Paris: Lerebours et Secretan, 1854. Édition nouvelle renfermant tous les perfectionnements apportés a cert art jusqu'a ce jour. 8vo., [ii], title page, [v],  387 pp. Original printed wrappers, bound in modern half morocco and marbled paper over boards with the spine in six compartments and titled in gilt. There is a moderate stain at the lower blank margin of the first few leaves, the blank edges of p. 17 - 32 are toned, and there is intermittent foxing. A very good copy. Item #52091
Gustave Le Gray (1820 - 1882) began his artistic studies in the early 1840s under François-Edouard Picot and Paul Delaroche. He took up the photographic arts in 1847, first with the daguerreotype. He was exposed to paper processes as a sitter for Henri le Secq who was then experimenting with variations upon Talbot's calotype process. By 1849, his proficiency with the chemistry of the various processes led him to teaching others, among them Maxime du Camp, and Léon de Laborde. In 1850, he published his first treatise heralding the waxed paper negative and the use of the glass plate negative, TRAITÉ PRATIQUE DE PHOTOGRAPHIE SUR PAPIER ET SUR VERRE... a mere 42 pp. This basic text was expanded and enlarged upon in this 1854 edition, which includes
various dry and wet paper negative processes, positive printing papers, negatives using collodion and albumen glass plates, a large section on chemicals, the stereoscope, and an excellent treatment of photomechanical techniques to date.
Bibliographically speaking, there are four works by Le Gray published in the original French, one each year from 1850 - 1854. The titles vary, sometimes only slightly while the contents continued to expand as new processes were included. Several references cite the 1850 and the 1852 titles as being distinct works, while the subsequent printings are second editions. This would explain why this 1854 edition is labeled "Nouvelle..." by Le Gray and why Bellier de la Chavignerie, Manuel Bibliographie du Photographe Francais, 1863, lists two titles, No. 50, 1850, and No. 61, 1852. Roosens and Salu note separate titles, this being No. 5970. WorldCat locates only ten copies of this 1854 title, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art being the only U. S. holding.