Aula Subterranea domina dominantium subdita subditorum. Das ist: Untererdische Hofhaltung, ohne welche weder die Herren regieren, noch die Unterthanen gehorchen können. Oder Gründliche Beschreibung derjenigen Sachen, so in der Tieffe der Erden wachsen, als aller Ertzen der Königlichen und gemeinen Metallen, auch fürnehmster Mineralien…

Frankfurt, Johann David Zunner, 1672-1673 Two parts in one volume, small folio (315x195 mm). Each part has its own title. [12], 332, [4]; [4], 47 pp. Engraved title by P. Rilian (dated 1673), 41 large woodcut illustrations. Bound in old vellum from an antiphonal, evenly browned throughout, final leaf partially detached. Rare first edition of the enlarged edition of Ercker’s Beschreibung. The 41 wood-engraved plates, half or nearly full-page, show chemical apparatus and processes, furnaces, and mines. “Ercker, along with Agricola and Biringuccio, was the chief spokesman in printed form for most of the metallurgical knowledge of the sixteenth century and his includence on later assaying literature was enourmous. Working as chief inspector of the mines in Bohemia under Emperor Rudolf ii, he systematically reviewed the methods of testing alloys and minerals, supervised smelting operations, and wrote with extraordinary clarify of the apparatus and operations involved” (Hoover Collection 283). “Considering the importance of Ercker’s treatise it is remarkable how little is on record about him […] His book was highly prized at the time, for it was a record of practical experience, and was not burdened with theories and hypotheses. The first edition was printed by Georg Schwartz at Prague, 1574, in folio. The work was enlarged and entitled Aula Subterranea, and published in 1672” (Ferguson). Dibner called Ercker’s works second only to Agricola’s in the “beauty of the graphic treatment of the crafts”. The second part contains the Interpres phraseologiae metallurgicae. Oder Erklärung der fürnembsten Terminorum und Redearten by Christian Berward. Rare; no copy has appeared at auction since 1966. VD17 23:297970R; Duveen, p.195 (1636 ed.); Ferguson i, pp. 243-245; Hoover Collection, 283.
€ 4.000