Cyclopaedia or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Science Encyclopedia 1751
7th March 2017
Large Two-Volume English Encyclopedia Printed during the Enlightenment in the Mid-18th Century before Denis Diderot completed his famous encyclopedia series in French. Many fold-out copper plate engravings such as plants, navigational instruments and star maps. The best one is a huge fold-out engraving of a ship with detailed terms of all its aspects. This edition appeared nearly 20 years before the celebrated Encyclopedia Brittanica. A Must-Have for any scholarly library!
Title: Cyclopaedia (Encyclopedia) or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Science; Containing an Explanation of the Terms, and an Account of the Things Signified Thereby in the Several Liberal Arts, Both Liberal and Mechanical, and the Several Sciences Both Human and Divine.
Author, Edition, Printer, Year: by E. (Ephraim) Chambers, F.R.S., The Seventh Edition Corrected and Amended (first edition appeared in 1728). In Two Volumes, London: Printed for W. Innys, J and P. Knapton, S. Birt, D. Browne, et al. M.D.CC.LI. 1751.
Collation: Volume 1: Fold-out frontispiece engraving of scholars both ancient and modern amidst Roman ruins (often missing), Title Page, Dedication to the King (presumably King George II), Advertisement Concerning the Second Edition (i), Preface (ii-xxv), Concerning the Cuts (i.e. copper engravings), Dictionary/Encyclopedia A-K (unpaginated). Volume II: Title Page (in facsimile on rag/period-style paper), L-Z (unpaginated). Many fold-out engravings interspersed throughout. Runs nearly 2500 pages!
Size, Binding, Condition: Two large folio volumes 17"x11" (43x28cm), rebound probably in the early 20th century in black leather with triangle decorations, marbled endpapers. The main shortcoming is the second volume is missing its title page, probably not bound in during the rebind. However, a beautiful facsimile title page printed in both red and black on rag-content/cotton paper has been beautifully bound in in its place. The first original leaf of the second volume has been laminated, probably because it was fraying. Thereafter, nearly all the pages grade at just about Fine, beautiful, NO tearing. Slight toning to the first pages of each volume but minimal once you get into the books. Signs of creasing to frontispiece fold-out but no tears. All the other plate engravings are in superb condition, almost like new and appear to be all present and accounted for.
A truly amazing example of Enlightenment sensbility as demonstrated in these tomes. The first edition was issued in 1728, and reprinted in numerous editions in the eighteenth century. The Cyclopaedia was one of the first general encyclopedias to be produced in English. The title page and subtitle of the 1728 edition and all subsequent editions offer a summary of the aims of the author. The first and subsequent editions include numerous cross-references meant to connect scattered articles by the use of alphabetical order, a dedication to the King, George II, and a philosophical preface at the beginning of Volume 1. Among other things, the preface gives an analysis of forty-seven divisions of knowledge, with classed lists of the articles belonging to each, intended to serve as a table of contents and also as a directory indicating the order in which the articles should be read.
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