In the original wrappers, uncut and mostly unopened
Traité élémentaire de chimie, présenté dans un ordre nouveau et d'après les découvertes modernes; avec figures... Two parts in two volumes.
Paris: Chez Cuchet, 1789.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 1¾" tall. Near Fine. Item #003665
8vo (212 x 138 mm). xliv, 322; viii, 323-653,  pp., including half title to each part, woodcut vignette to titles, woodcut head- and tailpieces, 2 folding letterpress tables in volume I, 3-pages errata and 13 folding engraved plates bound at end of volume II. Original sprinkled drab boards, spines with ink-lettered paper labels, all edges uncut (light wear to extremities), vol. II mostly unopened. In custom folding box of brown morocco. Internally crisp and clean with little browning of text and engraved plates, occasional minor spotting and dust soiling to outer margins, marginal clean tears to pp. 111/2 and 307/8, folding tables in vol. I browned as usual, paper flaw at lower blank margin of p. 229/30. Provenance: collection of Roman Vishniac, Russian-American biologist, photographer and pioneer in photomicroscopy. ----
FIRST EDITION, second issue, and exceptionally rare in this unsophisticated state.
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier's Traité élémentaire de chimie is considered to be the first modern textbook of chemistry, presenting a systematic and logical approach to the study of chemistry. Here Lavoisier introduced the concept of conservation of mass in chemical reactions, which is one of the fundamental principles of modern chemistry. He also recognized the role of oxygen in combustion and respiration, and his experiments helped to debunk the long-held theory of phlogiston. Last but not least, Lavoisier's work paved the way for the development of the metric system of measurement, which is still used today. To summarize, Lavoisier's milestone work marked a major turning point in the history of chemistry and laid the foundation for the modern study of the subject.
Lavoisier's Traité "... was a decisive move in the final overthrow of alchemy and the phlogiston theory introduced by Stahl a century earlier. By the use of the balance of weight determination at every chemical change and the building of a rational system of elements, Lavoisier laid the foundation of modern chemistry" (Dibner).
The illustrations for this edition were conceived and executed by Lavoisier's wife, a skilled painter and engraver who had studied under Louis David, and who collaborated with her husband in his scientific experiments and researches. The second issue contains tables and various approvals of the work not included in the single-volume first or trial issue, of which only two copies are known.
References: PMM 238; Dibner 43; Grolier/Horblit 64; Norman 1295; Wellcome III, p. 460; Duveen 340. - Visit our website to see more images!
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