1788 An Essay Towards A System of Mineralogy, Translated From The Original Swedish, 2nd Edition, Printed for Charles Dilly WITH HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT NOTES


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On offer is an original, hardcover handprinted book from 1788, regarding the Natural Science of Mineralogy (the scientific study of chemistry, crystal structure, and physical properties of minerals and mineralized artifacts). The book comes at the end of the Scientific Revolution in the Western World, roughly from 1600-1800 and is a translation of a book written by Baron Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, the famous Swedish mineralogist and chemist who discovered nickel in 1751 and is regarded as one of the founders of modern mineralogy. The title page reads like many in the 17th and 18th century, long and with much information: “An ESSAY Towards A SYSTEM OF MINERALOGY By AXEL FREDERIC CRONSTEDT, Mine-Master Or Superintendent Of Mines In Sweden. Translated From The Original Swedish, With Annotations, And An Additional Treatise On The Blow-Pipe. By GUSTAV VON ENGESTROM, Counsellor Of The College Of Mines In Sweden. THE SECOND EDITION, Greatly Enlarged And Improved, By The Addition Of THe Modern Discoveries; And By A New Arrangement of the Articles By JOHN HYACINTHE de MAGELLAN...IN TWO VOLUMES... Printed For Charles Dilly, In The Poultry M DCC LXXXVIII.” In short, this the title explains that the book is of the second edition of a translation by Gustav von Engestrom of a work by the Superintendent of Swedish Mines and Baron, Axel Frederic Cronstadt, with a “new arrangement of the articles” by Portuguese Natural Philosopher John Hyacinthe de Magellan. There are 5 lines of Latin text under Magellan's name in the title, explaining that he was a fellow of the London Royal Society as well as a member of the academies of science in Brussels, Madrid, Philadelphia, Manchester, and Paris. The next page contains a dedication “To Count LOUIS de BARBIANO de BELGIOIOSO, Knight of the Order of Malta, Actual Chamberlain and Privy Counsellor of State to His Imperial and Royal Majesty, Lieutenant General of His Armies, and Proprietor of a Regiment of Infantry in the Imperial Troops, &c. &c. &c....By his Much Obliged, and Very Humble Servant, J. H. De MAGELLAN.” A lengthy preface includes a 30 page essay by the Cronstadt, a table of contents, a “TABLE showing the original Order of the Sections in the First Edition, and the Place each of them now occupies in the present Publication,” and a section entitled “Corrections and Additions,” with directions to expunge, change, or add words or phrases in the ensuing volume (sections like this were extremely common in the time before the Industrial Revolution, when type was still set by human hand the books were printed on a mechanical printing press). The book divides the sections into overarching 4 “Classes” (Earths, Salts, Inflammables, Metals) with subordinated “Orders” and sections within each order. Besides for the text, there are two engraved pages in between the two volumes. The first plate is of drawings of tools used in a “Dry Laboratory” setting, while the second plate is of tools in the “Humid Laboratory.” All of the tools related to mineralogical analysis and experimentation. Interestingly, the back of the book contains a number of pages of handwritten notes by an unknown author. The content is just notes on the book’s topics of minerals. They almost look like study notes from a student, as they reiterate the main topics of the book. The last page shows some original content: “The daily paper of Feb’y 20 1790 mentions the Death of Mr. Magellan the Editor of these volumes. Another paper of this day says he died at Islington. He was a Portuguese Man.” This is then followed by the hebrew word for “Sefardi,” a branch of Judaism originating in Spain and Portugal. Jean Hyacinthe de Magellan was in fact Sefardi Jewish. The book is approximately 1080 pages long. The cover is a full leather binding and red endbands. The front and back cover have a good bit of wear, but the spine is in very good shape, showing a small embossing over red leather that reads “System of Mineralogy Von Engestrom”. The pages have held up very well, showing little discoloration except for the first few and last few pages. The two pages of engravings themselves also show some discoloration on the outside, but not on the actual drawing plate. The printed ink is still doing very good as well. The handwriting in the back is easily legible. The ink is faded that make it slightly difficult to read at points. Overall: VG. (Background: Baron Axel Fredrik Cronstedt (23 December 1722 – 19 August 1765) was a Swedish mineralogist and chemist who discovered Nickel in 1751 as a mining expert with the Bureau of Mines. Cronstedt described it as kupfernickel. This name arises because the ore has a similar appearance to copper (kupfer) and a mischievous sprite (nickel) was supposed by miners to be the cause of their failure to extract copper from it. Cronstedt named it nickel in 1754. He was a pupil of Georg Brandt, the discoverer of cobalt. Cronstedt is one of the founders of modern mineralogy and is described as the founder by John Griffin in his 1827 “A Practical Treatise on the Use of the Blowpipe”. He remains to this day to be an outstanding idol for young swedes; Jean Hyacinthe de Magellan (1723–1790) was a Portuguese natural philosopher. He was also a lineal descendant of the great Portuguese navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, who discovered in 1520 the passage to the Pacific Ocean through the straits bearing his name. Magellan was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1774, and was a corresponding member of the academies of science in Paris, Madrid, and St. Petersburg. His book on English reflecting instruments, published in Paris and London, 1775, was declared to be the most complete work on the subject at that period.); Manuscript; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, MINERALOGY, AXEL FREDERIC CRONSTEDT, FOUNDER OF NICKEL, GUSTAV VON ENGESTROM, JOHN HYACINTH de MAGELLAN, AN ESSAY TOWARDS A SYSTEM OF MINERALOGY, CHARLES DILLY, PRINTER, THE POULTON, LONDON, ENGLAND, BRITAIN, COUNT LOUIS de BARBIANAO

Title: 1788 An Essay Towards A System of Mineralogy, Translated From The Original Swedish, 2nd Edition, Printed for Charles Dilly WITH HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT NOTES



Book Condition: Good

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 18th Century Manuscript, 18th Century Rare Book, 18th Century Diary, All

Seller ID: 0009117

Keywords: keywords: history of mineralogy axel frederic cronstedt founder of nickel gustav von engestrom john hyacinth de magellan an essay towards a system of mineralogy charles dilly printer