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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Cyclopædia: or, an universal dictionary of arts and sciences. Containing an explanation of the terms, and an account of the several subjects, in the liberal and mechanical arts, and the sciences human and divine. Intended as a course of ancient and modern learning. By E. Chambers, F.R.S. With the supplement, and modern improvements, incorporated in one alphabet. By Abraham Rees, D.D. F.R.S. In four volumes. ...
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CHAMBERS, Ephraim (ca. 1680--1740)
Cyclopædia: or, an universal dictionary of arts and sciences. Containing an explanation of the terms, and an account of the several subjects, in the liberal and mechanical arts, and the sciences human and divine. Intended as a course of ancient and modern learning. By E. Chambers, F.R.S. With the supplement, and modern improvements, incorporated in one alphabet. By Abraham Rees, D.D. F.R.S. In four volumes. ...
London: printed for J. F. and C. Rivington, A. Hamilton, T. Payne and Son, W. Owen, B. White and Son [and 24 others in London], 1786.
5 vols ; 43.0 cm. (2º)
I: [2], ii, iv, [2], xxvii, [1], [1064] p., engr. frontis. : tables
II: [1230] p. : tables
III: [1206] p. : tables
IV: [1386] p. : tables
[V]: [106] p., [149] pl. (1 fold.)

Unpaginated after the preliminaries. Volume [V] contains 'Addenda, Index, Arrangement of the Plates, and the Plates'. Announced in a prospectus of 1726 and inspired by the example of John Harris's Lexicon technicum of 1704 which had reached its fourth edition in 1725, Chambers' first edition appeared in 1728. The supplement first appeared separately in 1753 in the continuation after Chambers's death by George Lewis Scott. The editions of this work revised by Abraham Rees (from the edition of 1778) all appear to have been issued in parts and individual volumes in all sets often vary in their dates and imprint, making it difficult to identify editions. In this set, volumes I and III are dated 1786 and vol. II is dated 1779 with imprint commencing 'W. Strahan ...'; vol. V lacks a title-page. There are four plates of 'Anatomy' rather than the single plate called for in the 'Arrangement and Analysis of the Plates', without accompanying letterpress descriptions; three plates of 'Architecture' rather than one plate; and an accompanying leaf of letterpress to the plates of 'Ship'. Plates XI and XII of 'Botany' are misnumbered III and IV. The three specimens of printing type found in some copies are not present in this copy, but are present in a second set in the Soane Museum, described separately (q.v.). ESTC t136237; Alston, III.546.7; Printing and the Mind of Man, 171.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the engraved frontispiece, the title-page to vol. V and 'Miscellaneous' pl. I (included in the above collation), and lacking the specimens of printing types (not included in the collation). The 1727 dedication 'To The King' misbound to precede the preface to the new edition. In vol. II the verso of the front free-endpaper is inscribed in ink John Soane, i.e. John Soane junior.

Binding Late C18th mottled calf, gilt roll-tooled borders, gilt-tooled spines with neo-classical pentaglyph and metope roll-tool and patera ornament, green morocco spine-labels with oval red morocco onlay.

Reference Number 3906


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