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    Georgii Agricolae [Georgius Agricola]. De Re Metallica Libri XII. Basel: Ludovici Regis, 1621. Third Latin edition. Folio in sixes (13.5 x 8.25 inches; 345 x 210 mm.). [10], [2, blank]], 500, [501-502 (misnumbered)], [58], [4, blank] pages. 297 woodcuts of which two are folding. Slightly later sprinkled calf, spine in seven compartments with six raised bands, gilt-lettered black leather label, compartments stamped in gilt; boards double-ruled in gilt. Edges sprinkled red. Endpapers renewed. Boards scuffed and lightly rubbed; edges worn; front joint cracked but holding firm; rear joint starting at ends; corners bumped and worn; spine leather with some light flaking. Text block toned with occasional marginal foxing; some heavy offsetting thoughout from woodcuts; previous owner's signature on front pastedown dated 1927. Still, very good.

    "[T]he first systematic treatise on mining and metallurgy and one of the first technological books of modern times...The De Re Metallica was frequently reprinted and is said to have reached China in the seventeenth century. Interest in it was revived in the eighteenth century by Abraham Gottlieb Werner; and in 1912 it was translated into English by Herbert Hoover, afterwards President of the United States." Printing and the Mind of Man 79 (1556 edition).

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    "Although not a miner himself, Agricola served as a physician and burgomaster in various mining towns in Bohemia and Saxony and published a number of original treatises on mining, surveying, assaying, and mining law... His De re metallica may not have been the earliest treatise on mining and metallurgy, but it was easily the most scholarly, comprehensive, and influential of its day" (Ash, Power, Knowledge, and Expertise in Elizabethan England, p. 23).

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2017
    14th Thursday
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