Métrologie ou Traité des Mesures, Poids et Monnoies des anciens Peuples & des Modernes. Alexis Jean Pierre PAUCTON.
Métrologie ou Traité des Mesures, Poids et Monnoies des anciens Peuples & des Modernes.

Métrologie ou Traité des Mesures, Poids et Monnoies des anciens Peuples & des Modernes.

Numerous tables in the text. xv, [1], 955, [1], 6 pp. Large thickish 4to, cont. polished calf (foot of upper joint with a short & unimportant crack), spine gilt, contrasting morocco lettering piece on spine. Paris: la Veuve Desaint, 1780.

First edition and an enormously useful book in which the author compares many of the weights, measures, and currencies of antiquity with modern counterparts throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Paucton (1736-98), professor of mathematics at Strasbourg, was later in the Paris bureau of surveys.

This is a classic book in the history of weights and measures; Gibbon described it as “useful and laborious.” “At the era of its publication this very learned work was universally admitted to be the most complete and important that had appeared on the subjects of which it treats; and though materially affected by the changes which have taken place in the interval, especially the introduction of the metrical system into France, it continues to be held in high estimation. Exclusive of the subjects which properly belong to a treatise on Metrology, it embraces a great various of curious and profound discussions upon collateral topics, which, though they have added considerably to its bulk, have greatly increased its interest and value.”–McCulloch, p. 137.

Chapter VIII examines, country by country, the physical size of the whole world and provides detailed demographic breakdowns for Europe in particular.

A very fine copy of a book full of the most wonderful information which is difficult to find anywhere else. If you want to know what French money was worth in Palermo or Beijing in 1665, this book will furnish the information.

❧ Poggendorff, II, 378.

Price: $4,000.00

Item ID: 2484