20 engraved plates (including one double-page) & several engraved vignettes (including one on the title). 2 p.l., xviii, , 460 pp. Large folio, cont. mottled calf (extremities a little worn, occasional minor foxing), triple gilt fillet round sides, green morocco oval with gilt-tooled floral device inlaid in center of both covers, spine richly gilt, green morocco lettering piece on spine. Grenoble: Cuchet, 1778.
First edition of one of the most famous and attractive of all geological books in which the author “established once and for all that basalt, a rock important scientifically because of its distinctive characteristics, its widespread occurrence, and the manner of its association with other kinds of rocks, was the product of volcanic action.”–D.S.B., IV, p. 548. Faujas compared mineralogically the rocks present in Vivarais and Velay with the ejected material of active volcanoes. “The author’s descriptions and illustrations of the extinct volcanoes are excellent, and have scarcely been surpassed in later publications.”–Zittel, p. 46.
Faujas (1741-1819), professor of geology at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, also travelled to England and Scotland where he made important geological observations.
A really nice and attractive copy of the large folio issue (the quarto issue published at the same time is more common). With the 18th-century engraved bookplate of Mr. de Soissan l’ainé of Avignon and, on title, the stamp “Antoine Polier. an:2:”. This was probably Antoine Louis Henri Polier (1741-95), who served in India and formed a fine collection of Indian paintings and manuscripts. The former was sold after Polier’s death to William Beckford. Without the final four pages containing the list of subscribers.
❧ En Français dans le Texte 169. Hoover 294.
Item ID: 6129