Cometographie ou Traite Historique et Theorique Des Cometes.
Paris: De L'Imprimerie Royale, 1783-4. First Edition. Hardcover. First edition of this important work on the subject of cometography, and the most complete published up to this time. The text is divided into four parts: a history of astronomy (ancient Babylon and Egypt through the 18th century); a catalogue of all the comets observed since antiquity (50 by Pingre himself); cometary returns and their physical effects upon earth; and the methods for computing cometary orbits. Pingre (1711-1796) was an eminent professor of astronomy at the Rouen Academy of Sciences whose "notable contributions include examining the measurement of an arc of the meridian made 80 years before by Jean Picard, and observations of the transit of Venus in 1761 and 1769." He was for some time chancellor of Paris University and also librarian of Sainte-Genevieve. [Thorndike, Latin Treatises on Comets; Lalande, Catalogue des livres]. Uncommon generally, more so in original binding and presentable. Good+ [Textblock Very Good]. Moderate shelf/edge wear, tips through, wear at head and tail, joints starting but sound, erasure wear (through) at title page of V1, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spines, marbled endpages, marbled textblock edges, 7 engraved plates, woodcut headpieces, and numerous tables. 4to. xii, 630, ; viii, 518pp, including errata. Handcolored plate. From the library of Dr. Seymour Chapin. Item #9507