Beschreibung

LAZARUS ERCKER
(ca. 1528 – 1594)

Beschreibung allerfurnemisten mineralischen Ertzt vnnd Bergkwercks arten, wie dieselbigen, vnd eine jede in sonderheit, jrer Natur vnd eygenschafft nach, auff alle Metalla probirt, vnd im kleinen Fewer sollen versucht werden, mit erklärung etlicher fürnemer nützlicher Schmeltzwerck, im grossen Feuwer, auch scheidung Goldts, Silbers, vnd anderer Metalln, sampt einem Bericht deß Kupfer saigerns, Messing brennens, vnd Salpeter siedens, auch aller saltzigen Minerischen proben, vnd was denen allen anhengig.

[4], 134, [3] of 4 ff., lacking the final blank. With a heraldic woodcut and 41 partly repeated woodcuts, of which one for the title. Modern vellum backed boards. Somewhat browned and foxed as usual, due to minor paper quality, small mended defect in the lower margin of title page. Frankfurt am Mayn, Johann Feyerabend, 1598.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: USTC 616107; VD1: E3718; Duveen, p. 195; Ferguson I, 242-3; Hoover Collection 281.
Scarce third edition. „Together with Agricola‘s De Re Metallica (1st ed., Basel, 1556), Ercker‘s treatise is the most authoritative and practical work on 16th century metallurgy and assaying. He provides a systematic review of methods of testing alloys and minerals and of obtaining and refining various metals. Also described are procedures for manufacturing acids, salts and other chemical compounds, including saltpeter and vitriol. Apparatus and laboratory equipment used in metallurgy and assaying as well as detailed accounts of laboratory procedures, all of which had been used by Ercker in his everyday work as inspector of mines.Ercker was an accurate recorder of facts, not a builder of theoretical systems. He writes with amazing clarity, with completely realistic descriptions of the apparatus used and straightforward instructions for various laboratory operations. His treatment of the subject is basically the same as found in any modern treatise on fire assaying, and in fact his work remained the standard text for several centuries after its first appearance.In five books Ercker defines assaying and what knowledge the practicing assayer should possess. The first book deals with silver ores, how to distinguish them and the apparatus required to perform accurate tests, and refine the resultant metal. Book two describes the same for gold and its ores, while book three covers copper. Book four concerns lead, bismuth, tin, antimony, mercury, iron and lodestone. Book five describes the preparation of saltpeter and the assay of vitriol from pyrite and alum in the ores of alum“ (Curtis Schuh‘s Bibliography of Mineralogy).The fine woodcuts, nine more han the in first edition, show mining and metallurgical operations of all kinds, including smelting and assaying, and give details of appartatus, furnaces etc. [369031].