Diderot on Wax bleaching.
DIDEROT, Denis. Blanchissage des cires (Wax bleaching) Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Plates vol. 3 , (1763) and the Supplementary Plates Volume 1 (1777), Paris.
Folio, 253 x 393mm. 8 pages of descriptive text & 4 loose plates with their accompanying text sheet. Slight browning to margins, a little spotting otherwise very good.
The 3 numbered plates and descriptive text for the entry of Blanchissage des Cires from volume III of plates, and an additional plate entitled Purification et Blanchissage de la cire from the supplementary volume of plates.
2 pages (272 & 273) from volume II of the Encyclopédie (1751) including Préparations and Comment il se faisoit autrfois et aujourd'hui
3 pages (471-473) from volume III of the Encyclopédie (1753) including Les cires en général
2 pages (79 & 80) from volume VII of the Encyclopédie (1757) including information on Lieu où l'on fond la cire and Maniere de la fondre
1 page (434) from volume II of the Supplément à l'Encyclopédie (1776) which includes L'explication des opérations de l'art
With some browning to a few leaves.
This suite of four plates displays the whole process of wax-bleaching, and lays out the tools used in an eighteenth-century wax factory. It is also delightfully illustrated with scenes of the workshops and the equipment in use. The plates are further described in a series of articles on Cire from the text volumes, and these include contributions by Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, a naturalist of note, Chevalier Louis de Jaucourt, Gabriel François Venel, an influencial chemist and physician, and Goussier, best known for his contributions to the illustration of the Encyclopédie.