A Rouen: chez Guillaume Behourt, & se vend a Paris, chez Laurent d’Houry, rue saint Severin, vis à vis la rue Zacharie, au Saint-Esprit, 1706. In contemporary leather, gilt turn-ins and spine with red title vignette. Modern bookplate on the inner front panel (Orlop). Binding somewhat rubbed, corners bumped. Pages toned, light damp stain throughout. The outer edges of the second half were damaged affecting only the margins. Otherwise in very good condition.
Scarce French first edition on Starkey’s Pyrotechny (London, 1658). George Starkey (1627–1665) was born in Bermuda, and was educated at Harvard College between 1643 and 1646. He became the first American scientist of great repute in Europe. Starkey left for London in 1650 where he set up a laboratory and became a friend and associate of Robert Boyle, and joined Hartlib Circle, an informal gathering of a group of social reformers, utopians, and natural philosophers. Starkey wrote several alchemical tracts under the pan name of Eirenaeus Philalethes which were read by such luminaries as Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Many of Newton's writings on alchemy were based on Starkey’s works. La Pyrotecnie is a translation of Pyrotechny asserted and illustrated (London, 1658) in which Starkey advocates chemical remedies against the then orthodox medical practices. The work was translated into French for the first time by the French alchemist, Jean le Pelletier (1633–1711), who added two extracts of treatises on volatile salts (Sel Volatil et Esprite des Vegetaux) by Daniel Coxe, andon laudanum, a medicine based mainly on opium by Jean Baptiste Van Helmont.