Paris: Crapelet for Duprat, Bachelier, 1799.
1st Edition. Soft cover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003346
Paris: Crapelet for Duprat, An VII  (vol. I-II), Crapelet for Duprat, An XI-1802 (vol. III), Courcier, An XIII-1805 (vol. IV), Bachelier, 1825 (i.e., 1823-1827) (vol. V). Bachelier, 1829 (2nd edition, vol. I-II). 4to (270 x 215 mm). Half-title to each volume, vol. III with "Supplément au Traité de mécanique céleste .présenté au Bureau des Longitudes, le 17 août 1808" (pp. 1-24) bound at end; vol. IV with folding engraved plate and two supplements, "Supplément au dixième livre du Traité de mécanique céleste. Sur l'action capillaire" (pp. , 1-65); and Supplément à la théorie de l'action capillaire (pp. 1-78), one unnumbered leaf with "Table des matières" on recto and the "errata" on verso bound at end; vol. V with "Supplément au 5e volume du Traité de mécanique céleste. . ." dated 1827 (pp. , 1-35) bound at end. Vol. V without the section titles as usual (not included in this issue). All volumes in the original pink mottled wrappers with original printed spine labels (additional hand-lettered shelf-mark labels to vols. III-V), all pages uncut, vols. I and II of first edition mostly unopened, housed in a custom-made slip-case (spines mostly sun-faded, chipping and wear to spines, spine ends and extremities, wrappers partially torn with some loss). A few pages in vols. III-V little browned, occasional minor spotting, light occasional dampstaining mostly to blank margin of few gatherings, but in all very crisp and clean. Provenance: from a French private collection. A very fine set in original condition, rarely found that complete as here with all the supplements present.
Dibner, Heralds of Science 14; Grolier/Horblit 63; PMM 252; Sparrow, Milestones of Science 125; Norman 1277; Roberts-Trent, p.197. LAPLACE'S FUNDAMENTAL WORK ON CELESTIAL MECHANICS. FIRST EDITIONS OF ALL PARTS, with the first two volumes I and II in FIRST STATE (without the added Berlin imprint). Also included here is the second edition of volumes I and II, which are reprints of the first edition shortly issued after the final vol. V appeared. With these, all French separate editions of the Traité are represented in our set in unsophisticated state.
Published over a period of 27 years, Laplace's monumental work codified and developed the theories and achievements of Newton, Euler, d'Alembert and his contemporary Lagrange. In the tradition of Newton's Principia, Laplace "applied his analytical mathematical theories to celestial bodies and concluded that the apparent changes in the motion of planets and their satellites are changes of long periods, and that the solar system is in all probability very stable" (Dibner 14). Newton remained uncertain with respect to the continuity of our solar system. In this work, Laplace also offered explanations unsolved by his predecessors and contemporaries. He "offered a brilliant explanation of the secular inequalities of the mean motion of the moon about the earth - a problem which Euler and Lagrange had failed to solve. He proved that these irregularities are connected with certain solar actions and changes in the orbit of the earth. He also investigated the theory of the tides and calculated from them the mass of the moon" (PMM 252). The first four volumes of the work appeared from 1799 through 1805, and contain the laws of mechanics for their application to the motions and figures of the heavenly bodies. The final parts of the fourth volume and the entire fifth volume really constitute a separate work and contain important material on physics not already included in the original sequence.
Only few volumes of the traité have survived in original wrappers and complete sets are of utmost rarity. The Haskell Norman set for example had the first 4 volumes in original wrappers but vol. V rebound in modern quarter morocco (see his sale at Christie's 1998, lot 597, sold at $16,100). - Visit our website to see more images!
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