record of a notable collection of scientific books


[VITRY, Arnaud de] – SOTHEBY’s. Scientific Books from the Library of a French Gentleman. London: Sotheby’s, 1998.

Quarto (270 x 210mm), pp. 128. Illustrations in the text, some full-page. Original printed wrappers. (Minimal light rubbing at edges of wrappers.) A fine copy in very good wrappers.

A selection of scientific works, with an emphasis on surveying and navigation, from the library of the French collector Arnaud de Vitry, which were sold at auction by Sotheby’s London on 3 November 1998 (although not identified as such, the volumes in the sale bore his bookplate). The catalogue is alphabetically arranged by author and lists some 355 lots, prefaced by an introduction and supplemented by an index of subjects and a bibliography of the principal references cited in the catalogue – highlights included a copy of the second edition of Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI(Basel: 1566) with early, informed annotations, and the printed list of prices realized, which totaled £481,918, is loosely inserted. This sale was followed by a second four years later, titled Geometry and Space: The Celebrated Collection of Books on Geometry, Optics and Perspective of M. Arnaud De Vitry (Sotheby’s London, 10-11 April 2002).


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