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DAGUERRE, Louis Jacques Mand (1787-1851). Historique et description des procédés du daguerrotype et du diorama. Paris: Bèthune and Plon for Lerebours and Susse frères, 1839.
DAGUERRE, Louis Jacques Mand (1787-1851). Historique et description des procédés du daguerrotype et du diorama. Paris: Bèthune and Plon for Lerebours and Susse frères, 1839.
DAGUERRE, Louis Jacques Mand (1787-1851). Historique et description des procédés du daguerrotype et du diorama. Paris: Bèthune and Plon for Lerebours and Susse frères, 1839.
DAGUERRE, Louis Jacques Mand (1787-1851). Historique et description des procédés du daguerrotype et du diorama. Paris: Bèthune and Plon for Lerebours and Susse frères, 1839.
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DAGUERRE, Louis Jacques Mand (1787-1851). Historique et description des procédés du daguerrotype et du diorama. Paris: Bèthune and Plon for Lerebours and Susse frères, 1839.

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DAGUERRE, Louis Jacques Mand (1787-1851). Historique et description des procédés du daguerrotype et du diorama. Paris: Bèthune and Plon for Lerebours and Susse frères, 1839.

First edition, 7th issue, of Daguerre's exposition of his photographic process. Daguerre began experimenting in the 1820s with fixing the images of the camera obscura on silver chloride paper but turned his attention to the heliographic method invented by Nicphore Niépce, whose first successful photographic image was produced in 1826 or 1827 on a pewter plate coated with bitumen of Judea dissolved in oil of lavender. In 1829 Daguerre persuaded Niépce to become his partner, but it was after Niépce’s death that Daguerre accidentally discovered a quicker method of exposing and developing the Niépcian image through the application of mercury vapor. Using this method, with common table salt as the fixative, he produced his first successful permanent photographic image in 1837. He was able to buy Niépce’s son Isidore out of the partnership, thus allowing Daguerre to name the invention after himself alone.
News of the development was electric: ‘perhaps no other invention ever captured the imagination of the public to such a degree and conquered the world with such lightening rapidity as the daguerreotype’ (Gernsheim, p. 71). Along with the official documents relating to the government's review of the procedure, Daguerre's manual includes details of its genesis, a transcription of Niépce 's own description of his heliographic process, and a full illustrated description of the daguerreotype process. The work, published by order of the government, was quickly sold out. A total of 39 reprints, new editions, and translations appeared in the following 18 months. The great demand accounts for the profusion of issues of the first edition: 7 are recorded, all from the same basic setting of type, differing only in the title-page and advertising leaves. The Braune copy is of the 7th issue, but with plates from the 6th issue with the publisher's imprint, with 4 leaves of ‘Observations’ etc. and 5 advert. leaves, including a final leaf of a catalogue of sculptures. All issues of the first edition are rare. Dibner, Heralds, 183; En français dans le texte 255; Gernsheim, The history of photography, chapter 6; Grolier/Horblit 21a; PMM 318b.

Octavo (211 x 135mm). Lithographic portrait frontispiece and 6 plates, half-title (some spotting). Original printed yellow wrappers (somewhat soiled, some loss of wrapper at spine); modern cloth case.
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