Paris: Martin le Jeune, 1580.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003601
8vo (165 x 108 mm). , 361,  pp. Signatures: *8 A-Aa8. Woodcut initials and headpieces. Bound in 19th century fine brown morocco by Hardy (see Flety 89), spine with 5 raised bands and gilt lettering, all edges gilt, board edges ruled in gilt, rich gilt-tooling of turn-ins, marbled endpapers (light rubbing of extremities). Text with little even browning, Y6 with short clean tear at fore-margin, V3 with repared tear at head obscuring page numbering, pp. 8-13 with unobtrusive text markings in black ink, first pages with occasional light finger soiling, tiny wormtrack at blank lower margin of pp. 289-302. In all a clean and sound copy with ample margins. ----
FIRST EDITION of this famous and fascinating collection of eleven distinct scientific treatises on subjects as diverse as the nature of water, the use of marl to reclaim land, and the famous treatise De l'Art de terre, an extraordinary story in which Palissy recounts his setbacks and his tireless efforts to discover the secret of enamels. "A book of great importance in the history of chemistry and science generally . . . extremely rare" (Duveen).
A skilled potter, Palissy first became famous for making 'rustic' enamelled earthenware, an art which earned him the position of 'inventeur des rustiques figurines du roy'. In 1575, despite his lack of formal education, he began lecturing on natural history. Written in the form of a dialogue between 'Theorique' and 'Pratique', the Discours covers a wide range of subjects, the most important of which are those on hydrology and paleontology. "Palissy's views on hydrology and paleontology, as expressed in the Discours, are of particular interest. He was one of the few men of his century to have a correct notion of the origins of rivers and streams [. . .] He was one of the first to hold a resonably correct view of the process of petrification [. . .] From experimentation he concluded that all minerals with geometric crystal forms must have crystallized in water; his classification of salts were nearly correct; and he suggested the concept of superposition for the development of sedimentary rocks [. . .] There is little doubt that Palissy was probably one of the first men in France to teach natural sciences from facts, specimens and demonstrations rather than hypotheses" (DSB).
"An early supporter of the infiltration theory, he denied that rivers and streams had any source other than rainfall. He also recognised the relation between fossils and both living and extinct species, and was one of the first to hold a reasonably correct view of the process of petrification. Palissy's views were not original, being derived from Leonardo da Vinci by way of Cardano's De subtilate; however, Palissy used his own experience to illustrate and elaborate upon these views" (Norman).
Literature and references: Norman 1629; Hoover 621; Thorndike 5, 596-599; En français dans le texte 72; Duveen 446; Neu 3034; Honeyman 2393; DSB X, 280f. - Visit our website to see more images!
Price: 25,000 € * convert currency
Delivery time up to 10 days. For calculation of the latest delivery date, follow the link: Delivery times
Lieferzeit max. 10 Tage. Zur Berechnung des spätesten Liefertermins siehe hier: Lieferzeiten