DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784) and Jean le Rond d'ALEMBERT (1717-1783), editors. Encyclopdie, ou dictionnaire raisonn des science, des arts et des mtiers, par une socit de gens de lettres. [I-VII] Paris: Briasson, David l'an, Le Breton, Durand, 1751-1757; [VIII-XVII] Neuchtel: Samuel Faulche, 1765 - Recueil de planches, sur les sciences, les art libraux, et les arts mchaniques, avec leur explication. [I-XI] Paris: Briasson, David, Le Breton, Durand, 1762-1772. - Supplement l'Encyclopdie, ou Dictionnaire raisonn des sciences, des arts et des mtiers, par une socit de gens de lettres. Edited by Jean Baptiste Ren Robinet (1735-1820). [I-IV] Amsterdam: M.M. Rey, 1776-1777. - Suite du recueil de planches, sur les sciences, les arts libraux, et les arts mchaniques, avec leur explication. Paris: Panckoucke, Stoupe, Brunet; Amsterdam: M.M. Rey, 1777. - Table analytique et raisonne des mtieres contenues dans les XXXIII volumes in-folio du Dictionnaire des sciences, des arts, et des mtiers, et dans son supplment. Edited by Pierre Mouchon (1733-1797). [I-II] Paris: Panckoucke; Amsterdam: Marc-Michel Rey, 1780.
35 volumes, 2 (395 x 250mm). Collation and contents as in Lough and Schwab with these exceptions: Encyclopdie, 2,796 engraved plates (2,581 in Planches, 215 in Suite de planches, many folding); 1 large folding engraved Tree of Knowledge plate in Table; several inserted folding typographical tables as noted by Schwab. A COMPLETE SET: the numbers of plates given on the title-pages total 3,129 because double, triple, or quadruple folding plates are counted as 2, 3, or 4. (Some occasional dampstaining and browning, affecting text more often than plates.) Near uniform contemporary French mottled calf, spines in 7 compartments, gilt in five, red and black morocco lettering-pieces in two, red edges (one cover dampstained, some joints tender or slightly cracked).
FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE MOST SPLENDID PRODUCTS OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND ONE OF THE GREAT LANDMARKS OF WESTERN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY. 'A monument in the history of European thought; the acme of the age of reason; a prime motive force in undermining the Ancien rgime and in heralding the French Revolution; a permanent source for all aspects of eighteenth-century civilisation -- and a classical example of how not to arrange a work of reference' (PMM). 'The greatest encyclopaedia of science, which had widespread effect in establishing uniformity of terminology, concept, and procedure in all fields of science and technology' (Grolier/Horblitt). The greater part of the 71,818 articles in the complete work were written by Diderot and D'Alembert, followed by Baron d'Holbach, who contributed about 400 articles. Among the other collaborators were Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Buffon, Marmontel, Condorcet, Necker, and Turgot.
The first seven volumes of the Encyclopdie were published in Paris under a royal privilege. After this was withdrawn in 1759 printing continued clandestinely, and the last ten volumes were issued under the false imprint of Samuel Faulche, Neuchtel. The plates, not being considered subversive, were published in Paris. Subsequently the work was reprinted, in whole or in part, in several editions that were designed to look like the original, even imitating the original imprints. The four volumes of the supplement were published in one edition only but in two issues, one with a Paris imprint, the other with an Amsterdam imprint; the supplemental volume of plates has the imprint Paris and Amsterdam.
Grolier/Horblit 25b; John Lough, Essays on the Encyclopdie of Diderot and D'Alembert, London 1968; Richard N. Schwab, W.E. Rex, and J. Lough, Inventory of Diderot's Encyclopdie I (1971), VII (1984) [Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 80, 223]; Norman 637; PMM 200; (35)