First edition of Hauy's survey of crystallography and chemical analysis in relation to the classification of minerals

Haüy, [R. J.]

Tableau comparatif des résultats de la cristallographie et de l'analyse chimique, relativement à la classification des minéraux.

Published 1809
Item ID 39862

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Paris, Courcier, 1809. 8vo (19.7 x 12.9 cm). lvi, 312 pp., four folded engraved plates. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards. Spine with gilt bands and title.

One of the classic works by the famous French mineralogist and chemist René Just Haüy (1743-1822) on crystallography. This is the first edition of Hauy's survey of the results of crystallography and chemical analysis in the relation to the classification of minerals, giving a detailed description of the successes and difficulties he encountered. “Chemical composition traditionally decided the four traditional classes in mineralogy - acidiferous (salts), earthy, non-metallic combustible, and metallic - and the order and genera; the form of the constituent molecule determines the species … In [t]his Tableau comparatif …, Hauy emphasized the invariability of the form and the composition of the constituent molecule of a species but was forced to admit that the definite proportions were often blurred by heterogeneous materials accidentally mixed with the compound: Only for geometry are all crystals pure" (DSB). Half-title with vague early 19th-century private library stamp with monogram (W. G. K.) and motto "Lire et Mediter" and an annotation referring to the "Journal de physique de chimie" in an old hand. Board edges and spine worn with the gilt faded. Internally clean. A good copy. DSB VI, 181; Ward and Carozzi, 1025.

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