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REES, Abraham (1743--1825)
The cyclopædia; or, universal dictionary of arts, sciences and literature. By Abraham Rees, D.D. F.R.S. ... with the assistance of eminent professional gentlemen. Illustrated with numerous engravings, by the most distinguished artists. In thirty-nine volumes. Vol. I (- XXXIX). (Plates. Vol. I. (- VI). ...)
London: printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, F.C. and J. Rivington, A. Strahan, Payne and Foss, Scatcherd and Letterman, J. Cuthell, Clarke and Sons, Lackington Hughes Harding Mavor and Jones, J. and A. Arch, Cadell and Davies, S. Bagster, J. Mawman, James Black and Son, Black Kingsbury Parbury and Allen, R. Scholey, J. Booth, J. Booker, Suttaby Evance and Fox, Baldwin Cradock and Joy, Sherwood Neely and Jones, R. Saunders, Hurst Robinson and Co., J. Dickinson, J. Paterson, E. Whiteside, Wilson and Sons, and Brodie and Dowding, 1819 [i.e. 1802]--1820.
45 vols ; 29.5 cm. (2º)

The volumes of plates are dated 1820 with the imprint omitting James Black and Son and additionally including Ogle Duncan & Co. Abraham Rees had previously produced a new edition of Chambers's Cyclopædia for Longman in 1778, later augmenting it from one to four volumes in 1781--86 (reprinted 1788--89). He was invited by Longman to edit a similar, more comprehensive publication, and parts for his own New cyclopædia, or universal dictionary, bringing together the work of some one hundred contributors, began to appear from 1802; publication was completed with the final text instalments including the collective title-leaves and undated half-titles being issued in 1819, and the six volumes of plates in 1820. The plates are engraved chiefly by Wilson Lowry after John Farey. See A.P. Woolrich, 'John Farey, junior, technical author and draughtsman: his contribution to Rees's Cyclopaedia', Industrial Archaeology Review, 20 (1998), pp. 49--68. Volume VI of the plates contains an ancient and modern atlas, and a frontispiece portrait of Rees by W. Holl after Opie is retained in vol. I. A 'Catalogue And Analysis Of The Plates ...', index of the plates and directions to the binder are at the end of vol. XXXIX. 'For the modern reader it is an incomparable manual for all facets of Regency endeavour, since it reflects the scope of knowledge, particularly scientific and technical, during the British Enlightenment. It is particularly valuable for the early phase of the industrial revolution.' (ODNB s.v. Rees).

Copy Notes Some marks of emphasis in pencil in the 'Catalogue And Analysis Of The Plates ...' in vol. XXXIX.

Binding C19th russia calf, gilt triple-ruled boards, gilt-ruled and dotted spines, marbled edges to match the endpapers.

Reference Number 5577


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