2 December 2010
PLAYFAIR, William. Élémens de statistique, où l'on démontre, d'apreès un principe entièrement neuf, les ressources de chaque Royaume, État et République de l'Europe; suivis d'un ètat sommaire des principales Puissances et Colonies de l'Indostan. Translated from the English by Denis François Donnant. Paris: Chez Batilliot jeune et Genets jeune, 1802.
8o (200 x 123 mm). 2 large folding letterpress tables and 5 hand-colored folding engraved charts. (Some minor pale spotting.) Contemporary French tree calf gilt (a little wear to corners and spine ends).
FIRST FRENCH EDITION of Playfair's most theoretical book about graphics in which he "broke free of analogies to the physical world and drew graphics as designs-in-themselves" (Tufte). First published in English in 1801, The Statistical Breviary: shewing, on a Principle Entirely New, the Resources of every State adn Kingdom in Europe first introduced the circle diagram and pie chart that used area to represent the relative sizes of geographical regions. Playfair "offers a creative combination of different visual forms: circles (used to show the area of nations), a pie chart (to show the divisions of the Turkish Empire), and lines (to show both population and taxes)"--Akerman & Karrow, p. 231 and illustrated as fig. 131 (English edition). Kress B.4583; see Tufte, Visual Display of Quantitative Information, p. 44.
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