FIRST EDITION OF AGRICOLA'S TREATISE ON WEIGHTS AND MEASURES, 1533
AGRICOLA, Georgius. Libri Quinque de Mensuris & Ponderibus. Basel: Froben, 1533. Small quarto, 18th-century blue paper wrappers, raised bands. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $7500.
Rare first edition of Agricola's treatise on weights and measures, with five elaborate woodcut initials, printed at the famed Froben press in Basel in 1533.
"The work can hardly be called an arithmetic, but is a valuable book of reference on the history of ancient measures. The book is also valuable to the student of Roman and Greek numerals, and of the various symbols of measures. Such works explain the origin of certain systems of measures employed before the metric system developed, and of such symbols as are still used by apothecaries" (Smith, Rara Arithmetica, 171). Although best known for his 1556 work on mining and metallurgy, De Re Metallica, it was De Mensuris & Ponderibus that first established Agricola's reputation as an important scholar and humanist. Text in Latin. The rear wrapper shows a title page for a 1750 theological work printed in Venice on the inner flap.
Occasional light marginal dampstaining, text overall crisp and clean; restoration to spine of 18th-century paper wrappers. Rare.