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Titel: Meissnische Land und Berg=Chronica, in ...
Verlag: Dresden, Gimel Bergen, 1589-1590
Two parts in one vol, folio (305 x 195 mm), pp [xii] 449 ; [viii] 205 , with the main title printed in red and black within an elaborate woodcut border, the sectional title to the second part within a woodcut border showing mining scenes, two full-page engravings with portraits of Witekind, the last Saxon king, and Charlemagne, and a number of text woodcuts, including coats-of-arms (some of the latter coloured by a contemporary hand); the title a little dusty and with a short tear at upper margin, evenly browned, rear inner hinge with old strengthening with a strip of paper, covering a section of the blank verso of the final leaf, a good copy in contemporary vellum over boards, the binding a bit dusty and with some cracks along hinges, three early inscriptions to title (one inked out at head). £4000First edition of this important early mining book, and with 'great detail of the old mines of Saxony. A storehouse of historical information, especially on the output of gold and silver, some details on magnet-stone found, as well as Wolfram and other metals mined' (Weil).Whereas the first part is an elaborate chronicle of the region, the second deals exclusively with its mining industry and that of its neighbouring regions. Included are brief biographies of earlier writers on the subject, with a lengthier entry on Agricola; the final chapters are on precious stones, salt and saltpetre, various earths, and coal.'The book is also most important for the early history of European porcelain, as Professor W. Prandtl has just proved' (ibid.). Whilst the invention of the process of making porcelain is generally attributed to Freiherr Walther von Tschirnhaus (1651-1708), Prandtl in his essay traces the early history of European porcelain back to descriptions provided by Georg Agricola in De natura fossilium (1546), as well as to a description provided by Conrad Gesner in his De omni rerum fossilium genere (1565). He points out the existence of a thriving industry at that time in Saxony in stonewares that closely resemble porcelain, especially at Waldenburg, and that the required processes in its making were largely known. He highlights Peter Albinus praising the local 'snow white earth' and the noble vessels of worldwide renown produced there.For Prandtl's article 'Zur Vorgeschichte des Meissner Porzellans', see Chymia, Annual Studies in the History of Chemistry 4 (1953), pp 115-127. Provenance: early inscription 'Jacob Wimpfling ze Groning' below another erased inscription of a Jesuit college; foot of title inscribed 'Johan Christoff Kaubl uberlingensis An[n]o 1604'; 19th-century stamp 'K.k. Hof & Kunsthandlung. F.A. Credner' [Prague] and a later collector's stamp 'Prof. Dr. G.C. Laube, Prague' below; Credner's stamp repeated on last leaf versoHoover 43. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 3836
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