This extraordinary survivor immediately catches the eye because of the first 3 words of the title - Sir Isaac Newton's name guaranteed to draw any potential purchaser's attention. However, a little research soon discovers the following interesting story, taken from the introduction to Francis Baily's "Tables for the Purchasing and Renewing of Leases" (1802): "The only publication now in use … is a little book [title] first published about the year 1685 by an anonymous author, and which has a recommendatory Latin note in the title-page by Sir Isaac Newton. As soon as that great mathematician died, the publishers artfuly prefixed to the book, in large capital letters, the alluring title of SIR ISAAC NEWTON’S TABLES, under which name it has gone ever since." Caveat emptor, indeed - but the fact remains that in the 21st century the mere survival of such a relic is to be valued. The publisher's written (and signed) guarantee of accuracy is on the reverse of the title page. It also contains a section on the values of church and college leases, by 'a late Bishop of Chichester'. The fact that the book ran into 7 editions in less than a century is surely some proof of its popularity and practical value.
Our book is naturally age-worn, its leather binding scuffed and rubbed all over, and worn through at 2 corners, with a frank area of loss at the lower end of the spine, which has 4 raised bands. Remnants of decoration are still visible on the edges. Inside, however, the binding is firm with no loose pages, and most pages are clean, with the exception of a few at both front and back, which are affected by foxing, with a frank brown stain on p.14 (see photo). The front endpaper has a clear white rectangular area where perhaps an insert used to be, some ink-written marks indicating such. The rear endpaper is cracked down the spine angle, as is the outer cover, so that daylight can be seen through the cracks. This does not, however, appear to weaken the binding overall. A tiny piece of pink thread can be seen incorporated in the binding at pp. 168-9 (see photo no. 10)