First printing of revised and vastly enlarged editions of Polydore’s collection of adages or proverbs and of his encyclopaedia De Inventoribus rerum, on those who have discovered things, in a well-preserved calf binding executed circa 1550 in Paris for Marcus (Marx) Fugger. The edition is distinguished by a fine woodcut title-border representing the “Triumph of Humanitas” by Urs Graf.
London (New York), Macmillan & Co (Columbia University Press), 1923-1958
Eight volumes (22-23 cm), I-II (During the first thirteen centuries of our era, 1923): xl (2), 835 (1) pp.; vi (2), 1036 pp. III-IV (Fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 1934): xxvi, 827 (3) pp.; xviii, 767 (3) pp. V-VI (The sixteenth century, 1941): xxii, 695 (1) pp.; xviii, 766 pp. VII-VIII (The seventeenth century, 1958): x, 695 (1) pp.; viii, 808 pp. Publisher’s cloth, printed dust jackets (vols. III-IV only; no dust jackets issued for vols. VII-VIII). - A wealth of information is provided on men now forgotten but influential in their time. ¶ Spines sunned (vols. 1-2); short tears in dust jackets. Fine set in first editions. From the library of Dr E. Ashworth Underwood, FRCP, with his pencil inscriptions (sale by Sotheby’s, 23 February 1981, lot 306).
(25 cm), xiv, 218 (2) pp., frontispiece, 14 plates, text illustrations. Errata slip tipped in. Publisher’s cloth, dust jacket. - First edition. The author was the biographer of James Watt and Robert Fulton and co-author of an authoritative work on the early steam engine. ¶ Dust jacket soiled and damaged (without loss); otherwise a very good, unmarked copy.
Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins for the Carnegie Institution, 1950
Three volumes in five (26 cm), I (From Homer to Omar Khayyam): xi (1), 839 (1) pp. II/1 (From Rabbi Ben Ezra to Ibn Rushd): xxxv (3), 480 pp. II/2 (Robert Grosseteste to Roger Bacon): xvi (4) pp., pp.485-1251 (1). III/1 (First half of the fourteenth century): xxxv (1), 1018 pp., 22 text illustrations. III/2 (Second half of the 14th century): x (4) pp., pp.1019-2155 (1), 18 text illustrations. Uniform publisher’s blue cloth. - Reprint of the edition Washington, DC: Carnegie institution, 1927-1931. Garrison & Morton 6419. ¶ From the library of the medical historian Walter Pagel (1898-1983), sold by Sotheby’s, 7 February 1984, lot 339. Typescript of Pagel’s review of volume III loosely inserted, with other material in his hand. Owing to a binder’s error, pp.657-688 in volume II/2 are omitted (supplied by Pagel in photostat).
(25.5 cm), xvi, 380 (2) pp., frontispiece and 21 illustrations. Publisher’s red cloth, printed dust jacket. - Original edition of a classic study of incendiary devices used as military weapons, packed with information culled from primary sources. “The summa historiographica of virtually all scholarship on gunpowder’s history up to 1960, and the starting point for any serious investigation in the future” (Bert Hall, in the Preface to a reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999). ¶ Annotation in margin (p.159); otherwise a clean, unmarked copy. Dust jacket rubbed and slightly worn.
Edinburgh, London & New York, Oliver & Boyd / Hafner Publishing Company, 1962
Two volumes (23.5 cm), I: xv (1), 327 (1) pp., 8 plates. II: xix (1), 293 (1) pp., 8 plates. Uniform publisher’s red cloth, dust jackets. - The second volume is a well-annotated catalogue of 759 sixteenth-century books relating to the sciences in the Library of the University of Aberdeen, arranged alphabetically by author. A remarkable proportion contain notes of 16th- and 17th-century owners, notably Duncan Liddell (1561-1613), who had taught mathematics and then medicine at the University of Helmstedt, and owned a fine collection of books by Paracelsus. “[Wightman] has read prefaces and dedicatory epistles carefully and culled a great deal of useful information which gives meaning and interest to many a book which would pass as a dull tract in any catalogue (from a review by F.N.L. Poynter, in The Book Collector, Spring 1964, pp.80-83). ¶ Dust jackets worn, significant losses (vol. 2). Pencil inscription on half-title of volume I: “Purch. from Zeitlin & Ver Brugge 7/23/63. $15”. Ink stamps on front pastedown in each volume: Sotheby Parke Bernet Reference Library MP 1206 (stamp in volume 2: MP 1207).
(30 cm), (8) 449 (3) pp., including 220 leaves of plates. Publisher’s blue cloth spine and grey cloth sides, the Club insignia gilt-stamped on spine; top edge gilt; original blue cloth/grey paper slipcase (no dust jacket issued). - The first in the short series known as the “Grolier Hundred”, based on an exhibition held at the Grolier Club in 1958 of materials borrowed from various libraries. The catalogue established a canon of 130 “milestones” in the history of science and stimulated numerous collectors and libraries to procure every item described. Printed by the Stinehour Press, with plates printed by the Meriden Gravure Company, in an edition of 1000 copies. For Jean Grolier & His Friends: 125 Years of Grolier Club Exhibitions & Publications, 1884-2009 (New York 2009), P276. ¶ Fine, unmarked copy.
(25.5 cm), 96 pp., illustrations. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - Catalogue of 200 books deemed by the author to be “Heralds of Science”, because they “proclaimed new truths or hypotheses of science”. Reprint of the 1955 edition. “The annotated list and its dedication remain, after 22 years, as effective today as when issued, with only minor modification to accommodate acquired improved editions, and with only a single substitution. The Heralds has become one of the basic references in booksellers’ catalogues concerning books in the sciences” (Bern Dibner, “The Dibner Library in mitosis” in The Book Collector, Winter 1977, pp.495-523). ¶ Wrappers worn, minor defects. Unmarked copy.
(28 cm),  pp. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - Description of 107 books from the collection of Joseph Halle Schaffner (1897-1972), bequeathed to the University of Chicago Library. Most of these volumes had been acquired in the sales of the Hiram J. Halle (Parke-Bernet, 16-17 May 1961) and Edward Neville da Costa Andrade (Sotheby’s, 12-13 July 1965) collections, and in the Newberry Library sale of Louis H. Silver “duplicates” (Sotheby’s, 8-9 November 1965). Preface by Sidney F. Huttner; reminiscence of Schaffner by Jake Zeitlin. ¶ Very good copy.
Norwalk, CT & Washington, DC, Published on behalf of Burndy Library and Smithsonian Institution by Neale Watson Academic Publications, 1980
(27 cm), xiii (1), 96 pp., illustrations. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - Catalogue of 200 books deemed by the author to be “Heralds of Science”, because they “proclaimed new truths or hypotheses of science”. These and about 10,000 other books were given to the Smithsonian in 1974. “25th anniversary edition”, a revised edition of a work first published in 1955. ¶ Very good, unmarked copy.
London, British Library / Reference Division, Department of Printed Books, 1981
(29.5 cm), 15 (1) pp., illustrations. Self-wrappers. - “Boldly selected, well displayed and especially lucidly and carefully explained, this is a magnificent exhibition of the real riches, the intellectual splendours of scientific history” (from a review by Redmond O’Hanlon, in The Times Literary Supplement, 18 December 1981, pp.1465-1466). ¶ Paper yellowing. Good, unmarked copy.
Two volumes (28.5 cm), lxxvii (3), 511 (1) pp.; xvi, pp.513-1005 (3), numerous illustrations, including 33 plates in colour. Uniform publisher’s two-tone cloth (no dust jackets issued). - One of 465 copies (30 additional copies were bound in full leather, and another 5 in designer bindings). Reputedly “out of print”, however copies are still obtainable from the publisher, priced respectively $1500 and $5000 (www.historyofscience.com). ¶ Fine, unmarked copy.
(21 × 21 cm), xiv, 224 pp.,  p. of plates (some in colour). Publisher’s pictorial wrappers. - Catalogue of an exhibition of scientific manuscripts, books, prints, and instruments, with introductory essays by Giuseppe Olmi, (“Liberta di filosofare” e “virtuose fatiche”: l’Accademia dei Lincei nell’Italia della Controriforma); Eugenio Garin (Fra ‘500 e ‘600: scienze nuove, metodi nuovi, nuove accademie), and Giuseppe Montalenti (Federico Cesi e l’Accademia dei Lincei). ¶ Very good, unmarked copy. “Guide to the Exhibition” (in English) loosely inserted.
(21 × 21 cm), xiv, 224 pp.,  p. of plates (some in colour). Publisher’s pictorial wrappers. - Exhibition documenting the influence of the Accademia nazionale dei Lincei on 17th century culture and science. Introductory essays by Giuseppe Olmi, (“Liberta di filosofare” e “virtuose fatiche”: l’Accademia dei Lincei nell’Italia della Controriforma); Eugenio Garin (Fra ‘500 e ‘600: scienze nuove, metodi nuovi, nuove accademie), and Giuseppe Montalenti (Federico Cesi e l’Accademia dei Lincei). Also includes a section on the history of the academy after 1870. ¶ Very good, unmarked copy.
(28 cm), 182 (2) pp., illustrations (some in colour). Publisher’s pictorial wrappers. - Essays by Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie (Women in science throughout history) and Randi Hutter Epstein (Paving roads for themselves and others: women in science and medicine), followed by biographies of 32 women and catalogue entries by the authors. ¶ Very good, unmarked copy.