Machines et inventions approuvées par l'Académie Royal des Sciences - Tome Premier - 1735

Machines et inventions approuvées par l'Académie Royal des Sciences is a series of volumes of inventions approved by the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris during the French Renaissance. This was a time period before patents. The six volumes cataloged inventions from 1666 to 1734  published in 1735 (M. DCC. XXXV) and an additional seventh volume (Tome Septieme) published in 1777 (M. DCC. LXXVII) that included inventions from 1734 to 1754.  The Tome Premier included inventions drawn and published with the consent of the Academy, by M. Gallon (Jean-Gaffin Gallon 1706-1775) from 1666 to 1701. Publisher: Antoine-Chrétien Boudet (1715-1787). Volumes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 by Boudet are in the Virtual Technology Museum collection along with fully bound volumes  1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 published by Gabriel Martin (1679-1761), Jean-Baptiste Coignard (1667- July 20, 1735) and Hippolyte-Louis Guerin (1698-1765)

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Watermarks Dates and Date of Printing Mystery

An interesting discovery was made on some pages of the Antoine Boudet volume -- watermarks with dates. The title page indicates that the volume was printed in 1735, yet on page 26, a fold-out engraving, was found the common watermark for both the Antoine Boudet and Gabriel Martin versions, that of a grape cluster with ribbon (les raisons) symbol. But on the  Antoine Boudet volume the  word "FIN" (the end in English) and what appears to be the date 1789 were added into the wire mesh of the paper making frame along with the grape cluster with ribbon .

1789 is the date of the Storming of the Bastille and beginning of the French Revolution.  Merely speculation, but was the paper actually made in 1789 or was the papermaker echoing the prediction by Michel de Nostredame (December 1503 - July 1566) of the Storming of the Bastille well ahead of the paper's date of production?

The title page has a  watermark with a logo of "J. Toussaint" and the date 1774.  "In 1774, Louis XVI of the Bourbon family of kings ascended the throne of France. He was 20 years old and married to the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette. Upon his accession, the new king found an empty treasury. Long years of war had drained the financial resources of France." There is a 15 year difference in the dates, 1774 and 1789, laid into wire mesh of the paper making frames for these two sections adding further mystery to the origins of this volume.

This may call into question the date that this volume was printed. Could the plates have been preserved from 1735 and then later used to print the volume(s) after 1774 or perhaps after 1789?  That is a 39 year or 54 year difference in publication date and watermark dates. An examination of a Gabriel Martin published Tome Premier version  in the Virtual Technology Museum collection has revealed the same grape cluster watermarks present on many pages but without any dates .

The Bookseller

Mme. Ve Courcier appears to have had possesion of this volume as her nameplate is pasted inside the front cover. Mme. Courcier is a third generation woman-owned publisher and bookseller in Paris. She published, printed and sold many scientific books in the early 1800s.