Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 805

"Mesure des Trois Premiers Degres du Meridien dans l'Hemisphere Austral, Tiree des Observations de Mrs. de l'Academie Royale des Sciences, Envoyes par le Roi sous l'Equateur", La Condamine

Subject: Exploration & Surveys, Peru

Period: 1751 (published)


Color: Black & White

7.9 x 10 inches
20.1 x 25.4 cm
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La Condamine embarked for Peru in 1735 with the purpose of measuring several degrees of meridian at the equator to settle the controversy between the Newtonians and the Cartesians over whether the earth was flattened or elongated at the poles. The geodetic measurements proved the validity of Newton's hypothesis, completely debunking the opposing theory by Cassini and Picard. La Condamine's notable zenith sector is illustrated on one of the plates and is described in the text. There is also an account of his important research on the pendulum. First edition. 4to; viii, 266pp, index. Engraved vignette on title and three engraved plates at rear, folding. Hardbound in full contemporary leather with raised bands, gilt tooling and titling on spine.

References: Sabin #38483.

Condition: B

The engraved plates have light to moderate toning and offsetting with dampstains along the edges. The free-endpapers and the title page have heavy dampstaining. The text has very light toning and scattered foxing. There is a bookplate of a previous owner on the front pastedown and an old Harvard Library stamp on verso of title page. The covers are heavily stained and scuffed and the front cover is detached. The spine has a large chip that is included and could be repaired.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $150

Closed on 4/28/2021