Opuscules physiques et chimique.
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent (1743-94). Opuscules physiques et chimiques. 8vo. xxx, , 443pp. 3 folding engraved plates. Paris: Deterville, An IX - 1801. 218 x 140 mm. Modern half morocco, marbled boards in antique style. Minor dampstaining, edges a little frayed, but very good.
Second edition. Opuscules physiques et chimiques was Lavoisier's first major work, "an advance over anything which had gone before" (Partington III, p. 393), in which he expressed his first doubts about the validity of the phlogiston theory. The Opuscules contains a history of gases (about which very little was known at the time) and a record of the quantitative experiments Lavoisier had carried out the previous year with great excitement and a presentiment of their revolutionary potential. He attacked the problems of combustion, calcination and air fixation, and solved the questions of whether quicklime is more or less complex than chalk; whether quicklime contains acidum pingue or fixed air; whether a metal is more or less complex than its calx; and whether calcination or combustion of a substance depends on the absorption of air.
There are two versions of the 1801 edition of the Opuscules, of which we are offering the second. The first version is actually a reissue of the first edition of 1774 with a new half-title and title; the plates are signed "de la Gardette del. et Sculp." The second version, which is the true second edition, is a complete reprint of the work with the errata corrected in the text and the plates re-engraved by "Tardieu l'ainé Rue de Sorbonne, No. 385." "This issue was printed as a third volume to the 'Troisième Edition' of the Traité elémentaire de chimie, and the three volumes are uniform in size, title-page, format and type. It was the first new printing of the Opuscules since Lavoisier's death" (Duveen & Klickstein 123).
Book Id: 14820