Diderot on Chemistry.
DIDEROT, Denis. Chymie (Chemistry) Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Plates vol. 3 Paris (1763)
Folio, 253 x 393mm. 50 pages of descriptive text & 23 loose plates with their accompanying 2 text sheets. Slight browning to margins, a little spotting otherwise very good.
The 23 plates and descriptive text for the entry of Chymie from volume III of plates. Plates come in two sets. The first of these contains one unnumbered plate titled Laboratoire et Tables des Raports and this is a double, and four further numbered plates, titled Caracteres de Chymie. The second set in this suite has various titles, and the plates are numbered 1-18. The first plate is titled Fourneaux, Ustencilles &c., the following fifteen Chymie, the seventeenth plate Chymie, Cristallisation des Sels, and the penultimate and final plates are also under Chymie. Plate 15 is continued on a second sheet.
2 pages (247 & 249) from volume I of the Encyclopédie (1751) including Comparaison de la chymie avec la poésie and Causes qui s'opposent aujourd'hui à ses progrès
30 pages (408-437) from volume III of the Encyclopédie (1753) including information on La chymie en général, Les chemistes célèbres, and L'histoire de la chymie
3 pages (367, 731 & 732) from volume VIII of the Encyclopédie (1765) including La chymie hydraulique de M.le comte de la Garaye, L'influence des astres établie dans la chymie par les alchymistes and Rétablie par Urbain Hierne
1 page (145) from volume IX of the Encyclopédie (1765) including La description d'un laboratoire de chymie
6 pages (272, 339, & 339-342) from volume X of the Encyclopédie (1765) including Arnauld de Villeneuve, Les explications méchaniques de la dissolution, and Comment la chymie a imité la nature dans la minéralisation des métaux
1 page (201) from volume XV of the Encyclopédie (1765) including Partie de la chymie, appellée simia par les Arabes
1 page (92) from volume XVII of the Encyclopédie (1765) including Avantages que la chymie a tirés de l'invention de verre
1 page (880) from volume III of the Supplément à l'Encyclopédie (1777) which includes La connoissance de la chymie nécessaire au médecin
5 pages (336-340) from volume IV of the Supplément à l'Encyclopédie (1777) which includes Union de la chymie & de la physique
With some browning to a few leaves.
This suite of plates opens with a double-page view of the laboratory, and shows much of the apparatus used therein. A number of tables of elements follow, with their symbols included. Many detailed illustrations of different scientific instruments and devices are shown, with particular attention paid to kilns and crucibles, beakers and balances. Some experiments and their apparatus are shown, including the method for crystallisation. The suite closes with an attractive engraved plate, an allegory of chemistry.
Several articles from the text volumes are included with this suite of plates, and among these are some of the contributions of Paul Jacques Malouin, most notably Alchimie and Alchimiste. After entering the French Academy of Sciences, Malouin was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the Jardin du Roi. He later became Médecin de la Reine and physician to the Dauphine. In 1753 he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society and in 1767 was made a professor at the Collège de France. In 1776 he was appointed professor at the Royal College where he took up the Chair of Medicine. His Treatise of Chemistry (1734) is considered his greatest work, although he was also a prolific Encyclopédist, contributing to Diderot's Encyclopédie and to Charles-Joseph Panckoucke's Encyclopédie Méthodique.
Other entries include Chymie, Hydraulique, Laboratoire, and Menstrue by Gabriel François Venel, a French doctor, pharmacist and chemist. He was the main contributor to the Encyclopédie for all subjects concerned with chemistry, and his papers became renowned for their somewhat controversial contents, in particular Menstrue. Further papers are by Chevalier Louis de Jaucourt, and Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau, who is credited with devising the first system of chemical nomenclature. Their work includes Simia and Morveau's entry on Phlogistique, a speciality subject of his.