Diderot on Artificial Flower Making.
DIDEROT, Denis. Fleuriste Artificiel (Artificial flower maker) Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Plates vol. 4 Paris (1765)
Folio, 253 x 393mm. 1 page of descriptive text & 8 loose plates with their accompanying text sheet from the volume of plates. Slight browning to margins, a little spotting otherwise very good.
The 8 plates and descriptive text for the entry of Fleuriste Artificiel from volume IV of plates. Plates are numbered 1-8. Plate 8 is a double plate.
1 page (780) from volume XVII of the Encyclopédie (1765) including information on Les ouvrages : description des opérations de son art.
With some browning to a few leaves.
An important home industry in the eighteenth-century, France was for some time at the forefront of the manufacture of artificial flowers. The first plate's charming studio scene depicts a small, yet busy and lively workshop. Further plates show the patterns used and the tools employed, the aim of the plates volumes being the provision of useful guides for learning and improving the craft. The final plate, larger than the rest, is an illustration of a marvellous table display, a depiction of a formal garden.
The suite, and the accompanying article on Fleuriste are the work of Jacques-Raymond Lucotte, whose contribution to the plates volumes is far more extensive than his work in the text volumes. He designed over 650 himself and wrote around forty-five of their commentaries. He was heavily influenced by the Descriptions des arts et métiers of the Paris Académie royale des sciences. Although his speciality was masonry and architecture, his contribution on artificial flowers is characteristic of his attention to detail.