Paris: L'imprimerie de L. F. Delatour, 1767. First edition. Wraps. An illustrated folio volume on the art of the locksmith and blacksmith, from a French Enlightenment work which competed with Denis Diderot's Encyclopedia. This folio volume with 42 full page engraved plates of the process involved in the art of metal working, and final pieces produced, from tools of the trade to ornate wrought iron work, crown jewels, lock and key mechanisms, strong boxes, padlocks & keys, springs for carriages and more.
Published along with 112 other folio volumes in the series 'Descriptions des Arts et Métiers, faites ou approuvées par messieurs de l'Académie Royale des Sciences'. It provides detailed illustrated accounts of handcrafts and manufacturing processes at use in France, and was in direct competition with Denis Diderot's Encyclopedia, a work central to the spread of the ideas of the French Enlightenment.
Topics covered in the 'Descriptions' include shipbuilding, construction, woodworking, scientific instrument making, mining and metallurgy, viticulture, porcelain, painting and textile manufacture.
Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782) was one of the most important French writers on plant physiology and agriculture, and "in this field he was one of the outstanding botanists of the eighteenth century" (Raphael). Duhamel du Monceau published the series 'Descriptions' which was edited by René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur.
Folio, iv, 302 pp, 42 engraved plates. Disbound, first 2 leaves loose; plate XLII loose. Light damp stained upper and inner edge first few pages. The engravings bright and clean, strong impressions. OCLC: 27453062. Good + condition. Item #24137