[NEWTON, Isaac, Sir (1642-1727)]. Opticks: or, a Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. Also Two Treatises of the Species and Magnitude of Curvilinear Figures. London: Sam. Smith and Benj. Walford, 1704.
First edition, first issue, of Newton’s revolutionary work on light and colour, the title printed in red and black within a border, and the imprint without the author's name, the two treatises on calculus at end. Opticks contains Newton's account of his discoveries concerning light, from his first published paper in 1672 onward, including his work on the spectrum of sunlight, the degrees of refraction associated with different colours, the colour circle, the rainbow, ‘Newton's rings’, and his invention of the reflecting telescope. ‘Newton’s Opticks did for light what his Principia had done for gravitation, namely, placed it on a scientific basis’ (Babson, p.66). A fine copy. Babson 132; Dibner, Heralds of Science 148; Grolier/Horblit 79b; Norman 1588; PMM 172.
Quarto (242 x 190mm). Title printed in red and black, 19 folding engraved plates (minor finger-soiling in a few margins). Contemporary English blind-panelled calf, morocco lettering piece on spine, edges red-speckled (joints and extremities lightly rubbed, small chip at head of spine); modern green half morocco box. Provenance: ‘E Lib Dmi Evremond’ (contemporary inscription on front pastedown).