C1556
 (1560)

A. Standing plummet level B. Tongue C. Level and tongue.

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. BOOK V – Explains the art of … Read Full Description

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S/N: DRME-101–183896
(C073)
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Details

Full Title:

A. Standing plummet level B. Tongue C. Level and tongue.

Date:

C1556
 (1560)

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Engraver:

Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch 
(fl.1525 – 
1572)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodcut

Image Size: 

143mm 
x 225mm
AUTHENTICITY
A. Standing plummet level B. Tongue C. Level and tongue. - 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.

BOOK V – Explains the art of underground mining and the art of surveying.  When the surveyor has carefully observed each separate angle of the tunnel and has measured such parts as he ought to measure, then he lays them out in the same way on the surveyor’s field 20 in the open air, and again no less carefully observes each separate angle and measures them. First of all, to each angle, according as the calculation of his triangle and his art require it, he lays out a straight cord as a line. Then he stretches a cord at such an angle as represents the slope of the mountain, so that its lower end may reach the end of the straight cord; then he stretches a third cord similarly straight and at such an angle, that with its upper end it may reach the upper end of the second cord, and with its lower end the last end of the first cord. The length of the third cord shows the depth of the shaft, as I said before, and at the same time that point on the tunnel to which the shaft will reach when it has been sunk.

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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