Rare First Edition of Edmundi Halleii Astronomi Dum Viveret Regii Tabulae Astronomiae
Edmundi Halleii Astronomi Dum Viveret Regii Tabulae Astronomiae.
Item Number: 81081
London: Apud Gulielmum Innys, 1749.
Rare first of Halley’s lunar and planetary tables. Quarto, bound in full morocco, elaborate gilt tooling to the spine, front and rear panels, raised bands, marbled endpapers, frontispiece of Halley. In near fine condition.
The posthumous publication of the famous English astronomer’s lunar and planetary tables, first printed in the Philosophical Transactions XXXVII, no. 193 (1719). After being appointed Astronomer-Royal in 1721, Halley withheld the separate issue of his tables, hoping that he would be able to improve them, but he died without completing the task. Though completed in 1719, these tables did not appear in print for thirty years. They were soon translated into English and French. "The lunar tables represent the theory of the motion of the Moon as Newton gave it in the second edition of Principia" (Cook, Halley, p.366). Each of the tables are numbered in ink in the present copy, totaling 251 in all; the remaining pages are text.