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BÉLIDOR, Bernard Forest de (1697--1761)
Architecture hydraulique, ou l'art de conduire, d'elever, et de menager les eaux pour les differens besoins de la vie. Premiere partie, ... Par M. Belidor, ...

(Architecture hydraulique. Seconde partie. Qui comprend l'art de diriger les eaux de la mer & des rivieres à l'avantage de la défense des places, du commerce, & de l'agriculture. ... )

A Paris chez Charles-Antoine Jombert, libraire de l'artillerie, & du génie ([vols II-IV:] ... libraire du Roy pour l'artillerie & le génie), 1737--53.
2 pts in 4 vols ; 27.7 cm. (4°)
I,i: [8], xiv, [34], 412 p., engr. frontis. port, LX fold. pl.
I,ii: [8], 412 p., 44 fold. pl.
II,i: [8], xi, [5], xxviii, 423, [1] p., engr. frontis., 55 fold. pl.
II,ii: viii, [40], 480 p., engr. frontis., LX pl.

First edition. The two tomes of the 'Premiere Partie' were published in 1737 and 1739, and those of the 'Seconde Partie' in 1750 and 1753 respectively. Until the publication of Jean Rodolphe Perronet's Description des projets, 1782--89 (q.v.), Bélidor's work was the only source of clear and accurate illustrations of the various methods and machines for laying foundations in tidal water, including the caissons employed by Charles Labelye at Westminster Bridge. For this reason it was extremely useful to eighteenth-century bridge builders, notably to George Semple, the builder of Essex Bridge, Dublin. (See T. Ruddock, Arch bridges and their construction 1735--1835 (Cambridge, 1979), pp. 38--41.) A half-title in tom. I of the 'Premiere Partie' reads 'Architecture Hydraulique, Où L'On Enseigne La Construction Des Ecluses Et Celle De Tous Les Travaux Qui Se Font Dans L'Eau. Ouvrage Servant de Suite à la Science des Ingénieurs' (first published 1729, q.v.). The frontispieces to the two tomes of the 'Seconde Partie' were designed and engraved by [Jacques] Rigaud (ca. 1681--1754). Title-pages printed in red and black.

Copy Notes With front free-endpaper of tome I of the 'Premiere Partie' inscribed in ink John Soane / 1795.

Binding C18th sprinkled calf, gilt-tooled spines, red and black morocco spine-labels. Tome II of the 'Premiere Partie' misnumbered 'III'; tome I of the 'Seconde Partie' misnumbered 'II'.

Reference Number 1663


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