The Whole Art of Dying. In two parts. The first being an experimental discovery of all the most useful secrets in dying silk, wool, linnen and the manufactures thereof, as practised in England, France, Spain, Holland and Germany… Written originally in the German language. The second part is a general instruction for the dying of wools and woollen manufactures of all colours; for the culture of the drugs used in the tinctorial art; also for the dying of hats; published by the especial command of the present French King in that language… Both of which are faithfully rendred into English from their respective originals.

London: Printed by William Pearson, for J. Sprint, Dan. Midwinter, G. Conyers, and Tho. Ballard. 1705

8vo, pp. (xx), 356. Title within double ruled border. Paper of prelims slightly browned, some occasional spotting, tiny wormhole in upper corner of two gatherings, lower blank corner of last leaf torn away without loss. Contemporary calf (rebacked preserving the original backstrip, upper cover marked, edges a little worn), new red morocco label. Provenance: signature (deleted but still legible) of Elias Newcomen on title, possibly Elias Newcomen (1706–1765), second son of Thomas Newcomen the inventor of the atmospheric steam engine. Elias was an ironmonger like his father.

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, and the first comprehensive work on dyeing in English. The first part of this milestone book on the chemistry of dyeing comprises a translation of two German works by Georg Ernst Stahl entitled Ars Tinctoria Experimentalis (Frankfurt & Leipzig, 1683) and the very brief Gruendliche Nachricht von der Pott- und Weyd-Asche (Frankfurt & Leipzig, 1685). The second part is the English version of Instruction générale pour la teinture des laines…de toutes couleurs (Paris, 1671), the first systematic technical treatise for the French dyeing industry. It is attributed to Jean Baptiste Colbert, the French finance minister who initiated reorganisation and regulation of all French industry. This work was also published in German by Stahl as Ars Tinctoria Fundamentalis (Frankfurt & Leipzig, 1683), who realised its importance. It is not clear whether this English translation was made from the original French or from Stahl’s translation. This copy has a variant imprint to that given in ESTC, which reads “printed by William Pearson, and sold by J. Nutt…” Neville, p. 403 (with same imprint). Ron, Bibliotheca Tinctoria, 1113.


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