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    The First American Book on Metallurgy

    Alvaro Alonso Barba. The Art of Metals In which is Declared the manner Of Their Generation And The Concomitants Of Them. In Two Books. [Bound with:] The Second Book...Wherein is Taught the Common Way Of Refining Silver By Quicksilver. London: Samuel Mearne, 1674. Second English edition of part one, first edition of part two. Octavo. Two volumes in one. A-K8, A-F8 [lacks F8 blank] [4], 156. [2], 91, [1] pages. Contemporary mottled calf, blind roll and fluerons. Spine ends chipped, corners bumped, no endsheets thus exposing hinges, some dampstains, early note on verso of second title page,marginal note signs, and on blank verso of last leaf. Lacks plate (a photocopied facsimile is laid-in). Very good. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    "The same separation of theory and practice led Ramus to discard completely Aristotle's Physics as a suitable text for natural philosophy. In terms that Bacon would later echo, Ramus argued that the Physics dealt not with natural phenomena but with logical analysis addressed to concepts rooted in the mind particular, despite Aristotle's strictures, astronomy, optics, and mechanics formed an integral part of physics, even if it was more convient to teach them separately or as subtopics of geometry. Ramus' broad view of this subject remained largely programmatic. His Scholae physicae appeared in 1565; but he never did write a textbook..." DSB.

    Alvaro Alonso Barba, a Spanish priest, was sent to Peru by the church in 1588 and after 1624 served in the famous silver boom-town of Potosi and died there sometime after 1639. This was his only book, published posthumously. "Barba excelled in his account of the treatment of silver ores by amalgamation, using processes that he himself had discovered and that were in large measure responsible for the wealth of the province. . . Barba was one of the first writers to advocate for what amounts to a laboratory control of an entire plant process as well as the computation of all costs". DSB. "the first American book on Metallurgy" (Duveen).

    "The fact that the Hoover Collection contains eight editions of Barba's work is an indication of Mr Hoover's keen appreciation of its significance. As a matter of fact the U.S. President said on many occasions that the mining techniques first elucidated by Agricola and Barba had much to do with the sucess of the Spanish mines of the New World. Barba who was pastor of St. Bernard's at Potosi, revealed a little too much about metals and refining for the taste of the Spanish Inquisition and his book was prohibited in Spain at that time." Hoover Catalog.

    Wing B678 & 682. ESTC r17204. Bruning 2278. Norman 115. Sabin 3254. Wellcome II, 96. Duveen 42. Ward & Carozzi 113. T.C. I,177. Neville 70.

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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