Science book never go for a big bidding at auction, but the auction house Christie’s has set a new benchmark by auctioning Sir Isaac Newton’s 1687 masterwork for a whopping $3.7 million.
It is one of the new original copies of the first edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, which now hold the most expensive printed scientific book. The one sold at the auction is one of the 80 continental editions that belong to the Europe which slightly differs from British edition, which was published over 400 copies.
Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica was originally estimated to sell around $1.5 million, which Albert Einstein describes the work as, “perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make.”
Edmund Halley the astronomer, funded for printing of the book, because Royal Society ran out of funds at that time. The Royal Society, Newton’s academic home has retained only two copies of the work – the original manuscript, which they keep it as their “greatest treasure”.
“It’s not just the history and development of science; it’s one of the greatest books ever published. It was hugely influential in terms of applying mathematics to basic physical problems,” Keith Moore, the head of the Royal Society library, has previously said.
It’s the book where Newton sets out his laws of motion, including gravity, and thus fetching huge price. If it wasn’t Newton findings, we might not have been using most of the technology that we are using today.
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