Rare first geological and mineralogical survey of the Pyrenees.

Palassou, P. B.

Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire naturelle des Pyrénées, et des pays adjacens. [AND] Suite des mémoires pour servir à l'histoire naturelle des Pyrénées, et des pays adjacens.

Published 1815-1819
Item ID 42052

excl. VAT

Pau, Vignancour, 1815-1819. Two volumes in two (20.7 x 12.7; 19.6 x 12.0 cm). 8vo. 954 pp. [xvi, 485; xxiii, 430]. Contemporary green boards. Spine with gilt bands and red morocco label with gilt title (volume I), and near contemporary half calf over marbled boards. Spine with five raised bands and gilt title. Marbled endpapers (volume II).

Abbé Pierre Bernard Palassou (1745-1830) was the first explorer of the Pyrenees; the contents of his work are mainly geological and mineralogical such as: Observations faites au Pic du Midi et de la Vallée d'Ossau; Mémoires sur les atterrisemens; Inclination des Couches; Les eaux minérales; Les pierres calcaires; Sur l'ophite des Pyrénées; la formation des vallées des Pyrénées; Observations sur les époques de la formation respective du Granit en Masse; and Tremblemens de terre et des globes de feu. There are also observations on birds and oak trees. In 1781 he had published his Essai sur la minéralogie des Monts Pyrénéesto which he often refers in his introduction. See Geikie's Founders of Geology p. 452 and Zittel, p. 102: "Palassou used special symbols to distinguish the different rocks and minerals on the maps and he concluded that the whole mountain chain is made up of limestone, shale, clay and granite". The first volume has an armorial bookplate of Thomas Munro "Dread God" on the front pastedown, and is signed by a former owner, "Lindertis", on the front free endpaper; the second volume, titled Suite des mémoires... is clean. Not uniformly bound, yet a very good set. Cat. BM(NH) IV, p. 1503; Not in Ward and Carozzi.

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