1977 · Raleigh
by BÉDOS DE CELLES, Francois 1709-1779
Raleigh: The Sunbury, 1977. 2 volumes. Large folio. Full mid-tan buckram, light red paper title labels gilt to spines. Vol. I 1f. (recto title, verso limitation statement), 1f. (recto dedication, verso blank), [ix]-xvi (list of subscribers), xvii-xviii ("Additions & Corrections"), [xix]-xxii ("Translator's Preface"), [xxiii] ("Acknowledgements" [xxiv] (blank), [xxv] (part-title), [xxvi] (blank), [xxvii] (recto "Notice") [xviii] (blank), [xxix]-xxxviii ("Preface"), 1f. (blank), 380 pp., 1f. (blank), 1f. (recto colophon, verso blank). Upper margins unopened. Vol. II 1f. (recto title, verso copyright), [iii] (list of plates) [i] (blank), 137 illustrative plates, a number double-page or larger and/or folding, some incorporating musical notation. Bindings slightly worn; minor foxing to endpapers; scattered foxing and several very small ink stains to edges. Light foxing to several leaves. In very good condition overall. A translation of the edition first published in 1766-1778 as L'Art du Facteur d'Orgues. Liebenow p. 3 (the first edition). Limited to 1,000 copies, this numbered 220 in manuscript. "These impressive volumes were [first] published as part of the 'Description des arts et métiers.' The plates, many of which are folding, are engraved by Gardete, Goussier and others, and depict organ design and construction in elaborate detail as well as illustrating a number of other keyboard instruments and a hurdy-gurdy; of particular note is the very large folding plate of an organ built by Gabler in 1750, with a fine view of the interior of the Abbey at Weingarthen." "Bédos de Celles is best known for his writings, particularly his L'art du facteur d'orgues. This work is among the earliest to describe in detail the design and physical construction of the pipe organ and provides a valuable description of classical French organ building. His extensive and highly detailed plates, charts and diagrams deal with aspects of organ design, mixture compositions, pipe scales, pipes and pipe making, and tools and their use. Working from the writings of Marie Dominique Joseph Engramelle, he gave exhaustive instructions on the transfer of musical scores to organ barrels for mechanical playing and provided two complete pieces in the form of pinning charts. This aspect of his work inspired the makers of mechanical organs from his time forward. Bédos de Celles also described a mechanism for a square piano combined with an organ, a claviorgan and a vielle organisée and included a detailed discussion of ornamentation, articulation and principles of organ registration." Guy Oldham and Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume in Grove Music Online.
(Inventory #: 34350)