C1556
 (1560)

Three wells Straight. A. The first to arrive at the tunnel B. The second concerns the tunnel C. The third mine yet actually D. The mine

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. Now a shaft is dug, usually two … Read Full Description

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S/N: DRME-072–183739
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Full Title:

Three wells Straight. A. The first to arrive at the tunnel B. The second concerns the tunnel C. The third mine yet actually D. The mine

Date:

C1556
 (1560)

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Engraver:

Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch 
(fl.1525 – 
1572)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodcut

Image Size: 

140mm 
x 235mm
AUTHENTICITY
Three wells Straight. A. The first to arrive at the tunnel  B. The second concerns the tunnel  C. The third mine yet actually D. The mine - 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.

Now a shaft is dug, usually two fathoms long, two-thirds of a fathom wide, and thirteen fathoms deep; but for the purpose of connecting with a tunnel which has already been driven in a hill, a shaft may be sunk to a depth of only eight fathoms, at other times to fourteen, more or less. A shaft may be made vertical or inclined, according as the vein which the miners follow in the course of digging is vertical or inclined. A tunnel is a subterranean ditch driven lengthwise, and is nearly twice as high as it is broad, and wide enough that workmen and others may be able to pass and carry their loads. It is usually one and a quarter fathoms high, while its width is about three and three-quarters feet. Usually two workmen are required to drive it, one of whom digs out the upper and the other the lower part, and the one goes forward, while the other follows closely after. Each sits upon small boards fixed securely from the footwall to the hangingwall, or if the vein is a soft one, sometimes on a wedge-shaped plank fixed on to the vein itself. Miners sink more inclined shafts than vertical, and some of each kind do not reach to tunnels, while some connect with them. But as for some shafts, though they have already been sunk to the required depth, the tunnel which is to pierce the mountain may not yet have been driven far enough to connect with them. It is advantageous if a shaft connects with a tunnel, for then the miners and other workmen carry on more easily the work they have undertaken; but if the shaft is not so deep, it is usual to drift from one or both sides of it. From these openings the owner or foreman becomes acquainted with the veins and stringers that unite with the principal vein, or cut across it, or divide it obliquely; however, my discourse is now concerned mainly with vena profunda, but most of all with the metallic material which it contains. Excavations of this kind were called by the Greeks kruptai for, extending along after the manner of a tunnel, they are entirely hidden within the ground. This kind of an opening, however, differs from a tunnel in that it is dark throughout its length, whereas a tunnel has a mouth open to daylight.

BOOK V – Explains the art of underground mining and the art of surveying.

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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