Technological Chemistry

Alchimia, Das ist, Alle Farben, Wasser, Olea, Salia, unnd Alumina, damit man alle Corpora, Spiritus unnd Calces Prepariert, Sublimiert unnd Fixiert, zubereyten. Unnd wie man dise ding nutze, auff dass Sol and Luna werden möge. Auch von Solviern unnd scheydung aller Metall, Polierung allerhandt Edelgestein, fürtrefflichen Wassern zum Eisen, scheyden unnd Solviern. Unnd zuletzt wie die gifftige Dämpff zuverhüten, ein kurtzer bericht, etc.

Woodcut illus. in the text of distillation equipment & procedures. Title printed in red & black. 79, [1] leaves. Small 8vo, attractive antique calf-backed paste-paper boards (light browning throughout due to the quality of the paper), spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine. Frankfurt: [Heirs of C. Egenolff], 1574.

About the fifth edition (and the second Frankfurt edition) of this interesting alchemical compilation, which is an elaboration of the well-known Probier- and Kunstbüchlein of the early 16th century. All editions are rare; the first edition was published in 1538.

“The book has no author’s name, but it may have been compiled by a certain Petrus Kertzenmacher, who wrote a preface which appears in the 1570 and subsequent issues. The compiler has taken not only a number of the receipts but the title as well from the Rechter Gebrauch d’Alchimei, 1531. The second part deals with what was thought to be transmutation and with the separation of gold and silver, and appended is the treatise of Gilbertus Cardinal upon solution of metals, polishing of gems, and similar practical applications of chemistry.”–Ferguson, I, p. 19–(1613 ed. only).

The Kunstbüchlein was first published in 1535; by their very nature all editions are extremely rare. “It is one of the genre known in English as ‘books of secrets’, and contains vernacular receipts for tempering iron and steel, etching and colouring metal, removing stains from cloth, making inks, colours and dyes, and for various other chemical preparations. Its material was in part already of considerable antiquity, and it was to have an extensive life-span in printed form, appearing in many editions and translations, in extract and combination with other material, according to Ferguson at least until 1720…It was clearly very influential…Its audience…consisted of craftsmen and artisans.”–David L. Paisey, “Some Sources of the ‘Kunstbüchlein’ of 1535” in Gutenberg Jahrbuch (1980), pp. 113 & 115.

Very good copy of an extremely rare book. All editions are rare and WorldCat locates no copy of this edition in North America.

❧ Darmstaedter, Berg-, Probir- und Kunstbüchlein, p. 88. Ferguson, Some Early Treatises on Technological Chemistry (1888), pp. 16-19 & Supplement II (1910), pp. 3-12. See Duveen, pp. 317-18 for the 1534 and 1546 editions.

Price: $6,500.00

Item ID: 6570