Diderot on Hemp and Cotton.
DIDEROT, Denis. Agriculture, Chanvre et Coton (Hemp and Cotton) Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Plates vol. I Paris (1762)
Folio, 253 x 393mm. 30 pages of descriptive text & 6 loose plates. Slight browning to margins, a little spotting otherwise very good.
The 7 plates and descriptive text for the entries regarding Hemp and Cotton volume I of plates. The plates come in three sets. The first set contains one plate with 1st and 2nd divisions on its first sheet and a 3rd division on the second sheet. This plate is titled Œconomie Rustique, Culture et Travail du Chanvre. The second set contains one plate, which is not numbered but is titled Œconomie Rustique, Culture et Arsonnage de Coton. The final set , titled Œconomie Rustique, Coton, contains four numbered plates.
11 pages (147-157) from volume III of the Encyclopédie (1753) including Botanique under Chanvre
2 pages (791 & 793) from volume VI of the Encyclopédie (1756) including La filasse de chanvre and Encouragemens à perfectionner les apprêts des chanvres du Berry under Chanvre
2 pages (328 & 329) from volume XIV of the Encyclopédie (1765) including Les differentes manieres de le rouir and Infection qu'il donne aux eaux où on l'a fait rouir under Chanvre
11 pages (306-316) from volume IV of the Encyclopédie (1754) including Botanique under Coton
4 pages (225, 227, 625 & 626) from volume II of the Supplément à l'Encyclopédie (1776) which includes Cotonniers des Indes, nommés capoc et capussi and Les cotonniers under Coton
With some browning to a few leaves.
Diderot and D'Alembert's Encyclopédie is well-known for its focus on the mechanical arts, factories, and agriculture. The work was dedicated to the propagation of new ideas and methods, and these plates serve as a fine example. Illustrated with a number of attractive scenes of the cultivation and manufacturing processes, this suite also contains a number of useful figures and diagrams, displaying and demonstrating the use of many eighteenth century tools and utensils.
Included with the suite of plates are the main articles for Chanvre and for Coton, both contributed to the Encyclopédie by Diderot himself. Diderot wrote several hundred articles for the work, despite being much preoccupied with the running of the project and the correction of many other contributions. In the daytime Diderot visited factories, workshops, and plantations, writing on these places during the night. He also spent considerable time studying the work of other authors, and, for example, cites Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau's pioneering work on the cultivation of hemp many times in his article on Chanvre. Other sections included here are descriptions of the cannabis plant by Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, the distinguished French naturalist, and Chevalier Louis de Jaucourt, who contributed around eighteen thousand articles for the Encyclopédie.