C1556
 (1560)

A. First small balance. B. Second. C. Third, placed in a case.

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

There are three small balances by which we weigh ore, metals, and fluxes. The first, by which we weigh lead and fluxes, is the largest among these smaller balances, and when eight unciae (of the greater weights) are placed in … Read Full Description

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S/N: DRME-207–194849
(C073)
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Details

Full Title:

A. First small balance. B. Second. C. Third, placed in a case.

Date:

C1556
 (1560)

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Engraver:

Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch 
(fl.1525 – 
1572)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodcut
AUTHENTICITY
A. First small balance. B. Second. C. Third, placed in a case. - Antique Print from 1556

Genuine antique
dated:

1560

Description:

There are three small balances by which we weigh ore, metals, and fluxes. The first, by which we weigh lead and fluxes, is the largest among these smaller balances, and when eight unciae (of the greater weights) are placed in one of its pans, and the same number in the other, it sustains no damage. The second is more delicate, and by this we weigh the ore or the metal, which is to be assayed; this is well able to carry one centumpondium of the lesser weights in one pan, and in the other, ore or metal as heavy as that weight. The third is the most delicate, and by this we weigh the beads of gold or silver, which, when the assay is completed, settle in the bottom of the cupel. But if anyone weighs lead in the second balance, or an ore in the third, he will do them much injury.

From BOOK VII

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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