Traité Général des Pesches, et histoire des Poissons qu'elles fournissent, tant pour la subsistance des hommes, que pour plusieurs autres usages qui ont rapport aux arts et au commerce.

Eur 18,000 / USD 20,700
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Paris, Saillant & Nyon/ Desaint, 1769-1782. 4 volumes bound in 12. Folio (445 x 290mm). With 250 folding engraved plates. Later half calf, gilt ornamented spines with blue label.

one of the finest works on fishing and fisheries in any language

First edition. A rare complete copy of 'one of the finest works on fishing and fisheries in any language' (Westwood p. 82). This superbly illustrated work with large folding plates shows marine- as well as freshwater fishing, all kinds of fishing equipment, different types of fishing boats, as well as fishermen and their dresses of the various French regions. About half the plates show marine or freshwater fishes. Most of the plates have scenic backgrounds. Henri Louis Duhamel (1700-1782) was an exponent of the French enlightenment and wrote quite a number of books of scientific as well of economic interest. In 1732 he was appointed 'inspecteur généneral de la marine'.
This large monument on fishes and fishing shows the enormous economic importance of this branch of industry. The publication was an integral part of the 'Descriptions des Arts et Métiers' and was often sold separately.
"The scientific interests of Duhamel were broad. While he was concerned with the descriptions of the handicrafts of candle-making and the refining of sugar of those or the locksmith, the slater, and the maker of playing cards, and although we are likely impressed by the extensive treatise on fishes and commercial fishing which forms a part of the 'Descriptions', his fame rests perhaps largely upon his studies in agriculture and the allied field of forestry... Duhamel du Monceau presents a figure of the benign scientist such as one encounters all too rarely in cultural history" (Cole & Watts,'The handicrafts of France as recorded in the Descriptions des Arts et Métiers 1761-1788', pp. 12-13).
Complete copies should have 250 plates. Our copy has one plate double and 2 variant plates, these are not included in the total count of 250 plates. Nissen quotes 248 in error.

Provenance: Bookplate of Bibliotheca Tiliana.

Nissen, 'Schöne Fischbücher' 52; Dean 338; Cole & Watts pp. 28-29.