Diderot on Forges.
DIDEROT, Denis. Forges ou art du fer (Forges or the Art of Making Iron) Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Plates vol. 4 Paris (1765)
Folio, 253 x 393mm. 41 pages of descriptive text & 52 loose plates with their accompanying 23 text sheets from the volume of plates. Slight browning to margins, a little spotting otherwise very good.
The 52 plates and descriptive text for the entry of Forges ou Art du Fer from volume IV of plates. The first section contains ten plates, numbered 1-10. The second section also contains ten plates, numbered 1-10, although plates 1 and 2 are double plates. The third sections contains twelve plates, numbered 1-12, with plates 1 and 2 being double plates. The fourth section is made up of 7 plates, numbered 1-7, with plates 1, 2 and 3 being double plates. There is a small about of damage to plate 5 of the fourth section.
Also with the relevant entries listed under Forger in the Table Analytique et Raisonnée du Dictionnaire des Sciences, Arts et Métiers. Vol 1 (1780)
1 page (48) from volume II of the Encyclopédie (1751) including information on Ballotter
1 page (495) from volume VI of the Encyclopédie (1756) including information on Diversités dans le travail du fer
35 pages (134-168, & 238) from volume VII of the Encyclopédie (1757) including information on Forges en général and La forge considérée comme fourneau de fusion
2 pages (312 & 313) from volume VIII of the Encyclopédie (1765) which includes information on L'accident de la mise hors dans la fonte de la mine de fer
2 pages (169 & 170) from volume VII of the Encyclopédie (1757) which includes Description du travail de l'ouvrier sur le loppin pour en faire un fer and Causes qui peuvent le procurer under Forger
With some browning to a few leaves.
This mammoth suite of plates tackles the casting of iron, beginning with images of various mines and the collecting of ore. Small and giant furnaces are examined, and the casting and finishing of the iron are shown. All aspects of forging are covered in this incredible suite of plates. No guide to eighteenth-century forging is so complete and comprehensive. Also included to help explain the art are many text entries on the subject, carefully selected from the Encyclopédie text volumes. These include articles by Diderot and Étienne-Jean Bouchu, a pioneering French steelmaker. Furthermore an article on the casting of horseshoes was contributed by Claude Bourgelat, a renowned veterinary surgeon.