Isaac Newton notes off to great start

The leaf of autograph notes by Isaac Newton sold for $320,000 (£260,165) at Heritage.

It is the practice of one US saleroom to publish what are called ‘starting bids’ rather than an estimate range in its catalogues.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Ian McKay

However, while a leaf of autograph notes by Isaac Newton was given a starting point of $25,000, the successful bidder had to go a great deal higher to secure it.

In a Heritage (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) sale of September 4 that Latin manuscript, described as ‘Notes on Physics and Solid Geometry’ and written in Oxford in 1694, was bid to $320,000 (£260,165) in New York.

One side of the leaf, seemingly written at different times, features notes taken from a work on physics (concerning the weight and movement of water), while on the other side – written lengthwise and reproduced here – are notes on parabolas and eclipses that incorporate two geometrical figures.

The lot was part of the Arts & Sciences sale comprising the book and manuscript collection of French-born engineer and scientist Maurice Car (1908-68), who moved to Washington, DC, with his family in 1940.