Rare early treatise on chemistry with illustrations of furnaces, distillery equipment and more

Beguin, J.

Les elemens de chymie de M. Iean Beguin aumosnier du roy. Reueuz, notez, expliquez, & augmentez, par I. L. D. R. B. IC. E. M. En cette derniere edition ont esté adiouttées plusieurs explications obmises aux precedentes impressions, & plusieurs preparations de remedes tirés de la derniere edition Latine.

Published 1665
Item ID 19974

excl. VAT

Lyon, Claude Chancey, 1665. Small 8vo (15.6 x 9.5 cm). Title page with wood engraving, [xiv], 384, [xxiv] pp.; three wood-engravings in the text. Twentieth century full calf. Spine with five gilt-lined raised bands; compartments with small gilt floral vignettes and morocco label with gilt title. Marbled endpapers.

Rare early treatise on chemistry in two parts, written by the French chemist Jean Beguin (ca. 1550- ca. 1620). "For Beguin, chemistry was the art of separating and recombining natural mixed bodies to produce agreeable and safe medicines" (DSB). This work includes the wood engraved printers device on the title page (with a repair at the lower right corner), an interesting list of les operations de Chymie and a list of the main "minerals" (actually elements) being: plomb ( Saturne), estain ( Jupiter), le fer ( Mars), l'or ( Sol), cuivre ( Venus) and argent ( Mercure and Lune). This is probably the fourth edition ("cette derniere edition ont esté adiouttées plusieurs explications obmises aux precedentes impressions"); the first printing was published in 1615. The three engravings depict two primitive furnaces and one with several bottles especially made for chemical experiments. The pictorial bookplate of the chemical library of Roland Voegeli on the front pastedown. The binding is later but very well-done. Some text in an old hand on the blank verso of the last page, and on the list of minerals. A few pages cut short, and a faint waterstain on the bottom of the first pages; otherwise a good, complete copy. DSB 1, p. 571. Not in Brunet.

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