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Charpentier [de] Cossigny, Joseph François. Observations sur l'art de faire le vin, par Mr. J.A. Chaptal. Paris: Gagnard, Lenormant, & Martinet, 1807. 8vo (22 cm, 8.66"). , 16, 107 (i.e., 108) pp. (1 blank f. presumed lacking). $975.00
First and only edition: Uncommon item on winemaking, written by a => botanist-engineer-adventurer and alleged undercover agent who had previously published an essay on sugar-based distilled spirits. Charpentier de Cossigny (ca. 1735–1809) here presents a highly critical examination of L'Art de faire, de gouverner et de perfectionner les vins (1801), giving page-by-page rebuttals of and corrections to Jean-Antoine Chaptal's otherwise well-regarded text, which focused on practical applications of chemistry to viticulture and wine production.
Provenance: Half-title, title-page, and first leaf of preface with blind-stamp of the American Institute Library. => Inked gift inscription from David Bailie Warden (1772–1845) to Samuel Latham Mitchill (1764–1831) on half-title, and Mitchill's inked inscription on title-page. Warden, a distinguished scholar and scientist, was also a diplomat and served as U.S. Consul at Paris for several years; he maintained a longtime friendship and correspondence with New York senator Mitchill, a physician, natural historian, and polymath who taught at Columbia College, helped found the Rutgers Medical School, and co-edited a scientific journal in which Warden was published. Both men were on friendly terms and in correspondence with Thomas Jefferson, an early American wine maker — and intriguingly, this text is one of the books on wine found in Jefferson's library.
Searches of NUC and WorldCat find only four U.S. institutions (Harvard, UCalifornia-Davis, American Philosophical Society, Science History Institute) reporting ownership; two others in France also show ownership.
Sowerby, Catalogue of the library of Thomas Jefferson, 1209. Not in Vicaire, not in Georg, not in Bitting. Later half mottled calf with cream, green, and tan marbled paper–covered sides matching endpapers; spine with gilt-stamped light green leather title-label, gilt-ruled and -dotted raised bands, and gilt-stamped floral compartment decorations. Very faint traces of rubbing to binding extremities, otherwise clean and unworn; stab holes from previous binding visible in gutters, with a stub between pp. 103 and 104 seeming to indicate a now-absent blank leaf. Text age-toned, with old waterstaining and other signs of onetime exposure to damp; mild to moderate foxing. Inscriptions and pressure-stamps as above; large old inked "No. 1" to half-title. => An unusual item, now in stable and well-protected condition, with an interesting association. (40864) Please RESHELVE This.
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