C1556
 (1560)

A. Upright forked posts. B. Pole over the posts. C. Shaft D. First cord E. Weight of first cord F. Second cord G. Same fixed ground H. Head of the first cord I. Mouth of tunnel K. Third cord L. Weight of third cord M. First side minor triangle N. Second s

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. The surveyor, first of all, if the … Read Full Description

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S/N: DRME-090–183843
(C073)
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Full Title:

A. Upright forked posts. B. Pole over the posts. C. Shaft D. First cord E. Weight of first cord F. Second cord G. Same fixed ground H. Head of the first cord I. Mouth of tunnel K. Third cord L. Weight of third cord M. First side minor triangle N. Second s

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 224mm
AUTHENTICITY
A. Upright forked posts. B. Pole over the posts. C. Shaft D. First cord E. Weight of first cord F. Second cord G. Same fixed ground H. Head of the first cord I. Mouth of tunnel K. Third cord L. Weight of third cord M. First side minor triangle N. Second s - 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.

The surveyor, first of all, if the beams of the shaft-house do not give him the opportunity, sets a pair of forked posts by the sides of the shaft in such a manner that a pole may be laid across them. Next, from the pole he lets down into the shaft a cord with a weight attached to it. Then he stretches a second cord, attached to the upper end of the first cord, right down along the slope of the mountain to the bottom of the mouth of the tunnel, and fixes it to the ground. Next, from the same pole not far from the first cord, he lets down a third cord, similarly weighted, so that it may intersect the second cord, which descends obliquely. Then, starting from that point where the third cord cuts the second cord which descends obliquely to the mouth of the tunnel, he measures the second cord upward to where it reaches the end of the first cord, and makes a note of this first side of the minor triangle. Afterward, starting again from that point where the third cord intersects the second cord, he measures the straight space which lies between that point and the opposite point on the first cord, and in that way forms the minor triangle, and he notes this second side of the minor triangle in the same way as before. Then, if it is necessary, from the angle formed by the first cord and the second side of the minor triangle, he measures upward to the end of the first cord and also makes a note of this third side of the minor triangle. The third side of the minor triangle, if the shaft is vertical or inclined and is sunk on the same vein in which the tunnel is driven, will necessarily be the same length as the third cord above the point where it intersects the second cord; and so, as often as the first side of the minor triangle is contained in the length of the whole cord which descends obliquely, so many times the length of the second side of the minor triangle indicates the distance between the mouth of the tunnel and the point to which the shaft must be sunk; and similarly, so many times the length of the third side of the minor triangle gives the distance between the mouth of the shaft and the bottom of the tunnel.

BOOK V – Explains the art of underground mining and the art of surveying. ” The surveyor, as I said, employs his art when the owners of the mines desire to know how many fathoms of the intervening ground require to be dug; …”

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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