Paris: L'Imprimerie Royale, 1783.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #002562
Two volumes. Paris: L'Imprimerie Royale, 1783-1784. 4to (247 x 192 mm). xii, 630,  pp., 1 engraved plate; viii, 518 pp., 6 engraveed plates. Woodcut headpieces and numerous letterpress tables in text, errata leaf bound at end of vol. I. Contemporary full calf, spines with 5 raised bands each, gilt-tooled in compartments and with gilt-lettered label (extremities worn, spine ends chipped, corners scuffed and bumped, hinges of vol. I starting but cords holding, hinges of vol. II partly cracked, remnant of paper label to vol. I), marbled endpapers, red-dyed edges. Text clean with only minor spotting and browning, titles little browned in margins and with erased stamps and paper slip pasted over old signature. Very good copy. ----
Honeyman 2484 ; Nouv. Biogr. Génér. 40, 269/70 - FIRST EDITION, of Pingré's monumental Cométographie, one of the most important books on the subject, still recommended as a source for cometary studies in the 1950s. "Pingré's most important work" (Honeyman) deals with the phenomenon of comets from a historic, astronomic and mathematical perspective. Divided in four parts, it examines the history of astronomy in the first, beginning with an account of Babylonian and Egyptian science. In the following section a thorough catalogue of all comets observed since antiquity is given, which still constitutes a major source of information. The third part deals with theories on the nature of comets and their potential physical effects on the life on earth, while the final section discusses methods for the computation of cometary orbits. Pingré (died 1795) was a famous French astronomer who participated in several scientific voyages, and he was the first to make good observations of VENUS. He was for some time chancellor of Paris University and also librarian of Sainte-Géneviève. This is his principal work and copies have become VERY RARE.
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