Pirotechnia. Li Diece Libri Della Pirotechnia, Nelli quali si tratta non solo la diversità delle minere, ma ancho quanto si ricerca alla prattica di esse: e di quanto s'appartiene all'arte della fusione ouer getto de metalli, e d'ogni altra cosa à questa somigliante. Vannuccio BIRINGUCCIO.
Pirotechnia. Li Diece Libri Della Pirotechnia, Nelli quali si tratta non solo la diversità delle minere, ma ancho quanto si ricerca alla prattica di esse: e di quanto s'appartiene all'arte della fusione ouer getto de metalli, e d'ogni altra cosa à questa somigliante.
Pirotechnia. Li Diece Libri Della Pirotechnia, Nelli quali si tratta non solo la diversità delle minere, ma ancho quanto si ricerca alla prattica di esse: e di quanto s'appartiene all'arte della fusione ouer getto de metalli, e d'ogni altra cosa à questa somigliante.
Pirotechnia. Li Diece Libri Della Pirotechnia, Nelli quali si tratta non solo la diversità delle minere, ma ancho quanto si ricerca alla prattica di esse: e di quanto s'appartiene all'arte della fusione ouer getto de metalli, e d'ogni altra cosa à questa somigliante.

Pirotechnia. Li Diece Libri Della Pirotechnia, Nelli quali si tratta non solo la diversità delle minere, ma ancho quanto si ricerca alla prattica di esse: e di quanto s'appartiene all'arte della fusione ouer getto de metalli, e d'ogni altra cosa à questa somigliante.

Title within woodcut border & numerous woodcut illus. in the text. 8 p.l., 168 leaves. Small 4to, cont. limp vellum. [Venice: Comin da Trino for C. T. de’ Navò], 1558.

Third edition of the first systematic book on mining and metallurgy; according to Cyril Stanley Smith, the second edition of 1550 and our edition are far superior to the first edition of 1540 for in that earlier edition “the type is worn, poorly aligned, and arranged in a solid mass, unrelieved by paragraphing.”–Smith & Gnudi, The Pirotechnia (1943), pp. xix-xx.

Biringuccio (1480-1539?), after travelling throughout Italy and Germany, inspecting metallurgical operations and running an iron mine and forge at Boccheggiano, was appointed director of the mint at Siena. He later cast cannon and built fortifications for the Este and Farnese families. At the time of his death he was head of the papal foundry and director of papal munitions at Rome.

This work embraces the whole field of technology. It “was written for the practicing metallurgist, foundryman, dyer, type-founder, glass-maker, and maker of gunpowder, fireworks and chemicals used in warfare.”–Dibner, Heralds of Science, 38–(1st ed. of 1540).

“Virtually all of Biringuccio’s descriptions are original. He is important in art history for his description of the peculiarly Renaissance arts of casting medallions, statues, statuettes, and bells. His account of typecasting, given in considerable detail, is the earliest known.

The Pirotechnia contains eighty-three woodcuts, the most useful being those depicting furnaces for distillation, bellows mechanisms, and devices for boring cannon and drawing wire… “The Pirotechnia is a prime source on many practical aspects of inorganic chemistry. Biringuccio emphasizes the adaptation of minerals and metals to use — their alloying, working, and especially the art of casting, of which he writes in great detail. In this area he is far better than the two other sixteenth-century authors with whom he is inevitably compared, Georgius Argicola and Lazarus Ercker…

“Biringuccio’s approach is in strong conflict with that of the alchemists, whose work he evaluates in eleven pages of almost modern criticism, distinguishing their practical achievements from their theoretical motivations…

“Biringuccio has been called one of the principal exponents of the experimental method.”–D.S.B., II, p. 143.

A fine crisp copy. Old stamp on title very carefully erased, touching one letter.

❧ Brunet, I, 954. Duveen, p. 80. Partington, II, pp. 32-37. Singer, History of Technology, III, p. 27 & passim. Wolf, History of Science, I, p. 486.

Price: $7,500.00

Item ID: 2465