Paris: De L'Imprimerie Impériale, 1805. First complete French edition. Hardcover. Quartos. Vol.1: (xcvii) 528pp, 31pp. Vol.2: 460pp, 84pp. Black leather over dark blue marbled paper boards. Gilt lettering and ruling on the spines. The first full French translation of compiled research from the Asiatic Society of Bengal, originally published in English as the periodical journal "Asiatick Researches" from 1788- 1839.
The text throughout contains a vast array of information in various realms of scientific, historical, philosophical, religious and/or cultural topics, from different authors. Volume 1 contains a total of 33 plates of copperplate engravings (including 2 fold-out), while volume 2 contains 11 plates, plus 2 folding tables (one one which, a table of Persian grammatical influence on North India, printed on blue-toned Arches papers measuring 22 1/4 x 28". Some of these plates contain illustrations, while others contain geometric figures, mathematical calculations, astrological charts, and samples of texts in various Asian scripts, including Sanskrit, Arabic, and Chinese. In addition to the numbered plates there are many other un-numbered examples in-text, as well as statistical tables (some full page). The text throughout is accompanied by copious scholarly footnotes. Of special note is a sections of beautifully rendered plates containing images of various Hindu deities. Also includes a large fold out steel-plate engraved Hindu Zodiac with 27 images. The final section of volume one contains corrections and additions, followed by tables of meteorological data (also included in vol.2).
This French edition notably has been revised and supplemented with various additional notes from a number of distinguished French scholars and scientists of the era including zoologist Georges Cuvier (1769 – 1832), mathematician and astronomer Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre (1749 – 1822), naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744 -1829) and entomologist Guillaume-Antoine Olivier (1756-1814).
Text in French.
Bindings with some light rubbing and/or bumping to extremities. Light scratches to the covers. Interiors with minor sporadic foxing and/or water stains to the margins of a few pages throughout, although in general the pages are surprisingly clean and vibrant. Book blocks quite tight. Bindings in very good-, interiors in very good condition overall. vg- to vg. Item #47764
*About the society:
The "The Asiatic Society of Bengal" (now simply known as the Asiatic Society) was founded in Calcutta in 1784 by British scholar, philologist and civil civil Sir William Jones (1746-1794), in the early years of the British Raj. Its purpose as set forth was the furthering of Oriental research of all kinds, as well as the collection of manuscripts and other relevant materials. It began publishing the work and research of its members, all distinguished scholars, in its periodical journal "Asiatick Researches". A museum set up to house and display its holdings, as well as act as a hub or research was established in 1814. At first only Europeans could become members, but starting in 1829 Indian were allowed to join as well.