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With 41 Woodcuts Of Mining And Metallurgical Apparatus

ERCKER, Lazarus. Aula Subterranea Domina Dominantium Subdita Subditorum. Das ist: untererdische Hofhaltung, ohne welche weder die Herren regieren, noch die Unterthanen gehorchen kn; Interpres phraseologiae metallurgicae. Frankfurt, Paul Hummen for Johann David Zunners, 1672-3.

Small folio [18 x 29.5 cm], engraved frontispiece signed P. Kilian, (6) ff., 332 pp., (2) ff.; Appendix: (2) ff., 47 pp. Bound in contemporary stiff vellum, covers and spine ruled. Ownership inscription of frontispiece shaved in right and lower margin, as often; some waterstain on frontispiece, title and scattered leaves, strictly in margin; a single word scored on p. ?143? (i.e. 145r), and replaced in pen at an early date; a burn affecting partial letters on pp. 157/58; p. 45 (in appendix) torn in blank gutter and re-margined. Generally good.


Scarce augmented edition of this illustrated technological classic, "second only to Agricola in the number of original contributions to the literature of mining and metallurgy and the beauty of the graphic treatment of the crafts." - Dibner 89 (1574) It is testimony to the work's usefulness as a practical handbook that it continued to be used well into the 18th century.

"Ercker's treatise is the most authoritative contemporary work on 16th-century metallurgy and assaying. Ercker gave a systematic review of methods of testing alloys and minerals and of obtaining and refining various metals, as well as methods of manufacturing acids, salts and other chemical compounds, including saltpeter. He described the apparatus and laboratory equipment used in metallurgy and assaying and gave a detailed account of laboratory methods, all of which he himself had used." -Norman.

First published in 1574 in Prague, this is a work of considerable rarity, which when it appears on the market, commands a daunting price. It had a number of 16th- and 17th-century reprints, though the present edition is the first augmented edition (augmented with Berward's lexicon). It has the same number of woodcuts as the 1598 edition (41).

* Ferguson I.243-4; Hoover 283 misreporting prelims: 7 (including frontispiece) is correct.

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