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L'ART D'EXPLOITER LES MINES DE CHARBON DE TERRE
[Paris: Académie Royale des Sciences], 1768. FIRST EDITION . Hardcover. 432 x 279 mm (17 x 11"). Supplement to part I (numbered 1357-62) bound after p. 196 of volume I; the 44-pp. "Memoire" bound at the end of volume II, after p. 1356 (where the supplement would normally have appeared). Four volumes. FIRST EDITION. Excellent contemporary marbled calf, flat spines gilt in compartments with central fleuron encircled by small tools and with volute cornerpieces, each spine with one black and one red label, marbled endpapers. WITH 79 OFTEN VERY PLEASING ENGRAVED TECHNOLOGICAL PLATES of mining operations and equipment, three of these double-page. Front pastedowns with small round label of Bibliotheque de Sailly. Kress 6581; Brunet II, 618-19. Leather with a few minor abrasions, a significant area of one cover with loss of patina from insect activity, general light wear, but the unrestored period bindings entirely solid, with no serious signs of use, and with a pleasing shelf appearance. Three dozen leaves with slight or moderate overall browning, intermittent small, light marginal dampstains, 20 leaves with one-inch elongated wormhole at top edge (not reaching the text), a dozen plates slightly to somewhat browned, additional minor defects, otherwise excellent internally, with good margins, with strong impressions of the engravings, and with clean, fresh leaves. This treatise on coal mining comprises a survey of the state of cutting-edge technology in the 18th century. It covers the subject comprehensively, discussing geological and mineralogical explanations for the locations of coal deposits, the methods of mining coal, the state of the coal industry in France, the commerce and economics of the coal trade in Europe, and the ways--both practical and theoretical--in which coal could be employed to heat and light houses and to fuel factories and workshops. At the time of publication, French forests were being depleted of wood at an alarming rate, and there was a pressing need to find an alternate source of energy. Coal seemed the answer to the problem. Jean-François-Clément Morand (1726-84) trained as a physician but preferred to devote himself to scientific research rather than to the practice of medicine. He became a member of the Academy of Sciences in 1759, and was appointed librarian to the organization. This set is uncommonly seen in the marketplace, and when it does appear, it is usually incomplete.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2013-12-31           Check availability:      Biblio    

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