One Thousand Valuable Secrets, in the Elegant and Useful Arts collected from the practice of the best artists, and containing an account of the various methods ... First American Edition
Philadelphia: B. Davies, 1795. 8vo. xxxvi, 377, pp.
Contemporary sheep, rebacked to style retaining the original red morocco lettering piece
Provenance: John Bowles (signature and inscription on front endpaper)
Scarce first American edition of a noted manual on the decorative arts.
The work includes chapters on engraving, metal work, the composition of varnishes, of mastics, cements, sealing-wax, glass making, the mixing of colors and painting, gilding; the dying of wood, mould casting, the making of ink, wine, vinegars, liquors, essential oils, confectionary, snuff, etc., removing stains, and more.
First published in Paris in 1716 under the title Secrets Concernant les Arts et Métiers, the first English edition was published in London in 1775 under the title Valuable Secrets concerning Arts and Trades. The present work is the first American edition; another edition, under the same title as the English edition, would be published in Norwich CT later the same year.
The present edition includes a Preface addressing the importance of the work for America; viz. that the growth and refinement of the production of the decorative and fine arts in the United States, and the separation from a reliance on Europe for those articles, "will be the surest means of establishing our independence on the firmest basis."
Evans 29242;Lowenstein 9; Rink 154; JCB Library, The Colonial Scene , p. 63; AAS, A Society's Chief Joys , 210; ESTC W21412.