C1556
 (1560)

A,B,C. Three Furnaces. At the first stands the smelter, who with a ladle pours the alloy out of the forehearth into the moulds. D. Forehearth. E. Ladle F. Moulds G. Round wooden hammer H. Tapping Bar. At the second furnace stands the smelter, who opens h

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Rare woodcut from De Re Metallica printed in 1560, which was the the most famous study on all aspects of mining and metallurgy, and one of the first technological books of modern times. Then the master breaks out the whole … Read Full Description

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S/N: DRME-313–194965
(C073)
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Full Title:

A,B,C. Three Furnaces. At the first stands the smelter, who with a ladle pours the alloy out of the forehearth into the moulds. D. Forehearth. E. Ladle F. Moulds G. Round wooden hammer H. Tapping Bar. At the second furnace stands the smelter, who opens h

Date:

C1556
 (1560)

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Engraver:

Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch 
(fl.1525 – 
1572)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodcut
AUTHENTICITY
A,B,C. Three Furnaces. At the first stands the smelter, who with a ladle pours the alloy out of the forehearth into the moulds. D. Forehearth. E. Ladle  F. Moulds G. Round wooden hammer H. Tapping Bar. At the second furnace stands the smelter, who opens h - Antique Print from 1556

Genuine antique
dated:

1560

Description:

Rare woodcut from De Re Metallica printed in 1560, which was the the most famous study on all aspects of mining and metallurgy, and one of the first technological books of modern times.

Then the master breaks out the whole of the mouth of the furnace with a crowbar, and with that other hooked bar, the rabble and the five-toothed rake, he extracts the accretions and the charcoal. This crowbar is not unlike the other hooked one, but larger and wider; the handle of the rabble is six feet long and is half of iron and half of wood. The furnace having cooled, the master chips off the accretions clinging to the walls with a rectangular spatula six digits long, a palm broad, and sharp on the front edge; it has a round handle four feet long, half of it being of iron and half of wood. This is the first method of smelting ores.

Because they generally consist of unequal constituents, some of which melt rapidly and others slowly, the ores rich in gold and silver cannot be smelted as rapidly or as easily by the other methods as they can by the first method, for three important reasons. The first reason is that, as often as the closed tap-hole of the furnace is opened with a tapping-bar, so often can the smelter observe whether the ore is melting too quickly or too slowly, or whether it is flaming in scattered bits, and not uniting in one mass; in the first case the ore is smelting too slowly and not without great expense; in the second case the metal mixes with the slag which flows out of the furnace into the forehearth, wherefore there is the expense of melting it again; in the third case, the metal is consumed by the violence of the fire. Each of these evils has its remedy; if the ore melts slowly or does not come together, it is necessary to add some amount of fluxes which melt the ore; or if they melt too readily, to decrease the amount.

 BOOK IX – Smelting Ores

Biography:

Georgius Agricola (1494-1555)

Agricola was a German Catholic, scholar and scientist. Known as “the father of mineralogy“, he was born at Glauchau in Saxony. His birth name was Georg Pawer (Bauer) and Agricola is the Latinised version of his name, by which he was known his entire adult life. Agricola, studied at Leipzig, Bologna and Padua and became town physician of the mining centre of Joachimsthal in Bohemia and physician at Chemnitz in Saxony from 1534 until his death. Living in mining regions all his life made it possible for him to study mining practices first hand and these direct observations made this series particularly valuable and effective.

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. The magnificent woodcut illustrations by Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch illustrate the different processes involved in mining and include mechanical engineering details such as the use of water-power, hauling, pumps, ventilation, blowing of furnaces and transport of ores.

Agricola made an important contribution to physical geology. He recognized the influence of water and wind on the shaping of the landscape and gave a clear account of of the order of the strata he saw in the mines. Writing on the origin of mountains, he descrivbes the eroding action of water as their cause with a perspicacity much in advance of his time.

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.

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