Königsberg und Leipzig, Kanter (Berlin, Stettin, Leipzig, Rüdigern), 1762-75. 4to. Bound in 13 uniform contemp. full calf. Raised bands. Richly gilt spines. Titlelabels with gilt lettering. On all boards the gilt monogram on red background of King Christian VII. A stamp on title-pages. Around 6000 pp., 4 folded tables and 366 folded engraved plates (1 plate in xerox-copy). Occassionally a few minor brownspots, but fine and clean.
First German edition of this importent collection of books on crafts which is a translation of "Descriptions des Arts et Métiers..", published in French between 1761 and 1788. The full French 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. (only French editions) - Graesse II, 367 (only the French editions). - Fromm, 7040.