Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Monday, December 18, 2017

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Bruckmann, Urban Friedrich.
Abhandlung von Edelsteinen. Zweyte Verbesserte und Vermehrte Auflage.

Braunschweig Verlag dur Furst. Waysenhaus-Buchhandlung: 1773.

Bruckmann [1723-1812] was the court physician to the Duke of Brunswick, a professor of anatomy, a mineralogist, gemologist, and prolific writer. Of the first edition of this important book, first published in 1757, Sinkankas says "it is not a formal gemological treatise but rather the record of his personal observations on gemstones in which are incorporated numerous quotations and citations of the opinions of such, it provides an invaluable 'status report' on gemological knowledge at the time". This, the second edition, was greatly enlarged, and reflected the information gathered in the 16 intervening years during which Bruckmann had been corresponding with other European gemologists and visiting important collections. It also features a "most valuable appendix concerning the 'largely unknown so-called gemstones' of older writers, becoming, in effect, a glossary of same as employed by Pliny and Boetius De Boodt, among others. This glossary is unique and deserves to be translated...there are hundreds of terms and I know of no other place in the literature where a similar glossary of ancient gemological/mineralogical terms exists" (Sinkankas). A major and important work, now uncommon.

Hardcover. 5"x8", 415 pages, decorated title page, woodcut headpiece and tailpiece. Bound in early 19th century speckled boards. Spine rubbed, a very small amount of very light internal spotting on a few pages, otherwise a fine, wide-margined copy. At one time part of the noted collection of gem dealer and gemstone-reference collector Henry Polissack, with his label on the front pastedown.

Inventory #: 32733
Price: $ 3750.00      

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