“The acme of the age of reason”, complete with 3129 plates

Diderot, Denis & d'Alembert, Jean Le Rond. Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une Societé de gens de lettres. Mis en ordre & publié par M. Diderot [...]; & quant à la partie mathematique, par M. d'Alembert [...].

"Paris" [i. e., Geneva], "1751-1772" [i.e., 1771-1776].

Folio. 17 text vols., 11 plate vols., 5 vols. of supplements. Without the 2 index vols. Altogether 33 vols. with 3129 plates (doubles and triples counted as such) and the engraved frontispiece. Contemporary marbled calf, gilt, with double spine labels.


First edition, second printing, issued simultaneously with the final volumes of the original edition and even reproducing its predecessor's imprint down to the original years of publication. It can be distinguished from the original edition only by the missing accent over the word "Mathématique" and two additional composition errors in the title, for which reason the trade usually offers it as the first edition: indeed, among the more than fifty "Paris" folio editions of the "Encyclopédie" auctioned during the last decades, not a single one is identified as the Geneva reprint, although this edition's press-run was fully half as great as that of the Paris original.

The supplement volumes, which "had no formal connection with the original 'Encyclopédie' and involved a new group of contributors" (Darnton 33), are here present in the 1776-1777 edition published in Paris and Amsterdam, which is generally treated as part of the Paris first edition.

Lough 15-21 & 52-110. Darnton 34. Cf. PMM 200.

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