June 19, 2024


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Bidding for the oldest English astronomy book was €11,500

Bidding for the oldest English astronomy book was €11,500

First edition Castle of knowledge (The Castle of Knowledge) by Robert Record (London, 1556, published by Reginald Wolfe) was offered for sale by Hanson’s Auctioneers on 1 November. Bidding went up to £10,000 (€11,500).

It is an astonishing discovery, and the most important scientific text I have ever dealt with.” Jim Spencer saidHead of Hansons Books.I could only find one other that was sold at auction. It sold at Bonhams in 2007 for £74,200 (€85,000). Of course, our copy was not so well preserved, but it was simply there. Incredibly rare. »

In addition to its status as the oldest astronomical book in the English language, it is also one of the first to be cited. D Revolutionibus orbium cholestium Polish astronomer CopernicusFounding work of the heliocentric system.

Record was a great Welsh scholar, physician and mathematician who deserves much recognition. “, Spencer pointed out. ” This is especially so Creator of the “equals” sign 1557 popularized the “plus” and “minus” signs among the Anglo-Saxons.. »

Born 1512 in Denby, Pembrokeshire. Robert’s record Educated at Oxford and later studied medicine at Cambridge. Returning to Oxford, he taught mathematics. He later served as Royal Physician in London. A political quarrel proved fatal for him, leading him to prison, where he died in 1558.


Image credit: Hansons

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