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Ornamental Turners

The Society is pleased to announce the publication for general release of the first full translation of Volume 2 of Bergeron' Manuel du Tourneur (The Turner's Manual) and of the accompanying Volume of Plates (also known as The Atlas). These two hardback volumes are available from the SOT Membership Secretary at a price to non-members per volume of only £35 GBP plus Postage and Packing. Members of the SOT pay per volume £25 GBP plus p&p. Contact the membership secetary by email at Full details, together with extracts follow below:-

Bergeron Manuel du Tourneur Vol 2

First published during the turbulent times of the French Revolution, Bergeron's Manuel du Tourneur or The Turner's Manual has been admired for over two hundred years as a comprehensive record of all the tools, machinery and techniques required by an eighteenth century amateur wishing to establish a fully equipped workshop for the hobby of turning. This, the second volume of text which uses the 1816 revised and expanded second edition by P. Hamelin-Bergeron, is available for the first time in an English translation. It deals with the more elaborate elements of the subject and gives instruction in the use of the complex lathes of the period which were used to make many of the artefacts now to be seen in museums.

This is a full and scholarly work by Jeremy Soulsby, our Librarian. Jeremy has drawn upon the content of the first edition and other historic works to annotate extensively the text so as to clarify obscure terminolgy and techniques. He has fully indexed the volume and provided a glossary and extended notes. He modestly desribes himself as the editor, as he has drawn upon the partial translations of previous workers. However, Jeremy has translated the previously un-translated 239 pages as well as extensively revising the style and content of the earlier works – a mammoth task clearly shown in the quality of this publication.

Please note – Bergeron's Manuel du Tourneur consists of three separate volumes. Volumes I and II are text only and contain no plates; the third volume, often called the "Atlas", contains all the Plates referred to in Volumes I and II. Thus this translation of Volume II is text only. We have therefore published the separate Volume of Plates as a companion to this translation of Vol 2 - see below for details and extracts from the Volume of Plates (the Atlas)

frontpage (407K)
Hardback: 426 pages

Price to non-members £35 GBP plus p&p
Price to Members £25 GBP plus p&p


Here are some extracts
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v2extracr04 (126K)







Bergeron Manuel du Tourneur, the Plates

Below is the text of the foreword to this latest SOT Publication

Bergeronís Manuel du Tourneur was originally published with two volumes of text and a separate volume of plates to allow the relevant plate to be studied with greater convenience whilst reading the text. The Society of Ornamental Turners has adopted the same plan for its publication: hence, the present volume is intended as an accompaniment to the text volumes of the translation.

When it appeared in 1816, the Atlas or volume of plates for Manuel du Tourneur contained ninety-six plates of which the first eight were hand coloured. An additional plate was added to the later impressions to accompany the appendix covering later developments. The page size was varied: some were multi-foldout pages and many occupied an unbroken double-width spread. All plates were originally printed on one side of a sheet only, as was usual at the time.

For the present volume to benefit from the economy of double-sided printing and to retain the upright orientation of all ninety-seven plates, it has been necessary to resize and split the larger ones over facing pages. Some repositioning of the contents of these plates and the inclusion of the occasional blank page has been necessary to give a satisfactory layout. The plate size, with the exception of the larger multi-fold plates, has been optimised in this reproduction at an average of about ninety percent of the original size.

The plates are numbered in Classic Roman Numerals. There is duplication in the numbering of the plates for volume I and volume II. Therefore a full index giving Arabic and Roman numbers and the relevant page(s) for each plate has been included at the end of this volume.

This new SOT Publication has been a joint effort: Jeremy Soulsby and Robert Bigio (Dust Jacket and Text), Harry Powell (Plate Formatting and Indexing).


plates (100K)
Hardback: 162 pages; page size 8.5 x 11 inches

Price to non-members £35 plus p& p
Price to Members £ 25 GBP plus p& p

Here are some thumbnail image extracts (not to scale) from the Volume of Plates

v3plates01 (29K) v3plates02 (23K) v3plates03 (21K) v3plates04 (33K) v3plates05 (23K) v3plates06 (18K)

The books can be ordered, whilst stocks last, at a price to non-members for each volume of £35 plus p& p from the SOT Membership Secretary email : Price per volume to SOT Members is £25 plus p& p.



Also in preparation is a complete revision of the English translations of Volume I. This will be produced as a matching volume to the others and, as for volume II, will be thoroughly researched and annotated for clarity. No publication date is available at this time but we hope to maintain the same price of £35 plus p&p (with a members only price £25 plus p&p) for this volume as for the other two volumes.