Lot 47
  • 47

Holbach, Paul Henri Thiry, Baron de

600 - 800 GBP
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  • Holbach, Paul Henri Thiry, Baron de
  • L'antiquité dévoilée par ses usages, ou examen critique des principales opinions, cérémonies & institutions religieuses & politiques des différens peuples de la terre. Par feu M. Boulanger. Amsterdam: Marc Michel Rey, 1766
  • Paper
3 volumes, 12mo (184 x 110mm.), contemporary carta rustica, uncut, slight water-damage at foot of volume 2, bindings slightly rubbed


FF, crowned monogram printed in red on title-pages


Vercruysse, Bibliographie descriptive des écrits du Baron d'Holbach (Paris, 1971), F2

Catalogue Note

Although the title-page states that this work was by Boulanger, it was completely rewritten by Holbach, a leading figure of the Enlightenment, and is one of several antireligious works that he had printed around this time; the printer, Rey, also produced some volumes of Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie, to which Holbach had been a contributor. Holbach seeks to explain astronomical symbols and gauge the effect of the Great Flood on humanity; Horace Walpole remarked that Holbach sought to convince him that "Pall Mall is paved with lava or deluge stones" (quoted in M. Curran, Atheism, Religion and Enlightenment, 2012, p. 28).

The first edition was printed in quarto in the same year, also by Rey in Amsterdam.