DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784) and D'ALEMBERT, Jean (1717-1783). Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. [I-XVII] 'Paris' or 'Neuchâtel' [but Geneva: Gabriel Cramer for Charles Joseph Panckoucke et al., 1771-1774]. 17 volumes. Half-titles, engraved frontispiece in vol. I, woodcut vignettes and diagrams, some full-page. – Recueil de planches. 'Paris' 1762-1772 [but Geneva: G. Cramer for C. J. Panckoucke, 1771-1776]. 11 volumes. Half-titles, approximately 2572 engraved plates, woodcuts. – Supplément à l'Encyclopédie. Amsterdam: M.M. Rey, 1776-1777. 5 volumes [including Suite de Receuil de planches Paris: Panckoucke, Stoupe, Brunet; Amsterdam: M.M. Rey, 1777]. Half-titles, approximately 215 engraved plates, woodcuts. – Table analytique et raisonné. Edited by Pierre Mouchon. Paris: Panckoucke; Amsterdam: Marc-Michel Rey, 1780. 2 volumes. Half-titles, engraved folding plate.
35 volumes, 2° (398 x 260mm). (Variable spotting, soiling, browning and creasing, a few small marginal tears, all mainly to text volumes.) Contemporary speckled calf, spines gilt in compartments, gilt lettering-pieces, head and tails of spines sometime chipped (some scuffing and light rubbing, extremities a little bumped). Provenance: Biblioteque d’Hauteville (bookplate) – few early annotations.
THE 'GENEVA' EDITION OF ONE OF THE MOST SPLENDID PRODUCTS OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND ONE OF THE GREAT LANDMARKS OF WESTERN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY, IN A CONTEMPORARY BINDING. 'A monument in the history of European thought; the acme of the age of reason; a prime motive force in undermining the Ancien régime and in heralding the French Revolution; a permanent source for all aspects of eighteenth-century civilization' (PMM). 'The greatest encyclopedia of science, which had widespread effect in establishing uniformity of terminology, concept, and procedure in all fields of science and technology' (Grolier/Horblit). The first seven volumes of the Encyclopédie were published in Paris under a royal privilege; when this was withdrawn in 1759 printing continued clandestinely, and the last ten volumes were issued under the false imprint of Samuel Faulche, Neuchâtel. In 1770 Panckoucke attempted to reprint the work in Paris but was opposed by the French government, and instead printed his new edition in Geneva imitating the original imprints. Panckoucke had hoped to re-use the copperplates made for the first edition, but most had to be redone. The subjects are the same, but in some cases the images are reversed. The supplemental volumes and Table analytique were published in one edition only. A FINE SET. Cf. Grolier/Horblit 25b; Lough, Essays on the Encyclopédie, London 1968; cf. PMM 200; Schwab, Rex, and Lough, Inventory of Diderot's Encyclopdie, I (1971), VII (1984) [Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 80, 223]. Because of uncertainty as to the ideal plate count of the Geneva edition, this copy is sold not subject to return.