17 June 2008
AGRICOLA, Georgius (1494-1555). De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib. V - De natura eorum quae effluunt ex terra Lib. IIII - De natura fossilium Lib. X - De veteribus & novis metallis Lib. II - Bermannus, sive De re metallica Dialogus - Interpretatio Germanica vocum rei metallicae. Basel: Hieronymus Froben and Nicolaus Episcopius, September 1546.
2o (295 x 199 mm). Printer's woodcut device on title and at end, numerous woodcut initials, many historiated. (60 mm. circular repair to blank margin of title, affecting a few letters on verso, some minor marginal worming to last few leaves.) 20th-century limp vellum. Provenance: Ladislao Reti (1901-1973), historian of science (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF "THE FIRST HANDBOOK OF MODERN SYSTEMATIC MINERALOGY" (Grolier/Horblit). This collection of six treatises on geology and metallurgy contains some of Agricola's most important works. The first is considered the earliest work on physical geology. The second work deals with subterranean waters and gases. The third work, Agricola's attempt to classify fossils according to their physical properties, is the first systematic mineralogy. The fourth treatise lists references to minerals and mining in classical history. The Bermannus, Agricola's first work on mining, is here reprinted from the original edition of 1530. Adams A-345; BM/STC German p. 8; Grolier/Horblit 2a; Hoover 14; Norman 19; Stillwell Science 565.
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