Two engraved titles; a printed title to Vol. I with an engraved vignette; engraved ports. of Kircher & Pope Alexander VII; 19 engraved plates & maps (12 folding or double-page), volvelles in Vol. I at pp. 132, 154, & 156; engraved slip in Vol. II at p. 385; a woodcut slip at p. 30 in Vol. II; numerous engravings & woodcuts in the text; 7 printed tables (6 of which are double-page or folding). 14 p.l., 346,  pp.; 5 p.l., 487,  pp. Two vols. in one. Folio, cont. mottled sheep (ends of spine a bit worn, minor rubbing, occasional bit of foxing), spine richly gilt. Amsterdam: J. Jansson & E. Weyerstraten, 1665.
First edition of this famous and appealing book; it “must always command a high place in the literature as the first effort to describe the earth from a physical standpoint.”–Zittel, p. 25. This work is concerned with geology, mineralogy, mining, astronomy, chemistry, and physics.
The first two books contain a consideration of the center of gravity of the earth and the form and constitution of the sun, moon, and earth. Book III is devoted to hydrography and Book IV to the earth’s interior, volcanoes, and winds. Books VI-VIII treat the earth’s composition. Book X is devoted to minerals and mining. It is in this book that Kircher expressed for the first time the theory that the temperature below the earth’s surface increases in proportion to depth. There are also sections on distillation (with some fine illustrations of distillation equipment) and glass-making.
A fine and complete copy. Minor worming in gutter at head towards the end of the text.
❧ Ferguson, I, p. 467. Hoover 483. Merrill 17–Kircher’s observations of Aetna and Stromboli “led him to conclude that the center of the earth is a massive internal fire for which the volcanoes are mere safety valves.” Partington, II, pp. 328-33.
Item ID: 7681