In this work on electricity Gilbert established that the earth itself was one great magnet. He worked out the variation and declination of the compass and he distinguished magnetic mass from weight.
He first used the term ‘electricity’. His book influenced Kepler, Galileo and Newton and became one of the foundation works of modern physics.
Another highlight, guided at £10,000-15,000, is an ‘exceptional copy’ of the rarest of Humphry Repton’s landscape books: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening first edition, half-title, 16 fine aquatint plates, printed by W Bulmer and Co, 1795.
Only 250 copies were printed and Repton refused to issue a second edition although some of the chapters were re-used in ‘Observations’ and ‘Fragments’.
This copy is enhanced by the inclusion of the original drawing, signed lower right H. Repton and within the original wash border, of plate VIII showing “the effect of cutting down some chestnut trees in the avenue at Langley [Langley Park, Kent, the seat of Sir Peter Burrell, Bart, MP], to let in the hill, richly covered with oaks, and that majestic tree, which steps out before its brethren like the leader of an host…”.
Repton (1752-1818) was the first person to use the term ‘landscape gardening’.