BORGNIS, Giuseppe Antonio.

Traité Complet de Mécanique appliquée aux arts, contenant l’exposition méthodique des théories et des expériences les plus utiles pour diriger le choix, l’invention, la construction et l’emploi de toutes les espèces de machines. Paris: Bachelier… 1818 [–1820]. [And:] Théorie de la mécanique usuelle, ou introduction à l’étude de la mécanique appliquée aux arts.

Paris: Bachelier…1821

Together 9 volumes, 4to, with 244 plates + 5 plates in the Théorie de la mécanique usuelle. Contemporary flame calf by Cabasson of Paris with his ticket, gilt borders on sides, flat spines intricately gilt with red and green morocco labels, marbled edges and endpapers. Some very minor rubbing, short crack in foot of one lower joint, one spine with a few wormholes in the joints, but a beautiful set.

FIRST EDITIONS. This comprehensive work on machinery and mechanical engineering of all kinds was probably the last work of its kind before the proliferation of machinery in the early nineteenth century made such a work impossible, and the subject matter became more specialised. The volumes are as follows: Volume 1. Composition des machines. Pp. xxxiii, 1 leaf (errata), pp. 428, (2) contents, (2) blank, 43 plates. Volume 2. Mouvemens des fardeaux. Pp. xii, 335, 20 plates. Volume 3. Des machines employées dans les constructions diverses. 2 leaves, pp. 4 (advertisement), xii, 319, 26 plates. Volume 4. Des machines hydrauliques. 4 leaves, pp. viii, 294, 27 plates. Volume 5. Des machines d'agriculture. 2 leaves, pp. viii, (ii) contents, 288, 28 plates. Volume 6. Des machines employées dans diverses fabrications. 2 leaves, pp. x, 270, 29 plates. Volume 7. Des machines qui servent à confectionner les étoffes. 2 leaves, pp. x, 332, 44 plates. Volume 8. Des machines imitatives et des machines théâtrales. 2 leaves, pp. viii, 2 leaves (contents and errata), pp. 298, (2) advertisement dated June 1820, 27 plates. Two companion or supplementary volumes were published later, Théorie de la mécanique usuelle (1821) (as here), and Dictionnaire de mécanique appliquée aux arts (1823), which are sometimes found with the main work. These have the same format and style, but do not have the series title. Although of Italian origin, Borgnis (1781–1863) was a French engineer (Joseph Antoine Borgnis). He was later professor of mechanics at the university in Pavia, and a member of the Reale Istituto Lombardo di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti.


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