Neuchatel, L'Imprimerie de la Société Typographique), 1771-83. 4to. Bound in 19 contemp. uniform full mottled calf. Raised bands. Gilt spines. Title-and tomelabels with gilt lettering. Spine-ends on nearly all volumes strenghtened. Stamp on title-pages. Each volume around 650 pp. With 508 fine engraved plates.
Second edition and the first 4to-edition was published in 19 volumes plus an additional volume by Jean Elie Bertrand (where vol. 20 is an additional volume published much later (1799) - not present here - dealing with the art of printing). This importent collection of books on crafts was published by between 1761 and 1788. The full series comprises 113 parts (cahiers) in 27 folio volumes along with three supplements, and "provide detailed accounts of a wide range of handcraft and manufacturing processes carried out in France at that time. The volumes are well-illustrated, with precise engravings by Jean Elie Bertrand (1737-1779) a noted typographer from Neuchâtel, where the printing was done. Many of them provide the background for shorter articles in Diderot's Encyclopedia, which was appearing at much the same time.
The project had its origin in request from Colbert in 1675 to the Academy Royal des Sciences for detailed accounts of various mechanic arts to be prepared and for new machines to be reported upon. This led to the formation of the Bignon Commission under Abbé Bignon. René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (1683-1757) became editor soon after he joined the Academy. He inherited number of drawings (the earliest prepared in 1693) and an illustrated manuscript on printing, type and book binding, which had been prepared in 1704. It was left to Réaumur's successor Duhamel du Monceau to bring about the publication of the series, probably as the result of the competition from the Encyclopedia." (Wikipedia).
Brunet II,618 ff. - Graesse II, 367.