Riga and Jelgava (Mietau), J.F. Hartknoch 1769.
8vo. [xx], 195p.
Contemporary gilt-ruled polished tan calf (small abrasion to the rear panel), gilt spine and gilt-lettered morocco label, red edges, blue silk marker.
Only Edition of this taxonomic guide to minerals with considerable data on dozens of then active mines. BASED ON HIS PRIVATE COLLECTION OF SPECIMENS, Scopoli composed the Introduction for his students at the Mining Academy in Schemnitz (Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia). He divided the mineralogical kingdom into two classes. One is “Earths” — limestone, chalk, gypsum, clay, mica, asbestos, crystal and quartz. The other is “Minerals” — salts, opal, amber, sulfur, gold, silver, iron, cobalt…. He gives the Latin and German names for fifty-two mineral, notes where he found them, records their chemical properties and physical characteristics. Also a botanist, chemist, entomologist and physician, Scopoli corresponded with Linnaeus and later taught at the University of Pavia, to which he bequeathed his collections. I have located three copies in North America. In nice condition, 18th-century bookplate of Beat Rudolph von Tavel; the 1763 Latin edition is a ghost.
¶Schuh, Biobibliography of Mineralogy online no. 4 “Rare”; Poggendorff, Biographisch-literarisches Handwörterbuch zur Geschichte der exacten Wissenschaften II: 880; Ferchl, Chemisch-pharmazeutisches Bio- und Bibliographikon 494; see Wilson’s The History of Mineral Collecting 1530-1799 192.