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Natural History

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[MINERALOGY] AGRICOLA, Giorgio. De la generatione de le cose, che sotto la terra sono, e de le cause de’ loro effeti e nature. Venice, Michelle Tramezzino, 1550.

8vo [14.9 x 9.7 cm], 28) ff. (the last blank), 467 ff., (1) f., with woodcut printer’s devices, 1 full-page woodcut on verso of f. 142, and woodcut initials. Bound in 17th-century full morocco elaborately stamped in gold, all edges gilt. Spine and extremities restored. Some minor marginal waterstaining and spotting towards rear of volume, otherwise very good.


Rare first Italian edition and first edition in any vulgate language of “the first handbook of modern systematic mineralogy” (Horblit/Grolier, Latin no. 1546).

“Agricola’s most important work...after De re metallica itself, was De Natura Fossilium which was the first systematic mineralogy... The De Ortu et Causis Subterraneorum is considered the first work on physical geology, the De natura Eorum quae effluunt ex terra deals with subterranean waters and gases, the De Veteribus et Novis Metallis recounts various references to metals and mines in classical history, and there is a new edition of Bermannus” (Hoover, p. 4).

* Adams A-339; Hoover 12 (cf. 14 fot Latin 1546); Grolier/Horblit 2a (1546 Latin); Stillwell, Science IV.563

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