27. Ultimately there were eleven folio volumes of plates published from 1762 to 1772, and a supplementary volume published in 1777. These splendid folio volumes of plates make up one of the most valuable parts of the Encyclopedia. They are the best representations of the crafts and techniques that we have from the eighteenth century and, indeed, of all parts of the economy and daily life of the Old Régime. Apparently a substantial share of the plates on the mechanical arts were copied from or based upon designs that had been made by Réaumur for the Académie des Sciences and acquired in a questionable manner for the Encyclopedia. See Jacques Proust, “La Documentation technique de Diderot dans l’ Encyclopédie, ” cited in n. 25, p. 122.


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