AGRICOLA, GEORGIUS. De re metallica. Basel: J. Froben and N. Episcopius 1556.
Folio, 300 x 205mm. (11 13/16 x 8 1/8 in.), eighteenth-century vellum, library buckram lettering label on smooth spine, edges sprinkled red, endpapers renewed, minor rodent(?) damage to lower edges, lacking blank a6, title-leaf and first text leaf (a3) each with a small square repair, affecting 3 words of the privilege on verso of title and 24 words in text, supplied in very skillful manuscript facsimile, 5 leaves with short marginal tears, occasional light foxing or minor discoloration.
FIRST EDITION, printer's woodcut device on title and at end, large metalcut initials, 273 large woodcuts by Hans Rudolf Deutsch after Blasius Weffring, including two full-page cuts (one folding) inserted after fol. i2 (p. 100).
"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...Some of the most importants 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"--Adams A349; Dibner, Heralds of Science 88; Grolier/Horblit 2b; PMM 79.
Provenance: Marginal notes in a neat eighteenth-century hand; J. Bustamente, pencil inscription on front flyleaf dated 1929; Herbert McLean Evans, bookplate; Stanford University Libraries.