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15 - 16 June 1998
[MESMERISM] [BERGASSE, Nicolas (1750-1832)]. Thorie du monde et des tres organiss. Paris: [privately published], 1784.
3 parts in one volume, 2o (325 x 238 mm). Text and illustrations engraved throughout. Engraved and manuscript key plate of occult symbols from another copy loosly inserted (some fraying at edges). Original gray boards (backstrip missing); quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: "Magnetisme" hand-lettered on front cover in an early hand.
VERY RARE FIRST EDITION. THE PHILOSOPHICAL FRAMEWORK OF MESMER'S METHOD. Published in a small edition for Mesmer's inner circle, Bergasse's Thorie du monde provided the philosophical framework for Mesmer's method. It begins with an account of the ultimate nature of the cosmos, followed by discussions of physics, medicine and morals. The occult symbols used throughout have an affinity to alchemical and other magical symbols. They were "generally considered as magic hieroglyphs, capable of communicating primitive truths" (Darnton, p. 186). Crabtree 38; Dartnon, Mesmerism, pp. 186-88; Norman M50.
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