London, South Kensington
23 April 2008
DAGUERRE, Louis Jacques Mandé (1787-1851). Historique et description des procédés du daguerréotype et du diorama. Paris: Lerebours & Sous frères, 1839. 8° (205 x 131mm). Half title, lithographed frontispiece portrait of the author and 6 plates, 11pp. advertisments at the end (a few light spots, one plate very lightly browned). Modern morocco-backed boards, original printed wrappers bound-in (both wrappers laid down, front wrapper with long closed tear).
FIRST EDITION of Daguerre's exposition of his photographic process. No one individual can be called a true inventor of photography, but Daguerre's technique of fixing photographic images on a metallic surface was the first to capture the public's curiosity and imagination, bringing photography out of the laboratories of a few researchers into the mass market. Daguerre's manual, 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. Of these the first four differ in the booksellers' names alone. Only three copies of the first issue are known. RARE. Dibner 183; Norman 569; PMM 318; Gedeon pp.202-03.
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