Berlin: Joachim Pauli, 1784, 1784-1786; 1788-90, 1792-98, 1800-1801; 1802. Seventeen volumes in fourteen. 8vo. lvi, 424; xxxii, 440; xvi, 600; vi, 673; [xvi], 547, ; [viii], 592; [xvi], 622; [xii], 596; [viii], 603; [viii], 578; [vi], FIRST EDITION (second edition of volume II). Complete with engraved title vignettes, woodcut head- and tailpieces, 124 folding engraved plates and subject indices. Uniformly bound in contemporary half-calf over paste-boards, gilt lettering on spines; marginal dampstain on first two leaves of Volume III and annotations in contemporary hand on verso of last blank and paste-down of Volume IV of Magie, oder, Die Zauberkräfte der Natur. An exceptionally crisp and clean set. Item #10040
First edition of each volume (second of Volume I. An absolutely superb set, complete with the rarely seen 1802 Neufortgesetzte Magie. This work not only covers magic and the history of magic, but documents and illustrates, with beautiful plates, incredible accounts of human knowledge as well as physical science and technology through the eighteenth century.
This massive collection contains much new material in addition to describing and illustrating the current state of optics, electricity & magnetism, chemistry, mechanics, hydraulics, gunpowder, metallurgy, manufacturing, horology, acoustics, aerostatics (such as those by the Montgolfiers), meteorology (chapters on lightning and lightning conductors), cryptography, paper making, and engraving. The economics and commercial aspects of these subjects are also detailed; for example, Halle specifically discusses games of amusement, keyboard instructions, fortune-telling devices, magic lanterns, talking machines, Kempelen's automaton chess player, mechanical games, stage props, telegraphy, mouse traps, tobacco and coffee, sign language, swimming, botany, plants and animals, artificial pearls, remedies (different herbs and mixtures), opium, distillation and wine making, etc., and all sorts of curiosities.
Halle (1727-1810), a toxicologist, was professor of history at the Royal Prussian Military Academy in Berlin. Little is known of his life, but he wrote many books on subjects of social, economic, technological, and military history.