BIRINGUCCIO, Vanocchio (1480-1539?). De la pirotechnia. Libri X. Dove ampiamente si tratta non solo de ogni sorte & diversita de Miniere, ma anchora quanto si ricerca intorno a la prattica di quelle cosi di quel che si appartiene a l'arte de la fusione over gitto de metalli. Venice: Venturino Rossinello for Curtio Navo and brothers, 1540.
4o (203 x 149 mm). Roman type, title-page with wide woodcut border (incorporating an emblem of Venice, equipment used in metallurgy and smelting and the printer's lion device), 84 rectangular woodcuts (mostly 51 x 101mm, three larger), 7-line woodcut capitals. 19th-century calf (upper joint slightly cracked); half morocco slipcase. Provenance: Denis Bouthillier (d. 1622), French statesman (signature on title); Bibliotheque du Chateau de St. Gery (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF THE EARLIEST BOOK ON METALLURGY, with important sections on smelting of metals, metal-casting, type-founding, fireworks and gunpowder. "The first comprehensive book on the fire-using arts and one of the classics in the history of science and technology" (Hoover). "Written for the practicing metallurgist, foundryman, dyer, type-founder, glass-maker, and maker of gunpowder, fireworks and chemicals used in warfare" (Dibner). "Biringuccio should be credited with the first description of silver liquation, and...was the first to mention cobalt blue and manganese" (Duveen). Adams B-2080; Cockle, Military Books 931; Dibner, Heralds of Science 38; Duveen 79; Harvard/Mortimer Italian 66; Hoover 129; Norman 238; Partington II, 32-37; Wellcome 873.