WALLERIUS, Johann Gottschalk.

Mineralogie, ou ddscription [sic] générale des substances du regne mineral. Ouvrage traduit de l’Allemand.

A Paris: Chez Durand... [&] Pissot... .1753

2 volumes, 8vo, pp. xlvii, 569 [i.e. 589], (2); (vi), 284, 256, and 4 folding engraved plates. Faint dampstain on first and last two leaves of volume 1, stains on pp. 508–509, R7–8 in vol. 2 misbound after R3. Eighteenth century green morocco, spines gilt with two red morocco labels, triple gilt fillets on sides, gilt edges, marbled endpapers, a very attractive copy. Bookplates of Albert France Lanord and J.A. Freilich in volume 1.

FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH. The first rational classification of minerals. This was the author’s “first great work, which was received as an outstanding handbook of contemporary knowledge; never before had such a wealth of minerals been presented so systematically. Wallerius’ clear and precise descriptions, which gave more weight to essential chemical properties than to exterior appearance, opened a new epoch in mineralogy. The book became widely known in Europe through translations into German, French, Russian, and (later) Latin, and served as a model for later works” (DSB). The first edition, in Swedish, appeared in 1747. This French edition was translated by Baron d’Holbach (himself a keen collector of minerals), from the German edition of 1750, which Holbach considered preferable to the Swedish original. This edition also contains the first edition in French of Wallerius’ Hydrologia (1748), which extended Wallerius’ classification to fluids. Hoover 862. Sinkankas 6986.


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