Cyclopædia of Useful Arts, mechanical and chemical, manufactures, mining, and engineering. Edited by…
London & New York: George Vertue & Co., 1854
Large 8vo, 2 volumes bound in 9 “Divisions” with continuous pagination: pp. xvi, 832; iv, clx, 1052, 2 engraved title-pages, 1 engraved frontispiece, 40 engraved plates, and 1 folding plan. Plus 16 pp. of adverts inserted at the end. With over 2400 woodcuts in the text. Printed titles and prelims bound in Division 9, other prelims in Divisions 3, 4 and 5. Foxing on the tissue guards with some offsetting and foxing on the plates, otherwise a very clean set. Original red cloth, spines gilt and with gilt pictorial device on upper covers, uncut and a few gatherings unopened, slight soiling and slight wear to ends of spines but a lovely, bright set.
FIRST EDITION (1854 issue) of one of the principal unofficial works associated with the Great Exhibition of 1851. “This work, in addition to its general information on every topic connected with the mechanical arts and manufacturing ingenuity, contains beautifully executed views of the Great Industrial Exhibition of 1851…rendering the work a permanent record of the most valuable productions of the mechanical and scientific genius of every country in the civilised world” (advertisement). The book was issued in monthly parts beginning in 1852, in 9 “Divisions” (as here), and in two volumes (with title-pages dated either 1853 or 1854), the form now most commonly seen by far but owing to their thickness and weight are usually either rather worn or rebound.