PHILLIPPS, THOMAS, SIR. Improved Numeration Table, ca. 1829
Sir Thomas Phillipps: Improved Numeration Table, ca. 1829
RLIN ID No.
Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872.
Improved numeration table, to facilitate and extend astronomical calculations [proof sheet with a related autograph manuscript], ca. 1829.
1 manuscript (single folio sheet) ; 49 x 62 cm., folded to 25 x 32 cm.
1 proof sheet (4 p.) : 17 cm.
English antiquary and bibliophile. His collection of Easter, Continental and British manuscripts eventually numbered over 60,000. Phillipps established the Middle Hill Press at his estate in Worcestershire. After reading an account of the English mathematician John Wallis (1616-1703) and his work on devising a means of expression for super-large numbers, he created this table.
Scope and Contents Note
The manuscript includes Phillipps’s calculation of the number of grains of sand in the earth. The proof sheet contains autograph additions in pencil.
Printed at Middle Hill Press in 1829.
Laid in modern folding cloth box with other items; spine lettered in gilt: Phillipps Private Papers/Miscellaneous Autograph Manuscripts of Sir Thomas Phillipps/Numeration Table.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase; Sotheby’s auction no. 3243, Lot 0058, London; 2003/12/02.
Formerly owned by Martin Schoyer of Spikkestad, Norway who purchased it from the dealer H. P. Kraus of New York City. Previously owned by W. H. Robinson, Ltd of London. It would have been one of the many Phillipps manuscripts sold at one of the numerous sales of his collections by Sotheby’s starting in 1886.
Schoyer, Martin, former owner.
Wallis, John, 1616-1703.
Astronomy, Mathematics. Tables.
Proofs. England. 19th century.
Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Mathematics. England. 19th century.
Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.