Georgii Agricolae De re metallica Libri XII. Quibus Officia, Instrumenta, Machinae, ac omnia deniqß ad Metallicam spectantia, non modo luculentissime describuntur, sed & per effigies, suis locis insertas, adiunctis Latinis, Germaniciscß appellationibus ita ob oculos ponuntur, ut clarius tradi non possint. Eiusdem de animantibus subterraneis Liber, ab Autore recognitus.: cum Indicibus diversis, quicquid in opere tractatum est, pulchrè demonstrantibus.
Basilae, Cum priuilegio Imperatoris in annos v. & Galliarum Regis ad Sexennium [Colophon: Basiliae apud Hieron. Frobenium et Nicolaum Episcopium MDLVI Mense Martio], 1556. Small folio. [paper size 20.5 x 30.1 cm]. W. woodc. printer's mark on title, repeated on Bb6v. W. 2 [1 folding] woodcut plates [between pp. 100 & 101], 267 [partially full page] woodc. ills. generally attributed to Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch and [less commonly] to Blasius Weffring [?], 23 geometrical figs. and 2 woodcut printer's marks. Wonderful recent [mid 16th c. period style] full medium-brown blindtooled clf., spine in compartments, covers w. intricate diamond shape patterns, double ruled lines, small central floral ornaments. [alpha 6 [without blank Greek alpha 6], a - z6, A - Z6, Aa - Bb6]. (5 lvs., 538 [=recte 502] pp., 37 lvs.). (Lower edge of bookblock a small dent, scratched portion.(Some light to medium yellowing, browning; some light finger soiling; Library stamp on printed title & a1 removed and paper expertly filled in; the text lost due to the removal of the stamps, on alpha 1 & a1recto & verso replaced in superb old pen facsimile. Vague but visible watersp. / dampstaining to lower righthand corner of P2recto to R2 [pp. 447 - 472] appr. 13 lvs.; a tear to pp. 325 - 326; The woodcut plate [containing the parts for folio 97] cut/shaved w. some loss of the woodc. image; a few marginal annotations in ink; Upper paste down Bookplate 'Hubert Maclean Evans', see note below.]. First edition. Agricola dedicated the book to the Dukes of Saxony, a French Royal Privilege was obtained by Froben and Episcopius in 1553. The second text on the subterranean creatures is dedicated to Georgius Fabricius and dated 1548. DSB vol. I, pp. 77 - 79: VD 16 , A 907: Adams A349: Hoover, 17: Horst 743 ff '... Diese Holzschnitten wurden in Basel nach Entwürfen von Bas. Wefring aus Joachimsthal hergestellt. Daran waren u.a. zwei bekannte Meister beteiligt: der Zeichner H.R. Manuel Deutsch aus Bern und der Holzschneider Z. Specklin aus Strassburg...': Duveen, 4: Darmstaedter, Agricola, 45 & 87f: Michaelis - Prescher 21: Koch p. 6 and 34ff 'Das klassische Lehrbuch der alten Technik, ein Höhepunkt der technischen Literatur.'..' : Grolier / Horblitt, 100 books famous in science, 2b: Horblit, Sale, part 1, item 16: Dibner, Heralds, 88 '... the above is outstanding in the field of all science and technology; it was published posthumously. Many large woodcuts present vivid pictures of men at work, machines pumping, ventilating, smelting, assaying, transportation and hoisting equipment and methods of his time.': Sparrow, Milestones, item 4: Norman coll. vol. I, item 20: Printing and the Mind of Man, 79 'The first systematic treatise on mining and metallurgy and one of the first technological books of modern times.' ... 'The De Re Metallica embraces everything connected with the mining industry and metallurgical processes, including administration, prospecting, the duties of officials and companies and the manufacture of glass, sulphur and alum. The magnificent series of 273 large woodcut ills. by Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch add to its value. Some of the most important sections are those on mechanical engineering and the use of water-power, hauling, pumps, ventilation, blowing of furnaces, transport of ores etc. showing a very elaborate technique. ... In Book V, ... Agricola made an important contribution to physical geology. He recognized the influence of water and wind on the shaping of the landscape and gave a clear account of the order of the strata he saw in the mines. ... Agricola supplied a new scientific classification of minerals based on their physical properties. He described 80 different minerals and metallic ores [including 20 new ones], their mode of occurrence and mutual relation. ...': Verne Roberts Coll., comp. p. 6 [first english ed. 1912]: Barchas Coll. [Stanford Univ. 1985] see item 33 'The son of a wool dyer, Agricola was a physician who was comfortable with the classics and corresponded with noted humanists such as Erasmus. His medical practice took him to Joachimstal and to Chemnitz, important Central European mining centers, where he learned enough about mining to invest profitably. He began to set down his observations on geology, mineralogy, metallurgy and mining practice. The De Re Metallica, published shortly after his death, represents 15 years of collecting and writing these observations, and three more years for the illustrator, Blasius Weffring of St. Joachimstal, to produce the nearly 300 woodcuts. ...': MIT Institute archives & Special coll. [1561 & Basel 1621]. Duveen, Bibl. Alchemica, pp. 4-5: Ferguson, Bibl. Chemica, vol. I, pp. 9 & 10: Singer, Hist. of Technology, vol. III, pp. 27 - 29: Ward & Carozzi, 31: Brian Ford, Images of science, pp. 124 - 125 [illustr.]: First edition of the most important book on mining and metallurgy of the Renaissance. On Hubert Maclean Evans [19.. - 1971], anatomist, discoverer of Vitamin E, bibliophile and avid bookcollector, see a.o. the speech held in March 1971 by Jake Zeitlin on 'San Francisco Bay Rare Book Collectors'. The presence of the bookplate in this copy of Agricola raises a few questions. Strictly speaking this good copy would most likely not have been part of one of the Evans collections, because of the non-original binding [prior to the present binding the book was covered in a dreadful 19th c. re used vellum) and because of the removed library stamps, professionally filled in w. paper at a much earlier date. Evans would have discarded this copy in a time when [from 1900 onwards] copies in original bindings were still to be had with some ease. Not so nowadays! Research into the provenance [early 1990ties to 2009] indicates that at some time the bookplate was added from another Evans book.
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Keywords: geologie iron metals mijnbouw commissie