SAVÉRIEN, Alexandre (1720-1805) and Jean-Charles FRANÇOIS (1717-1769), engraver. Histoires des philosophes modernes, avec leur portrait gravédans le goût du crayon.Paris: Brunet, 1760[-66].

A magnificent series of engraved portraits of eminent philosophers in crayon manner, splendidly bound for Charles Emmanuel III, King of Sardinia; an extra-illustrated copy.Jean-Charles François is said to have invented the crayon manner of engraving—a technique of soft-ground etching—which earned him a state pension by King Louis XV and the title “graveur des dessins du Roi.” The portraits here represent some of his most important work. The philosophers portrayed include Bacon, Hobbes, Locke, Cumberland, Ramus, Montaigne, Descartes, Grotius, Pufendorf, Leibnitz, Newton, Copernicus, Kepler, Fermat, Galileo and Huyghens. Each volume treats a different aspect of 17th- and 18th-century philosophy. Cohen-de Ricci 942.

Five volumes (of 8), folio (288 x 212mm). Engraved titles, frontispieces, 42 portraits of contemporary philosophers, extra-illustrated with 15 plates of putti, all in crayon manner in sanguine and sepia by Jean-Charles François (occasional light spotting). Contemporary French red morocco gilt, green morocco titling pieces on vol. 5, all edges gilt, silk ribbon bookmark, with the arms of the King of Sardinia, and “Caissottil” stamped on upper covers (lightly rubbed). Provenance: Charles Emmanuel III, King of Sardinia (1701-1773; binding).
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