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Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une société de gens de lettres. Mis en ordre & publié par M. Diderot, ... & quant à la partie mathématique, par M. d'Alembert, ...
A Paris chez Briasson. David l'ainé. Le Breton, imprimeur ordinaire du Roy. Durand, 1751--1780.
35 vols : engr. frontis., [3129] pl. (maps, music) ; 43.8 cm. (2º)

First edition. Title and imprint vary. Volumes VIII--XVII have the title Encyclopédie, ... mis en ordre par Mr. *** [i.e. Diderot] with the imprint: Neufchastel: chez Samuel Faulche, & Compagnie, libraires et imprimeurs. The eleven volumes of plates have the title Recueil de planches, sur les sciences, les arts libéraux, et les arts mechaniques, avec leur explication; there are two variant title-pages, one giving the number of the livraison (plate volumes I--IV in the Soane copy), the other only a volume number (plates volumes V--XI in the Soane copy). The general frontispiece by Charles-Nicolas Cochin was engraved by Benoit Louis Prévost, and the majority of the plates were engraved by R. Benard; cartography by D. Robert de Vaugondy, music by Joseph Théodore Richomme. As well as being an ambitious reference work for the arts and sciences, the Encyclopédie was also a machine de guerre intended to propagate the ideas of the French Enlightenment through its attempt to classify learning and to open all domains of human activity to its readers, giving expression to many of the most important intellectual and social developments of its time. It was initially conceived by André-François Le Breton as an augmented French translation of Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopaedia (q.v.) in five volumes. After an encouraging response to a prospectus issued in 1745 the original project collapsed, and Le Breton assembled a consortium of publishers and enlarged his plan to ten volumes, securing the services of the mathematician Jean d'Alembert and the philosophe Denis Diderot who issued a further prospectus in 1750 and edited some 74,000 articles written by over 130 contributors including Voltaire, Rousseau, d'Holbach and other prominent figures. The text was published under Diderot and d'Alembert's direction in seventeen volumes between 1751 and 1765, accompanied by 2885 plates published in eleven volumes between 1762 and 1772. A seven-volume supplement was published in 1776--80 by a new partnership headed by Joseph Panckoucke who had purchased the rights to future versions of the work, comprising four more volumes of text, one volume of plates, and two volumes of index, all compiled under other editors, since Diderot had refused to edit the supplementary materials. There are two issues of the supplement, one (represented by the Soane set) having the title Supplément à l'Encyclopédie, ... with the imprint: Amsterdam: chez M.M. Rey, and the other having the title Nouveau dictionnaire pour servir de supplément aux dictionnaires des sciences, des arts et des métiers, ... with the imprint: Paris: chez Panckoucke, Stoupe, Brunet; Amsterdam: chez M.M. Rey. The index volumes have the title Table analytique et raisonnée des matières contenues dans les XXXIII volumes ... du Dictionnaire ... with the imprint: Paris: chez Panckoucke; Amsterdam: chez Marc-Michel Rey. See Madeleine Pinault, L'Encyclopédie (Paris 1993); Terence M. Russell, Architecture in the Encyclopédie or Diderot and d'Alembert: the letterpress articles and selected engravings (Aldershot 1993). See also University of Chicago: ARTFL Encyclopédie Project (Spring 2013 Edition), Robert Morrissey (ed), http://encyclopedie.uchicago.edu/. (Accessed 21 August 2013.)

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting the engraved frontispiece in vol. I and the two volumes of 'Tables'.

Binding C18th half sprinkled calf, Kiebitzpapier boards, gilt double-ruled spines, black morocco spine-labels, gilt-lettered volume numbering.

Reference Number 3896

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