Chambers's CYCLOPAEDIA - 1728 (first edition)

Chambers's Cyclopaedia 1728

Chambers's Cyclopaedia 1728

Chambers's Cyclopaedia 1728 1st edition

Anatomy Plate

Chambers's Cyclopaedia 1728 1st edition

the divisions of knowledge

1728 Chambers's Cyclopaedia

small woodcuts in the text

click on image to enlarge

printers woodcut devices at chapter endings


Cyclopaedia: or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences.

London, James and John Knapton 1728

2 volumes, large thick folio, fine 19th century panelled calf by Townsend, ruled in black, spines in seven compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt, covers with armorial crest and lettered in gilt, titles printed red and black, engraved folding frontispiece to volume I, 19 engraved plates (plate XIV in two parts), some folding, the anatomy plate browned as usual, complete in spite of the erratic pagination, printed in double columns throughout, some small woodcuts in the text, printers woodcut devices at chapter endings, an excellent copy.

First edition of the first modern encyclopaedia. Ephraim Chambers was born in 1680 and trained as a map-maker. Inspired by John Harris's Lexicon Technicum 1704-1710, he set out to compile a more comprehensive work. Chambers is clearly the father of the modern encyclopaedia throughout the world and his book is remarkable for its elaborate system of cross-references and the inclusion of the humanities. The work is dedicated to King George II, and in recognition of his work Chambers was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1729. The influence of Chambers encyclopaedia has been incalculable, influencing Diderot's Encyclopedie and the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Almost every development in the world of encyclopaedia making is traceable to the pioneering example of Chamber's work. This first edition is very rare.

Printing and the Mind of Man, no. 171(b). Collison, Encyclopaedias: Their History, pp.103-104.


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