C1556
 (1560)

BOOK XI - Smelting Ores.

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 three remaining methods of smelting ores … Read Full Description

$A 200

S/N: DRME-315–194967
(C073)
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Details

Full Title:

BOOK XI – Smelting Ores.

Date:

C1556
 (1560)

Artist:

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)

Engraver:

Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch 
(fl.1525 – 
1572)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Woodcut
AUTHENTICITY
BOOK XI - Smelting Ores. - 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 three remaining methods of smelting ores are similar to each other in that the tap-holes of the furnaces always remain open, so that the molten metals may continually run out. They differ greatly from each other, however, for the tap-hole of the first of this kind is deeper in the furnace and narrower than that of the third, and besides it is invisible and concealed. It easily discharges into the forehearth, which is one and a half feet higher than the floor of the building, in order that below it to the left a dipping-pot can be made. When the forehearth is nearly full of the slags, which well up from the invisible tap-hole of the furnace, they are skimmed off from the top with a hooked bar; then the alloy of gold or silver with lead and the melted pyrites, being uncovered, flow into the dipping-pot, and the latter are made into cakes; these cakes are broken and thrown back into the furnace so that all their metal may be smelted out. The alloy is poured into little iron moulds.

BOOK XI – Smelting Ores.

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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