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Table of Contents

With 154 Engraved Plates

BÖCKLER, Georg Andreas. Theatrum Machinarum Novum, das ist, Neu-vermehrter Schauplatz der Mechanischen K. Nuremberg, Paulus F, 1673.

Folio [33 x 21.5 cm], (6) ff., 44 pp., 154 numbered engraved plates. Bound in original blindstamped vellum over wooden boards, raised bands on spine, with title written in ink in an old hand, clasps and ties present. Some tiny wormholes in blank margin of engraved title and a few leaves; some minor handsoiling; small and light waterstain in upper margin of title and following leaves; typical toning and light browning seen in this volume, but rather less than usual; a few impressions of plates on the light side, but generally a fresh copy with good strikes in a handsome original binding.


Scarce German edition and unusually fine copy in its original binding of this machinery book devoted to pumps, presses and milling machinery by the Nuremberg architect Ber. This is unusual among Baroque machine books for primarily containing machines that had actually been realized, not simply the fantasies of those inventors with access to an engraver.

Machines described and pictured include paper mills; gunpowder mills; a fulling mill; a smithy with water-powered bellows; pipe boring mills; grinding apparatus for sharpening tools, knives and weapons; and windmills. The greatest number are grist mills and water raising devices, though one might also mention a roasting spit and a fire-engine. Many of the engravings are familiar because they were plagiarized in technology publications for the next hundred years.

The work was first published in German in 1661, with a Latin translation following the next year. Several reprints of both followed, always with the same plates. Like most German books of the period, Böckler’s books tend to brown, and this is one of the cleanest and freshest copies of his books we have ever encountered.

* Graesse I.459; Hoover 142 (Latin); Singer, History of Technology III.16-17.

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