Traité des tourbes combustibles Paris Jean du Bray & Pierre Variquet 1663
4to. [xx], 122,  pp. With engraved vignette on title and the famous portrait of "Monsieur Charles Patin" by Claude Lefebvre, French painter and etcher. Contemporary full calf, slightly warped and somewhat worn; first and last leaves browned around the edges, small waterstain on last blank and paste-down, text in excellent condition. $3,500.00
First edition of this very rare treatise describing the use of peat as a fuel. The author discusses the varieties and sources of combustible peat used to make charcoal as well as many useful by-products in agriculture, cooking and botany. At the time, charcoal was believed to mainly consist of bitumen and sulpher, causing strong fumes, which Patin was much opposed to because of his concern with dangers of health caused by inhalation. Proficient in metallurgy, Patin was an early advocate of ecology, with his knowledge that strong organic matter accumulates in the ground and gives rise to significant drops in mineral contents, causing many problems for plant growth. At the end of the book is a proposal of the Sieur de Chambre for the artificial production of peat bogs surrounding Paris along with royal letter patent for a thirty year process.
Patin (1633-1693), the gifted son of Gui Patin, by the age of 23 completed his law studies and received his M.D. degree. He taught anatomy and pathology at the medical school of Paris, but was obliged to leave France for fear of imprisonment for circulation of certain libels which drew upon him the resentment of the court. He traveled extensively, finally settling in Padua, Italy, where he was appointed professor of chemistry, physic and medicine. He was a man of extensive learning and a voluminous writer in Latin, French, and Italian. Patin is well known for his work on numismatics and medals.