14 June 2006
BIRINGUCCI, Vanuccio (1480-1539?). Pirotechnia. Li dieci libri della pirotechnia, nelli quali si tratta non solo de la diversit delle minere, ma ancho quanto si ricerca alla prattica di esse: e di quanto s'appartiene all'arte della fusione over getto de metalli, e d'ogni altra cosa questa somigliante. [Venice: Comin da Trino di Monferrato, 1559], 1558.
4o (210 x 154 mm.). Title within elaborate woodcut border, numerous woodcut illustrations, historiated initials (some light browing and staining). Later vellum (rebacked). Provenance: Di Gaetano Milanesi (inscription on front free endpaper).
Third edition, first published in 1540. Pirotechnia "is the first comprehensive book on the fire-using arts and one of the classics in the history of science and technology". Not only were four editions of this popular work printed in Venice before 1600, it was also translated into Italian, French, Latin, German, and English. Biringuccio "stressed the use of minerals and metals - their alloying, working, and art of casting, and he gave the earliest account of typecasting and the making of statues, medaillons, and bells. Agricola freely borrowed several sections of Pirotechnia for use in his later work" De re metallica (Hoover). Adams B-2083; Hoover 131; Wellcome I, 874.
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