Basel: Hieronymus Froben and Nicholas Episcopius, 1556.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Near Fine. Item #001847
Folio (320x195 mm). , [2: blank], 538 [i.e. 502],  pp. With woodcut printer's marks on title and bb6v, 2 folding woodcut plates inserted after i2 (the first plate shaved at fore-edge just into image, the second trimmed at head with a few mm loss), about 270 woodcut illustrations and diagrams in text (many full page). Mainly marginal wormholes (heavier in final 17 leaves of index affecting just a few letters of text), old canceled inscription on title-page, occasional very light marginal spotting, tear reinforced on p.453. Bound in contemporary calf, boards tooled with blind fillets, roll-stamps and fleurons, spine with 5 raised bands richly gilt in compartments, blue edges (old, probably 17th-century rebacking, slightly rubbed, some worming to spine and boards). An exceptional copy in fine contemporary binding, interior bright and clean. Collated complete. -----
Dibner 88, Horblit 2b, PMM 79, Norman 20, Adams A-349; Brunet I, 113; Duveen pp.4-5; Hoover 17. -
FIRST EDITION OF 'THE FIRST SYSTEMATIC TREATISE ON MINING AND METALLURGY AND ONE OF THE FIRST TECHNOLOGICAL BOOKS OF MODERN TIMES' (PMM). De re metallica combines a profound technical and financial knowledge of mining with an underlying interest in the health and daily routine of mine workers. The twelve books include important sections on mechanical engineering, the use of water-power, blowing of furnaces, transport of ores, and 'embrace 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' (PMM). The fine series of almost 300 woodcuts, some signed with the monogram 'RMD', were used for 101 years in seven editions, and are generally attributed to Hans Rudolf Manuel Deutsch (fl.1525-1572) or, less commonly, Blasius Weffring.
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