Presentation Copy to Chevreul

Notice du Vert de Chine et de la Teinture en Vert chez les Chinois…suivie d’une Étude des Propriétés chimiques et tinctoriales du Lo-Kao, par M. J. Persoz…et de Recherches sur la Matière colorante des Nerpruns indigènes, par M. A.-F. Michel.

Two folding mounted lithographed plates & three plates with five mounted dyed cloth samples. 2 p.l., 207, [1] pp. Large 8vo, orig. sheep (rebacked & recornered, hinges strengthened). Paris: C. Lahure, 1858.

First edition; uncommon on the market. Our copy is a presentation copy from the author and the Chamber of Commerce of Lyon to the great chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889); it is hard to imagine a more appropriate association copy. The inscription is written on a decorative slip of paper mounted on the half-title; bound-in at the end is a one-page A.L.s, dated 18 April 1858, from the author, presenting this copy to Chevreul.

Green has always been the most elusive color manufactured from natural dyestuffs. Chinese green — Lo-Kao, the first true green dyestuff — was not encountered by the Europeans until the end of the 18th century and attracted much attention in the 1850s, when large quantities of the dyestuff were imported into England, the Netherlands, and France. However, in 1860 the first aniline green was discovered, and the market for Lo-Kao in the West evaporated. “After that, Lo-Kao never had a chance. It quickly disappeared into obscurity only to be thought of today as an exciting story in the history of dyeing.”–Sidney Edelstein, “Lo-Kao, the Story of Chinese Green” in American Dyestuffs Reporter (17 June 1957), pp. 433-36.

The two mounted lithographed plates depict the plant from which the dye was derived. Five mounted dyed cloth samples are present on three plates.

Very good copy.

❧ Lawrie 610. Ron, Bibliotheca Tinctoria, 896–”A 19th-century French monograph, with appendixes, on the discovery of a true green dye plant and dyeing method from China.”.

Price: $1,750.00

Item ID: 7382