Louis Pasteur Signed Book – “Estudes Sur Le Vin” – Incredibly Rare


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“√Čtudes sur le Vin ses Maladies causes qui les proquvent proceds nouveaux pour le Conserver et pour le Vieillir”, by Louis Pasteur, Paris: Librairie F. Savy, 1873.

Second edition. 32 coloured plates plus illustrations. (iv) iv, 344 pp. 8vo. Signed and inscribed by Pasteur. Contemporary quarter calf over marbled boards, headcap chipped, extremities rubbed, a little shaken, some minor toning and spotting, light crease to plate facing p.35.

Unbelievably RARE book signed by Louis Pasteur. The 1873 book “Etudes sur le Vin”, in French, discusses the process of pasteurization which was also applied to wine, which prevented it from spoiling and extended its life.

The book is inscribed by Pasteur on the half-title “A M. Van Tiegham / hommage affecteuse / L. Pasteur.”

First published in 1866, Pasteur has added another eighty pages to this second edition. The work includes a description of the process that made his name: “further experiments … demonstrated beyond dispute that fermentation is caused by the action of minute living organisms and that if these are excluded or killed fermentation does not occur. This enabled him to explain to brewers and vintners the cause and prevention of sourness in their products. The heating process that he recommended was the earliest form of ‘pasteurization’.”

This work includes Pasteur’s descriptions of the apparatuses that might be used to pasteurize wine, and also the results of experiments into the process, including notes on a tasting held to assess the results on various vintages and wines. The plates are interesting: most are images of slides seen through a microscope (some quite beautiful in an unintentional way), and there is also a group of plates of sealed test-tubes containing wine undergoing exposure to oxygen and/or sunlight.

The recipient, Van Tiegham, studied under the author and became a prominent botanist in nineteenth century France.

A great opportunity to obtain one of only a handful of Pasteur signed books to ever surface.