I.Lot Details
TypeBooks and Manuscripts
Estimate$1,500 — $2,000
II.Condition Report
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III.Auction Details
Sale 714

Library of a Midwestern Collector

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November 5, 2019 / 10:00am CT


Sale  714
Lot   8
BROWN, Robert (1773-1858). “A Brief Account of Microscopical Observations...on the Particles contained in the Pollen of Plants, and on the general Existence of active Molecules in Organic and Inorganic Bodies.” In: The Philosophical Magazine, New Series, Vol. IV, No. 21, pp. 161-173. London: Richard Taylor, September 1828.

FIRST PUBLISHED EDITION, preceded only by the scarce privately printed edition of the same year. “In 1927 Brown, while making microscopical observations, saw that pollen grains…while suspended in liquid, engaged in a continuous, haphazard, zig-zag movement… The idea that gases and liquids consist of molecules in rapid motion was not new, but it had remained largely speculative until it was scientifically proved and investigated in detail by Robert Brown and his followers” (PMM). “Brownian motion,” as his discovery was subsequently named, formed the basis for kinetic theory of gases, and served as proof of the existence of atoms and molecules. “To Brown belongs the credit for establishing such motion as a property not simply of living pollen but of all minute particles, inorganic as well as organic, suspended in a fluid” (DSB). Dibner Heralds 156; Norman 354; PMM 290 (the privately printed edition).
BROWN. “Additional Remarks on Active Molecules.” In: The Philosophical Magazine, New Series, Vol. VI, No. 33, pp.161-166. London: Richard Taylor, September 1829.
FIRST EDITION, in which Brown remarks that he is unable to account for the Brownian motion he previously observed before renouncing several recent hypotheses.
Together, 2 journals, 8vo. Numerous engraved plates, in-text diagrams and illustrations. (Lower marginal dampstaining to a few leaves, some scant spotting.) Uniform modern quarter tan calf. Provenance: Glasgow Philosophical Society (stamps on title-page and a few discreet pencil markings to Vol. 4); George Speri Sperti (1900-1991) American inventor (stamp on p. 35 in Vol. 6).

  • Estimate$1,500 - $2,000

Sold for $1,500

Sold prices are inclusive of Buyer’s Premium