Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers
35 volumes in folio; marbled calf, spine with 6 nerves richly decorated with gilt fleurons and motifs, burgundy and lavaliered title-pieces (for the 5 volumes of supplements), lavaliered and green toms (for the 5 volumes of supplements), red edges (period binding).
Provenance: From the library of Henri Anne Salomon de La Tullaye, Marquis de Magnanne, adviser to King Louis XV, with his handwritten ex libris "HAS De La Tullaye" on the titles of the first volumes.
35 volumes in-folio comprising 17 volumes of text, 11 volumes of plates, 5 volumes of supplements including 1 of plates and 2 volumes of analytical table
First edition of one of the most important works ever published.
The Encyclopédie or Dictionnaire raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers was published from 1751 to 1772 under the direction of Diderot and d'Alembert, who surrounded themselves with more than 150 French and foreign collaborators: writers, philosophers, scientists, draughtsmen, engravers... Among the great minds of the time: Daubenton (natural history), Montesquieu (literature), Rousseau (music), Turgot (economics), ... and of course Diderot (history of philosophy) and d'Alembert (mathematics).
Published by subscription, this Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences was to comprise 10 volumes. The publication having been temporarily banned in 1752, then definitively in 1759 with the revocation of the royal privilege, Diderot, in order to compensate the subscribers, obtained a new privilege for the edition of a collection of a thousand plates in intaglio on sciences, mechanical arts... Eleven volumes were published between 1762 and 1772. The first volumes of text (volumes I to VII) and plates (I to XI) were published by the associated booksellers Le Breton, Briasson, David and Durand.
In the meantime, work on the Encyclopaedia continued in the background. Ten volumes of text (volumes VIII to XVII) were printed clandestinely under the direction of the bookseller Le Breton, without privilege, at the false address of Samuel Faulche in Neuchâtel and with the date 1765.
In 1768, Panckoucke, bookseller of the Imprimerie Royale and of the Académie des Sciences, bought back the rights and the copperplates from the associated booksellers. Five volumes of Supplements, including one of plates, were published in 1776 and 1777, in Amsterdam by Rey, and in Paris by Panckoucke, Stoupe and Brunet under the direction of J.B. Robinet. The two volumes of the Analytical Table by Pierre Mouchon were published in 1780 at the address of Panckoucke in Paris, and Rey in Amsterdam.
The 35 volumes of this first French encyclopaedia totalled 2,889 single, double or triple plates, counted at 3,129, and more than 18,000 pages of text comprising nearly 74,000 articles. Its resounding success led to numerous reprints and counterfeits.
A copy in a relatively uniform full calf binding of the period, complete with 3129 plates, most of which are folded (double plates count as 2, triple plates as 3 and quadruple plates as 4), the frontispiece engraved by le Prévost after Cochin and the explanatory leaf of the frontispiece delivered in 1772, the 3 additional plates of the Hermaphrodite, the folding tables present in volumes I, VII and VIII of the text, volumes I, II and III of the Supplement and volume I of the Analytical Table, the 2 ff. of "Table alphabétique des matières..." and the f. "Etat général des volumes de discours et de planches..." in volume XI of plates (in fine).
Defects to the bindings: some slight differences in the bindings (different headpieces for volumes 1, 2, 5 and 6 of text), slightly lighter colour for volumes 3, 5 and 6, some headpieces, tails and hinges worn with occasional small tears, very numerous epidermal marks on the boards. Binding in need of restoration.
Some defects to the text and plate volumes including a few browned leaves, some stains and light soiling, some plates very slightly shorter, a few small snags or small cracks in the paper, few small tears not serious, plate CXXXI of volume 11 unbound, with slight loss of the frame.