Title: L’Historie Naturelle Eclaircie Dans Une De ...
Publisher: Chez du Bure, Paris
Publication Date: 1755
Book Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
4to (286 x 212mm). , [i]-xvj, -560pp., [ii, corrections and adverts.]. Full-page engraved frontispiece "L’Oryctologie," signed "Devermont Del. Chedel Sc." it depicts a goddess holding shells and coral with minerals and stones at her feet. 25 engraved plates showing mostly mineralogical subjects. Each of the plates has a description at the top, with a notation as to the subscriber that paid for the plate at the bottom. Title page in red and black. Original 18th-century French mottled calf, spine gilt with red morocco lettering label, marbled endpapers, red edges; (only lightest occasional spots, otherwise excellent). From the Collection of Earl of Macclesfield in South Library at Shirburn Castle, armorial bookplate and motto (shelfmark 168.A.11) to front pastedown and blind embossed coat of arms to frontis., title, and first dedication page. Scarce Second Edition. L’Histoire Naturelle was first printed in 1742, in a single volume that dealt with both mineralogy and conchology; however, in later editions, these two subjects were split into individual books, revised and expanded, and issued as independent works. Therefore, the second, third and fourth editions of the volume concerning minerals and petrifaction have appeared respectively in this second edition of 1755, 1760 and 1775, and the part dealing with conchology had second and third editions in 1757 and 1780. An impressive compilation of 18th century mineral knowledge. Dezallier’s introduction provides a critical review of past authors and their books. This is followed by a précis of his mineralogical system that gives a tabular arrangement of minerals, stones and precious gems, which is immediately followed by a detailed discussion of the classification. Dezallier recognized three classes of minerals: Terres (earths), Pierrès (stones), and all others. Within each, groupings are differentiated primarily by physical properties such as color, form, weight, etc. The author claims this method was new because it follows the natural and apparent qualities of the species it distributes; however, its principles were set forth by several predecessors, the earliest of whom was Agricola. A final section provides an excellent and detailed account of the mineralogy of France. Accompanying and scattered throughout the text are 26 finely engraved plates. These illustrations that rank among the best natural history engravings of the eighteenth century show minerals, stones, fossils, coral, birds and fish. Exceptionally fine. Welcome II, p. 462. Bookseller Inventory # D4520
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