probably done more to shape the modern world than any other ever published. Even Einstein, whose theories of relativity eventually came to revise those of Newton's, declared that the Principia was 'perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make'."

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