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Comptes Rendu. Volumes VIII-IX - DAGUERRE Louis ARAGO Francois - 1839. 
1839 - (DAGUERRE, Louis and ARAGO, François). Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences [Complete Weekly Reports of the Meetings of the Academy of Sciences]. Tome Huitième Janvier-Juin 1839. Tome Neuvième. Juillet-Décembre 1839. Paris: Bachelier, Imprimeur-Libraire, 1839. Two volumes. Thick quarto, original stiff beige wrappers, printed paper spine labels, uncut and unopened. Housed in custom chemises and slipcase. $23,000.First editions of the first public announcement and the first detailed account of Daguerre's revolutionary photographic invention as issued in the January & August 1839 reports by the French Academy of Sciences, both preceding Daguerre's first published work on the daguerreotype, also including seminal early writings on photography by Niépce, Talbot, Arago, Biot and others. These two large paper volumes, extremely scarce complete and uncut, from the major photography collection of musician Graham Nash, with his signed tipped-in bookplates."The invention of the daguerreotype""the earliest photographic process""forever altered the way we see and understand our world. No invention since Gutenberg's movable type had so changed the transmission of knowledge and culture" (Montebello, Metropolitan Museum of Art). The remarkable first news of Louis Daguerre's revolutionary invention, "the first to capture the public's curiosity and imagination" (Norman 569), appeared "in an announcement published in January 1839 in the official bulletin of the French Academy of Sciences" (Rosenblum, 16). As seen herein, that momentous first report was made by François Arago, whose aid had been sought by Daguerre but who nevertheless remained bound "under the seal of secrecy" (Gernsheim, 230). "An eminent astronomer". Arago engineered the purchase by France of the process that Daguerre had perfected on his own after the death of his original partner Joseph Nicéphore Niépce" (Rosenblum, 17). As rumors of Daguerre's discovery grew, Arago made a brief presentation to a "special committee of the Chambre des Députés". set up to consider grounds for a pension to Daguerre" (printed July 5 in the Moniteur Universel). Yet even this proved more elusive for, as noted in the London Athenaeum of July 20, 1839, it still threw "no light upon the secret of the invention" (Wood, State Pension for L.J.M. Daguerre, 13). Details of Daguerre's process remained unknown until Arago appeared before "a joint session of the Chamber of Deputies and the Academy of Sciences" (PMM 318), where, "by three o'clock on the afternoon of August 19, 1839, every seat in the auditorium of the Palace of the Institute was taken, and 200 stood outside in the courtyard" (Newhall, Daguerreotype in America, 18). As seen here in Volume IX, "Arago outlined Daguerre's methods of obtaining pictures". enumerated potential uses, and prophetically emphasized unforeseen developments to be expected" (Rosenblum, 17). Both Arago's January 7, 1839 announcement (Volume VIII, pp. 4-7) and his extensive report of August 19, 1839 (Volume IX, pp. 250-67) precede publication of Daguerre's own Historique et Description, which only became "available to the public in Paris on 5 September" and would include much of Arago's reports. The quarto first printing of Arago's August 19 report issued coincident with small 34-page octavo pamphlet containing the same text, no priority established (Wood, 13). Volume VIII (January-June 1839) also containing early correspondence from William Henry Fox Talbot (170-74); writings on Daguerre and Talbot (243-49; 259-70); further correspondence from Talbot dated February 13 and March 15 (302-05, 409-412). Volume IX (July-December 1839) with Arago's August 12 note regarding Daguerre's pension and the planned report for August 19 (227); correspondence from Daguerre containing letters from Niépce written in 1827 (423-29); Alfred Donné's important experiments in etching daguerreotype plates, and additional photographic reports (376-79; 411-12; [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy; Soft Cover]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
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