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Eléments d astronomie [with] Tables astronomiques du Soleil, de la Lune, des planètes, des étoiles fixes, et des satellites de Jupiter et de Saturne ; Avec l'explication & l'usage de ces mêmes tables.

CASSINI, Jacques.

  • Publisher: Paris, de l Imprimerie Royale
  • Published: 1740
  • Condition: Very Good
Paris, de l Imprimerie Royale, 1740 2 volumes 4to: 1/ xvi, [12], 643 pages, 88 diagrams on [21] folded leaves of copper plate engravings :vignette text illustrations; 2/ xiv pp., [3]. Large engraved title page vignette, engraved head- & tailpieces, initials. 2, 120 pp., 222 pp. of astronomical tables, [1, unnumbered]. Illustrated with 5 folded leaves of copper plate engravings by Simmoneau. Total of 26 plates. All edges red. Wide margins. Some contemporary manuscript corrections to text. Contemporary hand-written shelf labels & new printed ex libris from Maraldiana library on front paste-down endpapers. Some old wormholes in margins not affecting text. Some leaves age toned & spotted. 21 x 26 cm. Full contemporary spotted calf, double blind-stamped fillet borders on covers. Spines with gilt tooled raised bands. Contrasting red and brown morocco lettering labels. Second volume with rubbed, faded contemporary shelf label. Compartments elaborately gilt tooled with curved pointille cornerpieces, 10 or 8 stars surrounding central starbursts. Date labels & upper/lower compartments finished with alternating, scrolling fleur de lys/acanthus decoration in gilt (slight rubbing to extremities, particularly to corners). Including three manuscript fragments (contemporary hand-made paper with chain marks & toning commensurate with being about three hundred years old) believed to be in hand of Giovanni Domenico Maraldi (1709-88) covered in writing or calculations in same neat ink hand. They are workings out draft letters from a French speaking scientist to his colleague about astronomical events taking place at the time. "Le nouvel astre que vous avaz decouvert le 4 de ce mois.la comete qui a paru en 1682. le retour avoir ete annonce par M. Halley astronome anglais au commencement d Avril .quelqu un en avait calcule des ephemerides". It contains a list of Mr Messier, Hellot, Fontaine, Fevrein, Guettari, de Buffon, de Fouche et al. On the verso it has calculations connected to the dates in April and May, giving degrees of latitude. Second fragment of contemporary manuscript mathematical and scientific calculations reads "Au retour de la campagne ou j ai passé 15 jours j ai trouve la lettre que vous m'avez fait l honneur de m ecrire avec le calcul du passage de Venus . du soleil qui doit . le 6 Juin 1761; comme je suis plus charge . calculs de la connaissance de temps, je n ai pas fait ce calcul mais je compare le votre avec celui . fait par Mr. Cassini . dans les Memoires de l Academie des Sciences de 1727". The third fragment just has the word M. Maraldy on it in a contemporary flowing hand on a folded, chain-marked and watermarked piece of plain writing paper. Although writings related to the Cassini or Maraldi families occasionally come on the market, the vast majority of their manuscripts and correspondence remains in the Biblioteca Maraldiana in their archive of the Maraldi and Cassini families, Castello Maraldi, Perinaldo, Italy (Perinaldo: the so-called Maraldi house, in which, according to tradition, Gian Domenico Cassini Jacque's father, was born). While observing Comet De Chéseaux with Jacques Cassini in 1746, Giovanni Domenico Maraldi discovered two "nebulous stars", which later turned out to be globular clusters M15 and M2. Maraldi retired to Perinaldo, Italy in 1772. He was posthumously honored, along with his uncle, by the naming of lunar crater Maraldi in 1935. First edition of this very complete treatise, in which Cassini engages in original research and which contains historical details which are still interesting today. Houzeau & Lancaster n°9251 ; Lalande p. 411 ; Poggendoff I. 380 for "Eléments" ; Poggendoff I. 390 for "Tables" ; D.S.B. III, p.10. Provenance: sold by the Cambi d'Aste auction house on 18th March 2015. Valuable association copy with manuscript fragments loosely inserted & complete with Tables , & all 26 folding plates, preserved in finely bound uniform contemporary bindings. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good.

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