Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2010 Issue

Rare Books in Travel, Science, Arts and Humanities from Martayan Lan

Hookiana

The rare catalogue of the auction of Robert Hooke's library.


Progress is not always in a straight line. Sometimes there are reverses. Item 50 is Dubitationes in dialogum Galilaei… by Claudio Berigard. It is a response to Galileo's Dialogue, the first such published response (it was published in 1632, a few months later in the same year Galileo published his work). In his book, presented as a dialogue between supporters of two positions, Galileo makes the case for Capernicus' heliocentric (sun-centered) universe, and the older Aristotelian earth-centered view. Many, including the Catholic Church, did not believe the dialogue was objective; that it favored Copernicus' view. Berigard, in this response, attacks the heliocentric view, arguing that Galileo did not provide a proper defense of the traditional view, and making his case for the popular, acceptable, but incorrect theory on the subject. $45,000.

Item 68 is a very rare copy of one of the earliest great library auctions. Its title is Bibliotheca Hookiana, and it presents the April 29, 1703, London auction of the great scientist, Robert Hooke. Hooke had died the previous year. Robert Hooke was one of the leading scientists of his time, proposing theories of gravity and elasticity, as well as doing early observations with a microscope, perfecting watches, and more. His interests were broad, and the library he built matched his interests. It also included a section on architecture, another field in which Hooke was expert. This catalogue, with over 3,000 volumes, displays what a brilliant mind of the 17th century would read. $49,500.

You can reach Martayan Lan at 212-308-0018 or info@martayanlan.com. Their website is www.americanaexchange.com.

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