“ONE OF THE FIRST TECHNOLOGICAL BOOKS OF MODERN TIMES”: FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF AGRICOLA’S DE RE METALLICA, INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY TRANSLATOR HERBERT HOOVER
(HOOVER, Herbert) AGRICOLA, Georgius. De Re Metallica. Translated from the First Latin Edition of 1556. London: Mining Magazine, 1912. Folio (8-1/2 by 13 inches), original full vellum, uncut. $3800.
First edition in English of this lavishly illustrated landmark scientific work, “one of the first technological books of modern times,” translated, with annotations, by the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, and his wife, inscribed "Compliments of Herbert Hoover." With a program of the 1930 Fifty-sixth Annual Convention of the American Bankers Association, where President Hoover was the keynote speaker, signed by Hoover, laid in.
Hoover, a mining engineer before entering politics, annotated this edition; his wife, a former Latin teacher, was responsible for the bulk of the translation. Includes a life of Agricola, and an appendix of his works. One of an estimated 1476 copies printed (Norman 21). With reproductions of all 270 woodcut diagrams and illustrations included in the 1556 first Latin edition. Honneyman I, 36. Hoover 28. See Dibner, Heralds of Science 88 (1556 first edition).
Expert restoration to rear board and joints, front flyleaf used to replace front pastedown, expert paper repair to inscribed blank leaf not affecting signature; last dozen leaves with expert cleaning and minor paper restoration. A very attractive copy.