LONDON – A rare first edition of Robert Boyle’s The Sceptical Chymist, a milestone in the history of chemistry, sold at Bonhams, London on 25 March 2015 for £362,500. It had been estimated at £50,000-70,000.
article via ArtDaily | featured image: It is the first book that combined chemistry with physics and paved the way for the work of Isaac Newton and, 200 years later, Antoine Lavoisier. photo: Bonhams.
The Sceptical Chymist: or Chymico-Physical Doubts & Paradoxes, touching the Spagyrist’s Principles commonly call’d Hypostatical, as they are wont to be Propos’d and Defended by the Generality of Alchymists, was published in 1661.
It is the first book that combined chemistry with physics and paved the way for the work of Isaac Newton and, 200 years later, Antoine Lavoisier. In it, Boyle postulated the then revolutionary theory that matter was composed of atoms and clusters of atoms in motion and that every phenomenon was the result of the collision of particles in motion. He also explored the relationship between chemicals through the use of theory and experiments rather than largely through observation.
The Sceptical Chymist was the highest selling lot in the sale of the Library of the late Dr. Hugh Selbourne who assembled one of the finest private collection of books of the mid-20th century while practicing as a physician in Manchester. …