C1556
 (1560)

A. Crane-post B. Socket C. Oak cross-sills D. Band E. Roof-band. F. Frame G. Lower small cross-beam H. Upright timber I. Bars which come from the sides of the crane-posts K. Bars which come from the sides of the upright- timber. L. Rundle drums M. Toothe

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. I must also describe the crane with … Read Full Description

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S/N: DRME-382–195027
(C073)
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Full Title:

A. Crane-post B. Socket C. Oak cross-sills D. Band E. Roof-band. F. Frame G. Lower small cross-beam H. Upright timber I. Bars which come from the sides of the crane-posts K. Bars which come from the sides of the upright- timber. L. Rundle drums M. Toothe

Date:

C1556
 (1560)

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Engraver:

Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch 
(fl.1525 – 
1572)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodcut
AUTHENTICITY
A. Crane-post B. Socket C. Oak cross-sills D. Band  E. Roof-band. F. Frame G. Lower small cross-beam H. Upright timber I. Bars which come from the sides of the crane-posts K. Bars which come from the sides of the upright- timber. L. Rundle drums M. Toothe - 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.

I must also describe the crane with which the dome is raised. When it is made, there is first set up a rectangular upright post twelve feet long, each side of which measures a foot in width. Its lower pinion turns in a bronze socket set in an oak sill; there are two sills placed crosswise so that the one fits in a mortise in the middle of the other, and the other likewise fits in the mortise of the first, thus making a kind of a cross; these sills are three feet long and one foot wide and thick. The crane-post is round at its upper end and is cut down to a depth of three palms, and turns in a band fastened at each end to a roof-beam, from which springs the inclined chimney wall. To the crane-post is affixed a frame, which is made in this way: first, at a height of a cubit from the bottom, is mortised into the crane-post a small cross-beam, a cubit and three digits long, except its tenons, and two palms in width and thickness. Then again, at a height of five feet above it, is another small cross-beam of equal length, width, and thickness, mortised into the crane-post. The other ends of these two small cross-beams are mortised into an upright timber, six feet three palms long, and three-quarters wide and thick; the mortise is transfixed by wooden pegs. Above, at a height of three palms from the lower small cross-beam, are two bars, one foot one palm long, not including the tenons, a palm three digits wide, and a palm thick, which are mortised in the other sides of the crane-post. In the same manner, under the upper small cross-beam are two bars of the same size. Also in the upright timber there are mortised the same number of bars, of the same length as the preceding, but three digits thick, a palm two digits wide, the two lower ones being above the lower small cross-beam. From the upright timber near the upper small cross-beam, which at its other end is mortised into the crane-post, are two mortised bars. On the outside of this frame, boards are fixed to the small cross-beams, but the front and back parts of the frame have doors, whose hinges are fastened to the boards which are fixed to the bars that are mortised to the sides of the crane-post.

BOOK X – discusses how precious metals are separated from base metals.

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.

TheDe Re Metallicaembraces 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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