GUETTARD, Jean tienne (1715-1786). Autograph manuscript journal of his and Lavoisier's geological tour of Alsace, Lorraine, and Franche-Comt, .
Large 8o (217 x 140 mm). 1-214 3-812; 100 leaves (first and last leaves used as pastedowns). 98 text leaves, consisting of 2 flyleaves, 61 partially foliated leaves, 2 blank leaves, 32 partially foliated leaves written from the end, and 1 flyleaf. (A few small inkstains, corner of one leaf torn catching a letter or two.) Original wallet-binding of green vellum over thin pasteboard with fore-edge flap extending from the lower cover, leather wrap-around thong attached to the flap; folding case.
Provenance: ANTOINE LAURENT LAVOISIER (1743-1794) [see below]; Denis Ian Duveen, Lavoisier's bibliographer (bookplate and pencil inscription on fol. 1r).
Contents: Fol. 1r blank except for later owner's inscription; 1v list of expenses, mostly incurred for drawings and views executed by M. Bidermann, "dessinateur de Tzann"; 2r list of names of people to visit, 2v blank; 3-63 (foliated 1-58 [59-61]) the journal; 64-65 blank; 66-97 (written from the other direction and foliated 1-13 [14-32]) record of mineralogical specimens sent to Henri Bertin, Minister and Secretary of State, consisting of 20 shipments separately numbered but undated, the items on the first two pages with Guettard's chemical symbols (earlier versions of those used in the Atlas minralogique de la France; 98r blank, 98v 5-line miscellaneous note.
Guettard, a gifted geologist and the discoverer of the volcanic origin of the Auvergne massif, was Lavoisier's mentor in the field of geology. One of the earliest geological cartographers, Guettard had presented his first "mineralogical map" of France and England to the Acadmie des Sciences in 1743, which showed the locations of rock formations and mineral deposits. In 1766 Henri Bertin, Minister and Secretary of State in charge of mining, commissioned Guettard and the 24-year old Lavoisier to prepare a complete geological survey of France. The two made several short field trips together before setting off on their most extensive tour, through the Vosges mountains and parts of Alsace and Lorraine. This journal, of which the first entry is dated 14 June , is Guettard's scientific diary of that journey. Lavoisier's own journal of the trip is preserved in the Duveen Lavoisier Collection at Cornell University. "Accompanied by Lavoisier's servant, Lavoisier and Guettard traveled on horseback for four months, often under trying, if not actually hazardous, conditions. The letters Lavoisier exchanged with his father and his adoring aunt during this long absence from Paris have largely survived... Lavoisier's special contribution to this venture, as to the other expeditions, was to add a quantitative character to their observations. He used the barometer systematically to measure the heights of mountains and the elevations and inclinations of strata... and he collected samples of mineral and spring waters to be analyzed in the field or shipped back to Paris" (DSB). The data collected by Guettard and Lavoisier was used for their unfinished Atlas et description minralogiques de la France, of which 31 maps were published by Antoine Monnet in 1780. The Norman collection includes an early collection of the first 16 maps (see lot 602).
Presumably after Guettard's death, the journal passed into Lavoisier's possession: the Duveen collection incldues a faird copy of it in the chemist's hand, which he presumably intended to use for a published account of the journey. Duveen states that he purchased the manuscript from one Mme. de Chauzelles(?) in 1952. Norman 953.