From the library of the Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Zur Farbenlehre. Nebst einem Hefte mit sechzehn Kupfertafeln.

Tübingen, J. G. Cotta, 1810.

8vo and 4to. 2 vols. and volume of plates. XLVIII, 654 pp. XXVIII, 757 pp. With 17 plates (12 in colour; with the extra plate after no. II). Contemporary half calf with giltstamped Saxon arms on covers. Edges marbled.


First edition of Goethe's principal scientific work, the "Farbenlehre", including the quarto-sized "Erklärung der zur Goethe’s Farbenlehre gehörigen Tafeln". "Goethe's first publication on optics culminated in his 'Zur Farbenlehre', his longest and, in his own view, best work, today known principally as a fierce and unsuccessful attack on Newton's demonstration that white light is composite" (DSB V, 445). The plates are of various sizes, showing this to be the earliest impression of the 17-plate set, but do not have the manuscript corrections present in some copies (cf. Hagen, p. 170).

Bindings somewhat rubbed; occasional brownstaining due to paper. A fine, complete copy in its first binding, originally in the library of the Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach: gilt Saxon arms on the marbled covers; armorial stamps to all titles. Most famously, Duke Karl August was Goethe's friend, lord, and benefactor.


Hagen 347, 347 d. Goedeke IV 3, 583 (46). Kippenberg I, 386, 389. Hirzel A 288. Speck 2289/90. Schmid 55-58. Brieger 733. WG² 79.

Stock Code: BN#44795 Tag: