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    Claude Louis Berthollet. Seven Autograph Letters Signed and One Document Signed.
    1) ALS. "Berthollet." One page (of a bifolium) in French, with integral address sheet, 4.75" x 7", n.p.[Paris?]; October 16, 1787. In this short letter to Baron Philippe Friedrich Dietrich (1748-1793), a French scholar and politician, Berthollet requests that the Baron send him all issues of Crell's periodical that he can spare from a given year. [Lorenz Florenz Friedrich von Crell (1744-1816) was a German chemist, who in 1778 he started publishing the first periodical journal focusing on chemistry. The journal had a longer title, but was known simply as Crell's Annalen].

    2) ALS. "Berthollet." Three pages in French with an integral address sheet, 6" x 7.5", n.p. [Aulney?]; October 13, 1789. In this letter Baron Philippe Friedrich Dietrich in Strasbourg, Berthollet begins by saying Monsieur Schourer [?] has given him the letters the Baron wrote to him. He assures the Baron that he will always be eager to serve him or his friends in any way he can. He remains four leagues away from Paris and will not leave but to visit "friends, the Academy and my informer about affairs of state". The Baron's province must have been the site of significant revolutionary violence; Berthollet expresses gratitude that the public's "consideration and attachment" to the Baron saved him from falling victim to the revolutionary sentiment. He says the current conditions will set back the Academy's activity and their individual projects, as well as publication of materials. Asks if there may be a reliable publisher in Strasbourg and how much the cost would be. Asks if he knows of a manganese mine in Brittany.

    3) ALS. "Berthollet." One page in French with an integral address sheet, 6" x 7.75", Paris; January 22, 1790. In this letter to Baron Dietrich, Berthollet writes after receiving his letter, he instructed Mr. Adet [Pierre-Auguste Adet (1763-1834), a French scientist, politician, and diplomat who served as secretary to the scientific periodical Annales de chimie, founded in 1789] to have the most recently published volume of annals sent to the Baron. He informs the Baron that the fourth volume will soon be published. He also informs him that per the Duc de La Rochefoucauld's [François Alexandre Frédéric de La Rochefoucauld, Duke of La Rochefoucauld (1747-1827), a French social reformer] proposed reform that all members of the Academy of Sciences be perfectly equal insofar as the pension serve only as a financial reward and not to distinguish certain members above the rest, there has been a committee set up to see the reform through, composed of de Condorcet [Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet (1743-1794), known as Nicolas de Condorcet, a French philosopher and mathematician], Tillet [Mathieu Tillet (1714-1791), a French botanist, agronomist, and metallurgist], De Laplace [Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace (1749-1827), a French scholar whose work was important to the development of engineering, mathematics, statistics, physics, astronomy, and philosophy], De Berda [Jean-Charles, chevalier de Borda (1733-1799), a French mathematician and physicist] and Bopret [?].
    4) ALS. "Berthollet." Three pages (of a bifolium) in French, 6.5" x 8.25", Paris; August 8, 1793. Berthollet certifies that Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde [Vandermonde (1735-1796), a French mathematician, musician, and chemist] suffers from dangerous hemorrhoids and diarrhea and is in great pain. He is also under house arrest. The letter includes the certification as well as notes by officers of the law and a judge specifying Vandermonde's status under the law. Vandermonde also wrote a note and signed the letter.
    5) ADS. "Berthollet." One page in French, partially printed document, 7.25" x 9.25", Paris; February 17, 1812. On this document, Berthollet acknowledges of his 2,450-franc pension as a Grand Officer of the Légion D'Honneur for the latter part of 1811.
    6) ALS. "Berthollet." Three pages (of a bifolium) in French, 6" x 7.75", n.p.; May 7, 1820. In this letter to an unnamed correspondent Berthollet apologizes for the delayed response, has suffered from a "catharre" [catarrh] since the start of winter and was completely out of order. Transmitted his recipient's analysis of mustard to the President of the Academy but the latter still has not read it, which is partly why Berthollet took so long to reply. Berthollet's recipient had also sent him a small amount of a substance he discovered, and named in honor of Berthollet, and his accompanying observations; Berthollet informs his recipient that he transmitted all this to a noted chemist, Monsieur Chevreul [Michel Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889), a French chemist], who jotted some thoughts down for the recipient's benefit and which Berthollet has included with his own letter. While Berthollet is honored that the recipient named the substance after him, he cautions that newly discovered substances should be named according to an important characteristic or property, and gives this example: instead of "vauqueline" [after Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin (1763-1829), a French pharmacist and chemist, and discoverer of both chromium and beryllium], the element was named something else.
    7) ALS. "Berthollet." One page in French, 7.25" x 9", Arcueil; n.d. In this letter to an unnamed correspondent, Berthollet states that he is pleased he will meet with "citizen Décroiville" [?] as he and his son go on a tour of manufacturing facilities and then to Rouen. Asks his recipient not to spread the word of his travels as he does not intend to make any visits other than to the manufacturing sites.
    8) ALS. "Berthollet" and "M.M. F. Berthollet." Three pages (of a bifolium) in French, 3.5" x 4.5", n.p.; [circa 1800]. This is a letter to an unnamed woman by one Déodat [possibly Dieudonné Sylvain Guy Tancrède de Gratet de Dolomieu, known as Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801), a French geologist]. Addressed to "chère madame", Déodat is highly distraught over the "terrible news" they received about her. He shares her grief and tells her to take comfort in her remaining son. Berthollet and Madame Berthollet each offer and sign short words of condolence.

    Claude Louis Berthollet (1748-1822) was a French chemist who became vice president of the French Senate in 1804. He is known for his scientific contributions to theory of chemical equilibria via the mechanism of reverse chemical reactions, and for his contribution to modern chemical nomenclature. Berthollet was the first to demonstrate the bleaching action of chlorine gas, and was first to develop a solution of sodium hypochlorite as a modern bleaching agent.

    Madame Berthollet was born Marguerite-Marie Baur and in 1778 married the Claude Louis Berthollet.

    Condition: All documents have the usual folds. 1) Has toning around edges and paper loss not affecting text, where wax seal was broken; otherwise good. 2) Heavy toning on upper edges of each page, affecting text; paper loss on address sheet where wax seal was broken, fair to good. 3) Paper loss, not affecting text, at right edge of address sheet where wax seal broken; otherwise good. 4) Paper loss, not affecting text, at bottom edge of page 1 and 2; otherwise good. 5) Slight foxing; otherwise very good. 6) Iron gaul ink bleeding through pages, not affecting text; otherwise good. 7) Paper wrinkled throughout; rust residue of paper clip; otherwise good. 8) Good.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
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