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Historique et description des procédés du daguerréotype et du diorama. Paris: Béthune and Plon for Lerebours and Susse frères. 1839. 8° (200 x 120mm). Half-title, 2 advertisement leaves on cream paper at end, and 6 full page engravings. (A very few light scattered spots on a very few leaves.) Later quarter leather, smooth spine gilt lettered.

FIRST EDITION of Daguerre's exposition of his photographic process. 'THE BEGINNINGS OF PHOTOGRAPHY' (Horblit). 'PERHAPS NO OTHER INVENTION EVER CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION OF THE PUBLIC TO SUCH A DEGREE AND CONQUERED THE WORLD WITH SUCH LIGHTENING RAPIDITY AS THE DAGUERREOTYPE' (Gernsheim, p. 71). Daguerre's manual, published by order of the government, was quickly sold out. A total of 39 reprints, new editions, and translations appeared in the following 18 months. The great demand accounts for the profusion of issues of the first edition: 7 are recorded, all from the same basic setting of type. Of these the first four differ in the booksellers' names alone. The present copy is from the fourth issue; only three copies of the first issue are known. RARE. Dibner, Heralds of Science, 183; En français dans le texte 255; Gernsheim The history of photography, chapter 6; Horblit/Grolier 21a (reproducing this issue); Norman 569; Printing and the Mind of Man 318b.

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Rare Photobooks

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May 18, 2006, 12:00 AM EST

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