Mémoire sur une découverte dans l’art de bâtir, faite par le Sr Loriot, mécanicien, pensionnaire du Roi ; dans lequel l’on rend publique, par ordre de Sa Majesté, la méthode de composer un ciment ou un mortier propre à une infinité d’ouvrages, tant par la construction, que pour la décoration.
Paris, “de l’imprimerie de Michel Lambert, rue de la Harpe, près Saint Côme” 1774.
8vo. 53 + (3)pp. Bound for a recent previous French owner in eighteenth-century paper wrappers (the wrapper is a sheet of paper from an unrelated eighteenth century legal document, closely written in ink in contemporary handwriting). Title leaf slightly browned, but generally a fresh copy.
First edition of a pamphlet describing a new cement devised by A.-J. Loriot (1716-1782), holder of the position of Mécanicien du Roi at the French court and a protégé of the Marquis de Marigny, who as head of the Bâtimens du Roi and brother of Madame du Pompadour exercised at that time a dominant influence over the French architectural scene. Loriot’s cement, made of sand, brick dust, slaked lime and quick lime, seems to have been a reliable one, giving it a distinct advantage over other varieties of cement and artificial stone marketed at this time, and the pamphlet describing it, referring to Loriot in the third person but evidently written either by Loriot or under Loriot’s supervision, was widely read throughout Europe. This French-language edition was rapidly followed by translations into English, German, Italian, and Spanish, and even by an English-language edition specially printed in Jamaica for local circulation. This edition not in BAL Cat (the British Architectural Library only holds copies of the third English edition, 1777, BAL Cat 1952, and of the first Italian edition, also of 1777, BAL Cat 1953).