Born in Montréal in 1757, Grasset left for France in 1764. A publisher, writer, engraver and, possibly, diplomat, he published about twenty books of all kinds between 1784 and 1812. This Encyclopaedia is full of geographical and ethnographical information. Grasset relied on a remarkable team of engravers and water-colourists, to illustrate his numerous works. Containing information on 26 different nations, the 92 illustrations in the volume on America were hand-drawn, engraved and painted in water-colour under the direction of Saint-Sauveur and with the close collaboration of a certain Mr Labrousse.
Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur (1757-1810), Travelling encyclopaedia: containing a short guide to the history of the customs, domestic habits, religions, holidays, methods of torture, funerals, sciences, arts and commerce of all nations as well as a complete collection of civilian, military, religious and official dress. Etched with care and painted in water-colour by J. Gra, [Paris], Deroy, 1796, 5 vol., front., pl. (h.-t. en coul.), 25 cm, Montréal, Bibliothèques de l'Université de Montréal, Collections spéciales, donation of Victor Morin, CSb / 910.3 G768e Livre rare v.2 l'Amérique. Illustrated: front page, frontispiece and the engravings related to Canada. Photo Robert Derome.