Hauy René Just; Trattato dei caratteri fisici delle pietre preziose per determinare quando sieno lavorate. Traduzione con note dell’abate... Luigi Configliachi Per Giovanni Pirotta, Milano, 1819. Quarto, pp. xxxvi, 227, 3 folded engraved plates.
The work is complete and in a later calf over marbled boards with an ornate gilt spine and spine titles. Shelf wear to the boards, binding is tight, text is clean with light foxing to the first and last pages, plates are exceptionally clean and bright.
Hauy (1743-1822) was an ordained priest with a deep interest in both mineralogy and botany. After attending lectures by Daubenton on mineralogy he turned his attention to that science. He left teaching and devoted the rest of life to the study of mineralogy. His studies in mineralogy, crystallography and gemology led to his being declared the father of crystallography. Hauy’s “Trattato” is considered a landmark book in the science of gemology and as "the first determinative gemology worthy of the name.” His work marks a transition from earlier descriptive lapadaries to works based on scientific studies. Hauy describes the crystallography and physical properties of various gemstones, and characterizes how these qualities might be used in identifying a stone, whether rough or cut. To facilitate this an identification table is provided. The three plates show various crystal forms, a Nicholson's hydrometer (used for measuring specific gravity) and other laboratory apparatus for testing electrical properties.