CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED TREATISE ON GLASS-MAKING, 1689
KUNCKEL, Johannes. Ars Vitraria Experimentalis, oder, Vollkommene Glasmacher-Kunst. Frankfurt-Leipzig; Nuremberg: Christoph Riegels, 1689. Two parts in one. Square octavo, contemporary full vellum, spine title in manuscript. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $6500.
Second edition, enlarged, of this fundamental treatise on the manufacture of glass, with fine engraved portrait frontispiece, additional engraved title page, 20 full-page engravings of processes and seven in-text woodcuts of tools.
In around 1667, Johannes Kunckel was serving as chemist to Johann Georg II, elector of Saxony, who put him in charge of the royal laboratory at Dresden. Here he learned the chemistry of glass manufacture. Twelve years later he became director of the laboratory and glass works of Brandenburg, where he discovered a way to make artificial ruby red glass by incorporating purple of Cassius. First published in 1679, his classic treatise on glass-making contains the first translation into German of Antonio Neri’s L’Arte Vetraria (1612), as well as a special section devoted to making colored glass— including his innovative recipe for ruby glass. Kunckel’s work was relied upon for at least a century and is historically valuable for its illustrations, “the most interesting of which shows a glass-blower’s lamp worked by pedal bellows” (Norman). With a separate title for Part II at page . Text in German. See Norman 1244. Duveen, 328. Early owner signature on engraved title page.
Text and plates only slightly embrowned, one tiny worm hole to margins of first few gatherings only. A very desirable copy in near-fine condition.