Diderot on Spermaceti.
DIDEROT, Denis. Blanc de Baleine (Spermaceti) Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Plates vol. 2 Paris (1763)
Folio, 253 x 393mm. 3 pages of descriptive text & 1 loose plate with its accompanying text sheet. Slight browning to margins, a little spotting otherwise very good.
The 1 plates and descriptive text for the entry of Blanc de Baleine from volume II of plates. This plate is not numbered.
1 page (36) from volume II of the Encyclopédie (1751) including Celui qu'on tire du cachalot
1 page (591) from volume V of the Encyclopédie (1755) including information on L'usage de l'emplâtre de blanc de baleine
1 page (451) from volume XV of the Encyclopédie (1765) including Blanc de baleine
With some browning to a few leaves.
This plate and the accompanying article by Diderot describe the process of creating fuel from spermaceti, a wax most commonly found in the sperm whale. The oil remains a liquid despite freezing conditions and was used for a variety of purposes, including ointments, wax candles, and in the textile industry.