De distillatione lib. IX. Quibus certa methodo, multiplicique artificio, penitioribus naturae arcanis detectis, cuiuslibet mixti in propria elementa resolutio, perfecte docetur.
Rome: Camera Apostolica, 1608.
1st Edition. Soft cover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003607
4to (215 x 160 mm). , 154,  pp. Title with printer's device, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, full-size engraved portrait of the author, 35 woodcut text illustrations, epigrams at beginning with Hebrew, Greek, Chaldaean, Persian and Illyrian scripts; colophon and woodcut device on final leaf verso. Signatures: *4 *6 A-V4. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, bottom edge titled in manuscript (single wormhole in upper joint, light soiling and rubbing of covers, inner front hinge partially broken). Some soiling at head of title, text very little browned, some minor spotting, paper flaw with paper thinning and tear at fore-marging of leaf S1 (outside text area), portrait leaf detached. A very good+ copy in untouched first binding. ----
RARE FIRST EDITION. Della Porta's treatise gives the most comprehensive view of the applications of distillation in the sixteenth century. The work is an expansion of the section on distillation in Book X of the enlarged edition of his Magia naturalis (1589). "It deals in successive books with the names of the vessels used in the various distillation processes (fancifully compared with animals and birds) and the degree of heat; distillation of waters; oils of flowers, exotic plants, resins, and woods; strong waters (aqua regia), water or oil of vitriol, oil of sulphur (with figure of a multiple-headed alembic), and expressed oils" (Partington). "This book is as rare as it is beautiful [. . .] among the many fine woodcuts contained in the book, the most curious are those depicting pieces of apparatus likened to different animals" (Duveen).
Bibliography: Norman 1725; Partington I, p.24; Ferguson II, 215f.; Duveen 481; NLM/Krivatsy 9177; Riccardi I(ii), 312. - Visit our website to see more images!
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