CRAMER, Johann Andreas.

Elements of the Art of Assaying Metals. In two parts. The first containing the theory, the second the practice of the said art. The whole deduced from the true properties and nature of fossils… Translated from the Latin… With an appendix, containing a list of the chief authors that have been published in English upon minerals and metals.

London: Printed for Tho. Woodward...and C. Davis…1741

8vo, pp. (xii), 208, 201–470, (8) index, 6 folding engraved plates of assaying apparatus. Some light browning, pale dampstain in upper margin of the first part, and a brown offset on the title-page from a slip pasted to the free endpaper. Contemporary calf, very neatly rebacked to match, gilt centres, red morocco label, sides a little marked but a very good copy.

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of the first textbook of assaying. Originally published in 1737 as Elementa artis docimasticae, it was a “profusely illustrated work [which] encompassed the entire art of assaying in two parts, one theoretical and one practical. In the preface he referred to the works of Agricola, Lazarus Ercker, and Stahl. All the instruments and apparatus of contemporary analytical chemistry were depicted and described exactly. In the Elementa, Cramer first described the use of the blowpipe in smelting small amounts of substances and in analyzing them. The sample was heated to glowing over charcoal, and in many cases borax beads were also utilized… In 1738 and 1739 Cramer made a long trip through England to learn more about the subject, and he gave lectures in London” (DSB). Cole 300: “…considered one of the best works of the period on the subject.” Partington II, 701–711.


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