Landmarks in the History of Natural Sience
The section devoted to natural history features many astronomical works from Sacrobosco to Newton, from a private collection, largely assembled in the 1970ies. Undoubtedly outstanding are the 6 works by Galilei and 9 works by Kepler, first of all Keplers “Harmonices mundi libri V” (first edition, Linz 1619) with his breakthrough discovery of the planetary motion, inestimable regarding the history of sience (estimate 50.000,- €).
Galilei’s most important works “Dialogo” (Florence 1632, estimate 10.000,- €) and “Discorsi” (Leiden 1638, estimate 24.00,- €) are represented by rare first edition copies.
Leibniz’ “Ars combinatoria” is one of his first contributions providing the basis of modern computer technology. The copy of the scarce 1690 edition is bound with the equally scarce first edition of “Aenigma architectonico-geometricum” (estimate 30.000,- €).
The large botanical and zoological section delights with many splendid illustrated books of European plants. Among them 18 volumes of Curtis’ most beautiful and famous “Botanical magazine” with nearly 700 coloured plates (estimate 10.000,- €) and Edward’s “Natural history of uncommon birds” with 362 magnificent illustrations of birds and animals in fine morocco binding.
Richly stocked as usual appears the section of geography, travel, maps and decorative prints at Reiss & Sohn auctions. Even the atlasses are counting 100 lots, bearing all famous names of cartographers: Braun-Hogenberg, Delisle, Homann, Ortelius, Ptolemaeus, Seutter, Visscher, etc., the estimates wide-ranging from 200,- up to 25.000,- Euro.
The highlight of the fall auction is a very fine illuminated book of hours for the use of Rome with 11 full-page miniatures. It shines not only because of the marvellous illustrations, but also for the provenance of Sir Sydney Cockerell, former director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The small-sized volume is expected to reach 60.000,- Euro.
A pure pleasure to face is the suite of 62 aquatints, depicting stage designs by Alessandro Sanquirico for La Scala at Milan. The sole designer and chief scenic artist between 1817 and 1832 is regarded as a master of perspective, creating magical effects by colour and light (estimate 30.000,- €).