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Balthazar-Georges Sage
SAGE, Balthazar-Georges.

SAGE, Balthazar-Georges.
(1740 - 1824)

(Born: Paris, France, 7 May 1740; Died: Paris, France, 9 September 1824) French apothecary, mineralogist, chemist & metallurgist.

Sage, the son of a pharmacist, became a pharmacist himself, and was educated by Abbé Nollet and Rouelle. In 1760, he delivered a series of public lectures on chemistry and assaying in the family pharmacy. As a result of pressures from King Louis XV, in 1778 Sage was appointed extraordinary professor of mineralogy and assaying at the Paris Mint. As a principal founder of the Paris School of Mines and the Museum of Mineralogy in 1783, he became the director of both and a professor, teaching classes in both chemistry and mineralogy. Sage was elected a member of the French Academy of Science. His research emphasized assaying and chemical analysis, galvanism and natural history.

Biographical references: ABF: I 924, 182-208. Aguillon, L., "L'École des mines de Paris-notice historique", Annales de Mines, 8th Series, 15, (1889), 433-686. [History of the Paris School of Mines.]. Biographie Universelle: 37, 230-2 [by J.F. Michaud, Jr.]. Dorveaux, P., "Apothicaires membres de l'Académie royale des sciences, XI, Balthazar-Georges Sage", Revue d'Histoire de la Pharmacie, 23, (1935), 152-66 & 216-32. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: nos. 4698-4701. DSB: 12, 63-9 [by H. Guerlac]. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 2, 312-3. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 373. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer): 42, col. 1010-11 [by E. Mézièrs]. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 3, 97-8. Poggendorff: 2, col. 732-4. Rouff, M., Les mines de charbon en France au XVIIIe siècle, 1744-1791. Paris, 1922. Sage, B.-G., Notice biographique. Paris, 1818. 37 p. [A supplement of 22 pages was published in 1820.]. Todericiu, D., "Balthsar-Georges Sage (1740-1824) Chimiste et Minéralogiste Français Fondateur de la Première Ecole des Mines (1783)", Revue d'Histoire Sciences, 37, (1984), 29-46. WBI. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994. World Who's Who in Science: 1466.

1. French, 1769.
Examen | Chymique | De Différentes | Substances Minérales; | Essais sur le Vin, les Pierres | les Bézoards, & d'autres Parties | d'Historie Naturelle & de Chymie; | Traduction d'une Lettre de | Monsieur Lehmann, sur la Mine | de Plomb Rouge. | Par M. Sage. | [ornament] | A Paris, | De l'Imprimerie de P. de Lormel, rüe | du Foin, à l'Image Sainte Genevieve. | [double rule] | M.DCC.LXIX. | Avec Privilege.

12°: a6 A-K12 L6 χ3; 135l.; [i]-xii, [1]-151 (i.e. 251), [7] p. Pages 242-251 misnumbered 141-151. Page size: 166 x 972 mm.

Rare. A collection of short essays on a variety of subjects connected to minerals, ores, gems and fossils, also including an essay on the best method to determine the quality of wine. Other topics covered are the preparation of blue paint pigment from lapis lazuli, an important chemical and physical examination of human and animal calculi or bezoars, and a translation of a letter from Johann Georg Lehmann describing "red lead" (i.e. Crocoite) found in the lead mines of Siberia. Among other characteristics, the mineral is described as being worth its weight in gold to Russian collectors.

Related work, 1773: Mémoires | de | Chimie. | Par M. Sage. | [ornament] | A Paris, | de l'Imprimerie Royale. | [rule] | M. DCCLXXIII. 8°: *4 A-T8; 155 leaves.; [i]-vii, [1], [1]-262, [i]-xxxviii, [2] p., with royal arms on title and one folding engraved plate.

[i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; iii-iv, "Avertissement."; v-vii, "Table des Mémoires de Chimie, Contenus dans cet Quvrage."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-262, Text.; i-xxxviii, "Table des Matières contenues dans ces Mémoires de Chimie."; [1 pg], Errata.; [1 pg], Blank.

Scarce. This collection of chemical papers mostly deals with the analyses of ores and minerals containing arsenic, antimony, cobalt, silver, copper, iron, etc. Other topics include coal, glass, the crystallization of metals from amalgams, metallic calces and remarks on a table of chemical affinities. Many of the papers are reprinted from Memoires de l'Academie des Sciences (1766-1772). "Of some interest is the paper on `animal salt' (pp. 59-65) in which Sage describes the preparation of crystalline potassium ferrocyanide." (Cole).

Bibliographical references: Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 1147. Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 523. Edelstein, Catalog of the History of Chemistry, 1981: no. 2030. LKG: XI 3. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 3, 98. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 5679. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1942.

Description Méthodique du Cabinet, 1784

2. French, 1784 [Collection catalog].
Description | Méthodique | Du Cabinet | De | L'École Royale | Des Mines. | Par M. Sage. | [ornament] | A Paris, | De L'Imprimerie Royal. | [double rule] | M. DCCLXXXIV.

8°: π1 *8 A-Z8 Aa-Hh8 Ii2; 259l.; [2], i-xvi, [1]-487, [1], i-xi, [1] p., one table. Page size: 180 x 120 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; i-v, "Avertissement."; vi, "Errata."; vii-xvi, "Table Synoptique | de la description méthodique du Cabinet | de l'École royale des Mines."; [1]-482, Text, being descriptions of the specimens.; 483-487, "État du Laboratoire de l'École | Royale des Mines."; [1 pg], Blank.; i-xi, "Table Alphabétique | Des matières contenues dans la Description | méthodique du Cabinet de l'École royale | des Mines."; [1 pg], Blank.

Scarce. The Paris School of Mines was established in March 19, 1783. This is a catalog of its mineral collection that according to Sage's advertisement was at the time one of the most complete in Europe. The specimens are ordered by chemical qualities, which had been determined through experimentation and blowpipe analysis. Brief descriptions and locality information are provided for each entry, but the overall content is scant on information.

Bibliographical references: CBN: 159, cols. 1190-1201. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 273. LKG: XV 37. Partsch, Katalog der Bibliothek, 1851: no. 481. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 5685. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 49-50, 53 & 223.

3. French, 1787 [Suppl.].
Supplément | À La | Description | Méthodique | Du Cabinet de l'École Royale | des Mines. | Par M. Sage. | [ornament] | A Paris, | De L'Imprimerie Royale. | [double rule] | M. DCCLXXXVII.

8°: π1 A-I8 K6; 79l.; [2], 1-156 p. Page size: 180 x 120 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; 1-4, "Avertissement."; [5]-156, Text.

Rare. This supplement includes descriptions of specimens that were new to the collection or overlooked in the original volume.

Bibliographical references: BL.

Élémens de Mineralogie Docimastique, 1772

4. French, 1772 [First edition].
Élémens | de Mineralogie | Docimastique, | Par M. Sage, | De l'Académie Royale des Sciences. | [ornament] | A Paris, | Chez P. de Lormel, Imprimeur- | Libraire de l'Académie Royale de | Musique, rue du Foin. | [rule] | M. DCC. LXXII. | Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roi.

8°: a8 b4 A-R8 S2; 150l.; [i]-xxiv, [1]-276 p. Facing page 260 is a folding plate, "Table des cinq Matieres qui servent | a Mineraliser les Substances metalliques." Page size: 192 x 120 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-iv, Dedication to Monseigneur Bertin.; v-xj, "Préface."; [xii], Blank.; xiij-xxiv, "Table Synoptique."; [1]-259, Text.; [260], "Extrait Des Registres."; [One folding table].; 261-276, "Table | Alphabétique | Des Matieres."

Scarce. Contains the material the author covered in a course on chemistry and mineralogy, which he had taught for twelve years. The text is divided into three parts. The first deals with the five mineral acids, fixed and volatile alkalies, various salts and bitumens. The second attempts to show that the so-called simple earths are salts whose basis is the absorbant earth. The third section covers metals. At the conclusion is a short section on the analysis of mineral waters. Cole (1988) says a number of the analyses are fanciful.

Bibliographical references: BL [970.i.3]. Bolton, Bibliography of Chemistry, 1893: 795. Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 1143. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 80. Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 523. Ferchl: 463. Hoover Collection: no. 708. LKG: XI 5b. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 5681. Todericiu, D., "Balthsar-Georges Sage (1740-1824) Chimiste et Minéralogiste Français Fondateur de la Première Ecole des Mines (1783)", Revue d'Histoire Sciences, 37, (1984), 29-46: 36 & 41.

5. French, 1777 [2nd edition].
Élémens | De | Minéralogie | Docimastique. | Par M. Sage. | Seconde Édition. | [rule] | Tome Premier \hbox{[-Second].} | [rule] | [ornament] | A Paris, | De L'Imprimerie Royale. | [double rule] | M DCCLXXVII.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: a-c8 A-X8 Y2; 244l.; [i]-xlvii, [1], [1]-339, [1] p., frontispiece (portrait of Sage); [Vol 2] 8°: π1 A-Z8 Aa-Bb8 a-c8; 225l.; [2], [1]-400, i-xlvi, [2] p., one plate, one table. The plate in the volume reproduces the table from the first edition, which is titled, "Tableau des Combinaisons de l'Acide Phosphorique." Page size: 192 x 120 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; iii-iv, "Avertissement."; v-xxiv, "Préface."; xxv-xlvii, "Table synoptique des Élémens de Minéralogie docimastique."; [1 pg], Blank, except for catchword: Élémens.; [1]-339, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-400, Text.; i-xlvi, "Table alphabétique des matières contenues dans cet Ouvrage."; [1 pg], Errata, for both volumes.; [1 pg], "Avis au Relieur."

Scarce. A greatly expanded second edition that corrects some experimental results given in the first by repeating the original experiments and persenting many more. Division of the text is the same as the first with the third section covering the mineralogy of metals occupying the whole of volume two.

Trois parties: I. Acides minéraux, alkalis, sels, bitumes. II. Les terres simples, qui sont des sels dont la base sont des terres absorbantes. III. De la docimastique, et des métaux.

Bibliographical references: BL [990.f.12, 13]. Bolton, Bibliography of Chemistry, 1893: 795. Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 1144. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 80. Ferchl: 463. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 2, 312-3. Hoover Collection: no. 708. LKG: XI 5b. Monthly Review: 57 (1777), 553-64. NUC [NS 0021357]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 2, 390. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 5683.

6. German, 1775 [German transl.].
Des Herrn Sage | Chemische Untersuchung | verschiedener Mineralien. | Aus dem Französischen überseßt. | [rule] | Mit einigen Anmerkungen | vermehrt | von | Johann Beckmann | ordentlichem Professor der Oekonomie zu Göttingen. | [double rule] | Göttingen, | im Verlag der Wittwe Bandenhoek | 1775.

8°: π2 A-M8 N6 O4; 108l.; [4], [1]-208, [4] p. Page size: 190 x 115 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], "Vorrede"-dated 4 March 1775.; [1]-208, Text.; [4 pgs], "Inhalt."

Rare. Translation by Ludwig Albert Gottfried Schrader [1751-1815] of Élémens de Minéralogie Docimastique (1st ed., Paris, 1772). Johann Anton Beckmann [1739-1811] wrote the preface.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XI 4a. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 5680 [not seen].

7. Italian, 1786 [Italian transl.].
[Italian Translation]. Siena, 1786.

8°: No information concerning this supposed translation has been uncovered. This edition is most probably a phantom. Extremely rare.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XI 5. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 5684 [not seen].

8. German, 1775 [German transl.].
Anfangsgründe der Mineralogie nach Grundsätzen der Probierkunst. Aus dem Französischen des Herrn Sage mit ... Anmerkungen vermehrt von Nathanael Gottfried Leske. Leipzig, Böhme, 1775.

8°: [16], 265 p.

Rare. Translation by Nathanael Gottfried Leske of Élémens de Minéralogie Docimastique (Paris, 1772).

Bibliographical references: BL [ 973.b.11.(1.)]. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 5682 [not seen].

9. French, 1780.
L'art d'essayer l'or et l'argent tableau comparé de la coupellation des substances métalliques, par le moyen du plomb ou du bismuth procédés pour obtenir l'or plus pur que par la voie du départ par M. Sage. Paris, de l'imprimerie de Monsieur, 1780.

xii, 112 p., [4] leaves of plates.

Very scarce. Gold - Assaying. Assaying. Silver - Assaying.

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