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A.J. Dezallier D'Argenville
DEZALLIER D'ARGENVILLE, Antoiné Joseph.

DEZALLIER D'ARGENVILLE, Antoiné Joseph.
(1680 - 1765)

(Born: Paris, France, 4 July 1680; Died: Paris, France, 29 November 1765) French naturalist.

Dezallier was born the son of a prosperous Paris bookseller. He studied at the Collége du Plessis, and from 1713 to '16 in Italy. After his return to France, he purchased the post of secretary to the King, and became Maitre des Comptes in 1733 and counselor to the King in 1748. In 1716, he settled in Paris where he acquired a reputation as an expert collector of objects of art and curiosities of nature. Further travels to Germany, Holland, and England widened his circle of acquaintance and enlarged his collection of objects. Besides his works in natural history, D'Argenville is most well-known for his work on the life of artists, Abregé de la Vie des plus Fameux Peintres (Paris, 1745-52, 1762). Dezallier became member of the Société Royale des Sciences de Montpellier in 1740, of the Royal Society of London in 1750, and of the Académie de La Rochelle in 1758.

Biographical references: ABF: I 305, 48-50; 318, 130-138. Biographie Universelle: 11, 598-9. DBF: 3, 581-3 [by E.-G. Ledos]. De Ratte, A., "Eloge de M.Desallier d'Argenville" (pp. ix-xxiv), in: Dezallier d'Agenville, A.J., La Conchyliologie. Third edition. Paris, 1780. DSB: 1, 243-4 [by Y. Laisus]. Feller, Biographie Universelle, 1851. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 13. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer): 14, 10-1. Poggendorff: 1, col. 566. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 898. WBI.

Enumerationis Fossilium, 1751

1. Latin, 1751.
Enumerationis | Fossilium, | Quæ in omnibus Galiæ Provinciis | reperiuntur, | Tentamina: | Auctore A.J. D. Dargenville, è Regiis | Scientiarum Societatibus Londinensi & Monte- | Pessulanensi. | [ornament] | Parisiis, | Apud Joannem de Bure, natu majorem, ad | ripam Augustianam, sub signo Sancti Pauli. | [double rule] | M. DCC LI.

8°: a4 A4 B-H8 I9 (A1 not signed, A2 signed A1, A3 signed A2, etc); 72l.; [2], [j]-viij, 1-131, [3] p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [j]-viij, "Proœmium."; 1-131, Text.; [1 pg], "Approbation."; [2 pgs], "Tabula | Viginti Quatuor."

Rare. A province by province description of the fossils, stones and minerals in the ancient region of Galiae in France. This is one of the first works to systematically treat the fossils and minerals of that country. The author provides for each species listed the place of its origin and a description of its appearance.

Bibliographical references: Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906: 37. Bork, Palaeontology in France, 1973. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 157. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 94. Jonathan Hill, Bookseller: cat. 32, no. 56. Leipziger gelehrte Zeitung: 1752, 258. LKG: XIV 329. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 661.

L'Histoire Naturelle, 1742

2. French, 1742 [First edition].
[In red:] L'Histoire Naturelle | [in black:] Éclaircie Dans Deux De Ses Parties Principles. | [in red:] La Lithologie | [in black:] Et La | [in red:] Conchyliologie, | [in black:] Dont L'Une | [in red:] Traite Des Pierres | [in black:] Et L'Autre | [in red:] Des Coquillages, | [in black:] Ouvrage Dans Lequel On Trouve | une Nouvelle méthode & une notice critique des principaux | Auteurs qui ont écrit sur ces matiéres. | Enrichi de Figures dessinées d'après Nature. | Par M *** de la Société Royale des Sciences de Montpellier. | [ornament] | [in red:] A Paris, | [in black:] Chez [in red:] De Bure [in black:] l'Aîné, Quay des Augustins, du côté du Pont | Saint Michel, à Saint Paul. | [rule] | [in red:] M. DCC. XLII. | [in black:] Avec Approbations Et Privilege Du Roy.

4°: a4 A-3Q4; 250l.; [8], [1]-491, [1] p., frontispiece, 32 plates. Title page in red and black. Page size: 288 x 210 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Dedication to the Société Royale des Sciences."; [3 pgs], "...Approbation..."; [1 pg], "Avis Aux Relieurs Pour Placer." [=placement of plates in the text].; [1]-91, Text, "La | Lithologie."; [92], Blank.; 93-105, "Explication | De Plusieurs Termes."; [106], Blank.; [107], Sectional title page, "Seconde Partie. | Conchyliologie | Ou | Traité Général | Des Coquillages De Mer, | De Riviére Et De Terre, | Dans Lequel On Trouvera Une Nouvelle | méthode accompagnée de tables latines & françoises, pour | distribuer ces Coquillages suivant leurs caratéres généri- | ques dans les classes qui leur conviennent. | Avec | Des Remarques Sur Chacune De Leurs Familles, | des Figures en taille-douce des plus belles Coquilles dessinées d'après nature, avec leurs explications."; [108], Blank.; [109]-395, Text, "La | Conchyliologie."; [396], "On a cru faire plaisir au Public ..."; [397], "Table | Alphabetique."; 398-456, Text.; 457-491, "Table | Alphabetique | Des Matieres | Contenues Dans Cet Ouvrage."; [1 pg], Additions Et Corrections."

Plates: The 33 engraved plates show mineralogical and conchological subjects. All the plates indicate they were engraved by Chedel. The plates comprise: The frontispiece is signed Boucher, in Chedel sculpsit., and shows the god Neptune and various goddesses at the bottom of the sea. No. 2 (p. 47), Concretions. No. 3 (p. 71), Fossils and crystallizations. No. 4 (p. 83), Corals. No. 5 (p. 84), Corals. No. 6 (p. 240), Sand dollars. No. 7 (p. 245), Shells and teeth. No. 8 (p. 250), Nautalis shells. No. 9 to No. 33, Shells. Plates occur at pages 9/254, 10/258, 11/262, 12/268, 13/270, 14/276, 15/280, 16/285, 17/292, 18/294, 19/298, 20/304, 21/310, 22/316, 23/318, 24/324, 25/330, 26/334, 27/342, 28/348, 29/352, 30/364, 31/372, 32/383 and 33/392.

Scarce. An important work on lithology and conchology, including discussions of the contributions of the chief authors on these subjects, and a method of classification for shells, as well as tables in Latin and French.

Bibliographical references: Agassiz, Bibliographia Geologiæ, 1848-54: 1, 141. Beckmann P.Ö.B.: 3, 497. Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906: 87. Berlinische Sammlungen: 3, 332. BMC: 3, 1203. Bork, Palaeontology in France, 1973. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 425 ["Nützlich."]. Edwards, Early History of Palæontology, 1976: p. 34. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 31-2. LKG: XII 22. Metzger, Genèse de la Science des Cristaux, 1918: 61. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 3, 1. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 659.

3. French, 1755 [2nd edition].
[In red:] L'Historie Naturelle | [in black:] Eclaircie | Dans Une De Ses Parties Principales, | [in red:] L'Oryctologie, | [in black:] Qui | Traite Des Terres, | [in red:] Des Pierres, Des Métaux, | [in black:] Des Minéraux, | [in black:] Et | [in red:] Autres Fossiles, | [in black:] Ouvrage Dans Lequel On Trouve | une nouvelle méthode Latine & François de les diviser, & une | notice critique des principaux Ouvrages qui ont paru fur ces | matières. | Enrichi de Figures dessinées d'après Nature. | Par M *** des Sociétés Royales des Sciences de Londres & de | Montpellier. | [ornament] | [in red:] A Paris, | [in black:] Chez [in red:] De Bure [in black:] l'Aîné, Quai des Augustins, du côté du Pont | Saint Michel, à Saint Paul. | [double rule] | [in red:] M. DCC. LV. | [in black:] Avec Approbations Et Privilége Du Roy.

4°: a-c4 A-Z4 2A-2Z4 3A-3Z4 4A4 4B1; 283l.; [8], [i]-xvj, [1]-560, [2] p., engraved frontispiece, 25 engraved plates. Title page in red and black. Page size: 286 x 212 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Dedication to The Royal Society of London.; [3 pgs], Approbation & Privilége Du Roy.-dated 4 May 1753.; [1 pg], "Avis Aux Relieurs Pour Placer | les Figures." [=placement of plates in text].; [1-2], Sectional title page, "L'Oryctologie | Divisée | En Trois Parties," verso blank.; [3], "Oryctologie. | Première Partie, | Contenant | Un Discours Préliminaire | Sur | L'Oryctologie; | ..."; [4], Blank.; [5]-112, Text, part 1.; [113], "Oryctologie, | Seconde Partie | Contenant | Les Fossiles | Naturels A La Terre, | ..."; [114], Blank.; [115]-316, Text, part 2.; [317], "Oryctologie, | Troisieme Partie | Contenant | Les Fossiles | Étranger A La Terre; | ..."; [318], Blank.; [319]-536, Text, part 3.; [537]-560, "Table | Alphabétique | Des Matières | Contenues Dans Cet Ouvrage."; [1 pg], "Corrections Et Additions."; [1 pg], "Avertisement."

Plates: The 26 engraved plates show mostly mineralogical subjects. The frontispiece was designed by Devermont and all plates indicate they were engraved by Chedel. Each of the plates has a description at the top, with a notation as to the subscriber that paid for the plate at the bottom. The plates comprise: Frontispiece, "L'Oryctologie," signed Devermont Del. Chedel Sc. It shows a goddess holding shells and coral with minerals and stones at her feet. No. 2 (p. 152), "Matrices des Pierres Fines," 10 figs. No. 3 (p. 164), "Cristaux," 5 figs. No. 4 (p. 168), "Agathers Et Jaspes Singuliers," figs. A-M. No. 5 (p. 170), "Dendrittes," 30 figs. No. 6 (p. 208), "Cailloux d'Orient et Autres," 11 figs. No. 7 (p. 229), "Fossiles Et Coquilles Petrifiées," 7 figs. No. 8 (p. 233), "Pierres dittes Figureés," 16 figs. No. 9 (p. 237), "Fossiles," 5 figs. No. 10 (p. 238), "Pierres Arborisées," 8 figs. No. 11 (p. 239), "Pierres Arborisées," 4 figs. No. 12 (p. 242), "Congelations," 4 figs. No. 13 (p. 306), "Pierres Martiales, Marcassites, Pyrites," 8 figs. No. 14 (p. 322), "Fluors, Congelations, Petrifications," 6 figs. No. 15 (p. 324), "Rocher e Corail Blanc," 1 fig. No. 16 (p. 325), "Tessons," 2 figs. No. 17 (p. 330), "Parties du Corps Humain Petrifiées," 3 figs. No. 18 (p. 339), "Animaux et quelques unes de leurs Parties petrifier," 11 figs. No. 19 (p. 343), "Fossiles, dont les Analogues marins sont inconnus," 14 figs. No. 20 (p. 355), "Bois Petrifiés," 5 figs. No. 21 (p. 360), "Ardoises Arborisées," 6 figs. No. 22 (p. 363), "Madrepores," 10 figs. No. 23 (p. 369), "Pierres Etoilées," 19 figs. No. 24 (p. 372), Madrepore," 1 fig. No. 25 (p. 533a), "Oyseaux qui n'ont jamais eté graves," figs. A-D. No. 26 (p. 533b), "Poissons de l'Amerique," figs. A-D.

Scarce. An impressive compilation of 18th century mineral knowledge. Dezallier's introduction provides a critical review of past authors and their books. This is followed by a précis of his mineralogical system that gives a tabular arrangement of minerals, stones and precious gems, that is immediately followed by a detailed discussion of the classification. Dezallier recognized three classes of minerals: Terres (earths), Pierrès (stones), and all others. Within each, groupings are differentiated primarily by physical properties such as color, form, weight, etc. The author claims this method was new because it follows the natural and apparent qualities of the species it distributes; however, its principles were set forth by several predecessors, the earliest of whom was Agricola. A final section provides an excellent and detailed account of the mineralogy of France. Accompanying and scattered throughout the text are 26 finely engraved plates. These illustrations that rank among the best natural history engravings of the 18th century show minerals, stones, fossils, coral, birds and fish.

L'Histoire Naturelle was first printed in 1742, in a single volume that dealt with both mineralogy and conchology; however, in later editions, these two subjects were split into individual books, revised and expanded, and issued as independent works. Therefore, the second, third and fourth editions of the volume concerning minerals and petrifaction's appeared respectively in this second edition of 1755, 1760 and 1775, and the part dealing with conchology had second and third editions in 1757 and 1780.

Another issue, 1760: L'Histoire Naturelle eclaircie dans une de ses parties principales l'Oryctologie, ... Paris, Chez de Bure, 1760. 4°: xvi, 560, [2] p., engraved frontispiece, 25 engraved plates. Title page in red and black.

3rd edition, 1775: L'Histoire naturelle eclairci dans une de ses parties principales, l'Oryctologie, qui traite des terres, des pierres, des metaux, des mineraux et autres fossiles, ouvrage dans lequel on trouve une nouvelle methode Latine une notice critique des principaux Ouvrages qui ont paru sur ces matieres. Paris, Chez De Bure l'Aine, 1775. 4°: [10], xvi, 560, [2] p., engraved frontispiece, 25 engraved plates. [This edition apparently adds 10 pages of new preliminary material.]

Bibliographical references: Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906: 87. Berlinische Sammlungen: 3, 333. BMC: 3, 1203. Bork, Palaeontology in France, 1973. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 686. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 65. Edwards, Early History of Palæontology, 1976: p. 34. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 32. Hamburgische Magazin: 20, 319. Hoover Collection: no. 264. LKG: XII 23 & XIV 330a. Metzger, Genèse de la Science des Cristaux, 1918: 61. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 3, 1. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 1680. St. Clair, Classification of Minerals, 1966: 78-80. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 660.

4. French, 1775 [3rd edition].
L'Histoire naturelle eclairci dans une de ses parties principales, l'Oryctologie, qui traite des terres, des pierres, des metaux, des mineraux et autres fossiles, ouvrage dans lequel on trouve une nouvelle methode Latine une notice critique des principaux Ouvrages qui ont paru sur ces matieres. Paris, Chez De Bure l'Aine, 1775.

4°: [10], xvi, 560, [2] p., engraved frontispiece, 25 engraved plates. Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906: p. 87. Bork, K.B., "The Geological Insights of Louis Bourguet (1678-1742)", Journal of the Scientific Laboratories, Denison University, 55, (1974), 49-77. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: pp. 135, 136, 415, 425 & 686. Edwards, Early History of Palæontology, 1976: p. 34. Metzger, Genèse de la Science des Cristaux, 1918: p. 61.

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