5 April 2016
PLANAZU, Rey de (18th century). Ouevres d’Agriculture. Paris: Grange, 1786-87.
26 parts in one volume, 4° (257 x 192 mm). 30 full-page engraved plates, printed on blue paper and all (except allegorical plate in part 23) colored by a contemporary hand. Contemporary French calf, spine gilt, with the ticket of Derome (repairs to ends of spine).
FIRST EDITION, each part title and most plates signed by the author and with his inkstamp. “A fascinating witness of French scientific activity in the years before the Revolution. The scholarly contributions to the improvement of agriculture in this series are individually dedicated to different persons of high rank whose finely engraved and hand-colored arms are printed at the head of the plate illustrating the respective essay.
“The author, Rey de Planazu, calls himself a member of the Société Physique et Economique of Zurich and is obviously the originator of the great variety of suggestions for the rationalization of agriculture and also the inventor of the machines and tools described and depicted on the BRILLIANTLY COLORED PLATES. The subjects treated include improved ways of sowing, threshing, raising poultry, culturing bees, a new device for the artificial hatching of chicken eggs, for cutting turnips, straw, leaves; an early silo, etc. The more philosophical essay on the blessings of nature and working the land for humanity is dedicated to Frederick the Great (although the imprint is of 1787, a year after his death) who is known for having encouraged new agricultural methods in Prussia” (Lathrop C. Harper, catalogue 227, item 103).
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