Traité de Mécanique Céleste. Pierre Simon LAPLACE, Marquis de.

A Fundamental Work

Traité de Mécanique Céleste.

Folding engraved plate in Vol. IV. Five vols. Large 4to, cont. polished mottled calf (joints & a few corners carefully repaired), spines nicely gilt, red morocco lettering pieces on spines. Paris: J.B.M. Duprat & others, An VII [1798]-1825.

First edition and a complete set with all the supplements. In this monumental and fundamental astronomical work, Laplace — the “Newton of France” — codified and developed the theories and achievements of Newton, Euler, d’Alembert, and Lagrange. “Laplace maintained that while all planets revolve round the sun their eccentricities and the inclinations of their orbits to each other will always remain small. He also showed that all these irregularities in movements and positions in the heavens were self-correcting, so that the whole solar system appeared to be mechanically stable. He showed that the universe was really a great self-regulating machine and the whole solar system could continue on its existing plan for an immense period of time. This was a long step forward from the Newtonian uncertainties in this respect…Laplace also 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 also investigated the theory of the tides and calculated from them the mass of the moon.”–Printing & the Mind of Man 252.

A very nice set. Our set has the first state, with the earlier dates, of the titles of Vols. I and II, all the half-titles, and all the supplements.

❧ Dibner, Heralds of Science, 14. D.S.B., XV, pp. 273-403. En Français dans le Texte 201. Horblit 63. Roberts & Trent, Bibliotheca Mechanica, pp. 197-98.

Price: $25,000.00

Item ID: 3535