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(1678 – 1742)

(Born: Nîmes, France, 24 April 1678; Died: Neuch{\Hat a}tel, Switzerland, 31 December 1742) French mineralogist.

Bourguet was professor of philosophy and mathematics at the University of Neufchatel, Switzerland. He wrote a number of geological works.

Biographical references: ABF: I 142, 302-318. Biographie Universelle. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: no. 594. DSB: 15, 52-9 [by F. Ellenberger]. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 180. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Poggendorff: 1, col. 260-1. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 594, Suppl. 1 (1985), 1, 305 & Suppl. 2 (1994), 1, 455. WBI.

Lettres Philosophiques, 1729

1. French, 1729 [First edition].
[In black:] Lettres | [in red:] Philosophiques | [in black:] Sur La Formation | [in red:] Des Sels Et Des Crystaux | [in black:] Et Sur | La Génération & le Mechanisme Organique | [in red:] Des Plantes Et Des Animaux; | [in black:] A L'Occasion | De la Pierre Belemnite et de la Pier- | re Lenticulaire. | Avec Un Memoire | sur la Theorie de la Terre. | [in red:] Par Mr. Bourguet. | [ornament, signed B. Picert direxit.] | [in black:] A Amsterdam, | [in red:] Chez Francois L'Honore, | [in black:] MDCCXXIX.

12°: *10 A-I12 K2 L6; 138l.; [i]-xliv, [1]-220, [12] p., one plate (folding; p. 172). Title in red and black. Page size: 165 x 90 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-viii, Dedication, dated 5 March 1729.; [ix]-xliv, "Prefacé."; [1]-176, Text.; [177]-220, "Memoire | sur la | Theorie De La Terre."; [12 pgs], "Table." [=table of contents].

Plates: The single folding engraved plate, 380 x 240 mm., bound in at page 172 shows crystal groups and fossils. It is signed A. De Putter secit.

Very scarce. Lettres Philosophiques is an important publication that contributed several noteworthy observations to the sciences of biology and geology. Written as a series of four letters addressed to Johann Jacob Scheuchzer [q.v.], this volume touches upon many subjects of natural history. Included are theories on the formation of stalactites, the chronology of the earth, the generation of minerals and rocks, and the question of reproduction and development in living organisms. An additional tract titled "Memoire sur la theorie de la terre" considers numerous aspects of geological phenomena including the earth's destruction, which incorporates discussions of mechanical weathering, volcanism and earthquakes.

Bibliographical references: Adams, Birth and Development, 1938: 129. Berlinische Sammlungen: 9 (1775), 315-7. Bork, K.B., "The Geological Insights of Louis Bourguet (1678-1742)", Journal of the Scientific Laboratories, Denison University, 55, (1974), 49-77: 55 (1974), 49-77. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 1, 200 & 2, 723. DSB: 15, 52-9 [by F. Ellenberger]. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 77. Hoover Collection: no. 158. Journal de Trevoux, ou Memoires pour l'histoire des sciences et des beaux arts: Oct. 1730, pp. 1739-50. Kobell, Geschichte der Mineralogie, 1864: 26-7. LKG: XVII 137. Metzger, Genèse de la Science des Cristaux, 1918. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 149. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: p. 21.

2. French, 1762 [2nd edition].
[In black:] Lettres | Philosophiques | Sur La Formation | Des Sels Et Des Crystaux, | Et Sur La Generation | Et Le Mechanisme Organique | [in red:] Des Plantes Et Des Animaux, | [in black:] A L'Occasion | De la Pierre Belemnite | [in red:] Et de la Pierre Lenticulaire. | [in black:] Avec Un Mémoire | [in red:] Sur La Theorie De La Terre. | [in black:] Par Mr. Bourguet. | Seconde Edition avec figures. | [ornament] | [in red:] A Amsterdam, | [in black:] Chez Marc-Michel Rey, | [in red:] MDCCLXII.

8°: *4 A-R8 S4; 153l.; [i]-xxiv, [1]-270, [12] p., one plate (folding, p. 173). Title in red and black. Page size: 155 x 97 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii-vi], Dedication to Antoine Vallinieri de Vallisnera, Bernardin Zendrini, and Joseph Monti.; [vii]-xxiv, "Prefacé."; [1]-212, Text.; 213-216, "Explication des Figures."; [217], "Memoire sur la Theorie de la Terre."; [218], Blank.; 219-270, Text of memoire.; [12 pgs], Table of contents.

Plates: The folding engraved plate, 380 x 240 mm., is bound in at page 173. It shows 22 figures of fossils and crystals.

Very scarce. Posthumous edition. This volume also contains the added memoire on the theory of the earth.

Bibliographical references: Agassiz, Bibliographia Geologiæ, 1848-54: 1, 389. Hoover Collection: no. 159.