Lot 3092: 4V Alexander Von Humboldt COSMOS A SKETCH OF A PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE UNIVERSE 1850-1852 Antique Treatise Natural Science

Lot 3092: 4V Alexander Von Humboldt COSMOS A SKETCH OF A PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE UNIVERSE 1850-1852 Antique Treatise Natural Science

Est: $100 - $250
Sold: $60

National Book Auctions

May 31, 2015 12:00 PM GMT
Freeville, NY, US

More About This Item


Item Overview

Description:
Title: Cosmos: A Sketch of a Physical Description of the Universe
Author: Alexander von Humboldt - Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander Freiherr von Humboldt was a Prussian geographer, naturalist and explorer, and the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835). Humboldt's quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography.

Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in Latin America, exploring and describing it for the first time in a manner generally considered to be a modern scientific point of view. His description of the journey was written up and published in an enormous set of volumes over 21 years. He was one of the first to propose that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean were once joined (South America and Africa in particular). Later, his five-volume work, "Kosmos" (1845), attempted to unify the various branches of scientific knowledge. Humboldt supported and worked with other scientists, including Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac, Justus von Liebig, Louis Agassiz, Matthew Fontaine Maury and, most notably, Aimé Bonpland, with whom he conducted much of his scientific exploration.

Translor: Elise C. Otte
Publisher: Harper & Brothers, Publishers
City: New York
Year: 1850-1852
Binding Style: Hardcover
Number of Volumes: 4 Full Set: No
Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Book Details: "Kosmos" (usually referred to in English as "Cosmos") is an influential treatise on science and nature written by the German scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. "Kosmos" began as a lecture series delivered by Humboldt at the University of Berlin, and was published in five volumes between 1845 and 1862 (the fifth was posthumous and completed based on Humboldt's notes). In the first volume of "Kosmos," Humboldt paints a general “portrait of nature,” describing the physical nature of outer space and the earth. In the second volume he describe the history of science. Widely read by academics and laymen alike, it applied the ancient Greek view of the orderliness of the cosmos (the universe) to the Earth, suggesting that universal laws applied as well to the apparent chaos of the terrestrial world. Humboldt goes on to suggest that when one contemplates the beauty of the cosmos, one can obtain personal inspiration and a beneficial, if subjective, awareness about life.

"Kosmos" was influenced by Humboldt’s various travels and studies, but mainly by his journey throughout the Americas. As he wrote, “it was the discovery of America that planted the seed of the Cosmos.” Due to all of his experience in the field, Humboldt was preeminently qualified for the task to represent the universe in a single work. He had extensive knowledge of many fields of learning, varied experiences as a traveler, and the resources of the scientific and literary world at his disposal.

"Kosmos" was highly popular when it was released, with the first volume selling out in two months, and the work translated into most European languages. Although the natural sciences have diverged from the romantic perspective Humboldt presented in "Kosmos," the work is still considered to be a substantial scientific and literary achievement, having influenced subsequent scientific progress an imparted a unifying perspective to the studies of science, nature, and mankind. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Condition / Notes: This set contains the first four volumes of a five-volume work.

These antique volumes are bound in dark brown cloth with stamped gilt lettering to the spines and blind-stamped ornamental designs to the covers. The books show varying degrees of external wear. The second volume has a faint stain to the lower left corner of the front cover. The top edge of the rear cover of the fourth volume displays minor rippling. The

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Auction Details

Books, Art and Ephemera - Genealogy, Ephemera, Kane, etc.

By National Book Auctions

May 31, 2015, 12:00 PM GMT

Freeville, NY, US

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