6003. Bayles great historical encyclopedia

BAYLE, PIERRE. (4). Dictionaire historique et critique... Quatrieme edition, revue, corrigée, et augmentée. Avec la vie de l'auteur, par m. Des Maizeaux. I-IV. Amsterdam - Leiden (P. Brunel and others) 1730.

Folio (400x258 mm.). 4 titles printed in red and black with engraved vignette, 1 engraved vignette.
Contemporary brown full calf, somewhat worn, richly gilt spines in 8 compartments, red edges. Some browning to endpapers, a few textleaves browned, som very minor foxing. 4 volumes.

A very good set of what was at the time the greatest work of encyclopedic scholarship, which set the stage for Diderot and d'Alembert's end of century triumph. Originally conceived in exile, and published in Rotterdam 1697, as a counterpoint to Moréri's essentially counter-reformation work "Le Grand Dictionnaire Historique". "Bayle championed reason against belief, philosophy against religion, tolerance against superstition. For over half a century until the publication of the Encyclopédie Bayle's Dictionaire dominated enlightened thinking in every part of Europe." (Printing and the Mind of Man 155).
Provenance: The von Celsing family, Biby.