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Johann Joachim Becher
BECHER (Beccher), Johann Joachim.

BECHER (Beccher), Johann Joachim.
(1635 - 1682?)

(Born: Speyer, Germany, 6 May 1635; Died: London, England?, October 1682?) German physician & alchemist.

Becher was mostly self-educated, although he was awarded the degree of M.D. from the University of Mainz in 1661. In 1663, he was appointed professor of medicine at Mainz and physician to the elector of Mainz. From 1664 to 1666, he stayed in Munich where that cities regent had furnished him with a laboratory. But in 1666, he was obliged to leave Munich. He went to Vienna, but in 1666 Leopold appointed him Imperial Commercial Advisor. In 1669 he arranged with the Dutch West Indies Company for a colony, in the South America. Becher was appointed public professor of medicine at the University of Mainz. He was appointed chamberlain to Count Zinzendorf in Vienna. While there he established a Werkhaus containing a chemical lab for manufacturing pigments as well as for working with wool, silk, and glass. In 1678, Becher went to Holland, where he sold the city of Haarlem a plan for a machine that would spool silk cocoons. In 1679 an invitation of Prince Rupert caused him to go to England where he inspected mines in Cornwall (and Scotland?).

Biographical references: Biographie Universelle: 3, 451-2. DBA: I 68, 251-256; 512, 63-72. DSB: 1, 548-51 [by A.G. Debus]. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 90. Frühsorge, G. and G.F. Strasser, eds., Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682). Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 1993. 238 p., illus. [Published as: Wolfenbütteler Arbeiten zur Barockforschung. v22.]. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8. Jaffe, Crucibles: The Great Chemists, 1936: 34-50, portrait. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 2, 637-40, portrait. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 124-5. Schaedler, Biographisch Handwörterbuch, 1891: 7-8. Smith, P.H., The business of alchemy: Science and culture in the Holy Roman Empire. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton Univ. Press, 1994. xii, 308 p., illus. [Focuses on the career of Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682).]. Thomson, History of Chemistry, 1830-1: 1, 246-8. WBI.

Natur-Kündigung der Metallen

1. German, 1661 [First edition].
Natur=Kündigung | Der | Metallen. | Mit vielen Curiosen/ Beweiß= | thumben/ Natürlichen Gründen/ Gleich= | nüssen/ Erfahrenheiten/ und bißhero Ohnge= | meinen Auffmerckungen vor Augen | gestellet. | Zur Erhaltung der Warheit/ Erläute= | rung der Spagirischen Philosophi, und | Gefallen der Liebhabern. | Verfertiget durch | Johannem Joachimum Bechern | von Speyer/ Mathematicum, Medicum. | Lege totum & Relege. | Esdræ IV. c.8.v.2. | Edisseram autem tibisimilitudinem Esdra. Eninvero, | sicut seiscitanti Terra dicat tibi, se gignere perquàm co- | piosam quidem humum fingeadis fictilibus; Parvum | autem Pulverem unde Aurum Fit, ita se habet | præsentis ævi Negotium. | Cum Gratia & Privil. Sac. Casar. Majest. | [ornament] | Franckfurt/ | In Verlegung Johan Wilhelm Ammons | und Wilhelm Serlins. | [rule] | Anno M DC LXI.

8°: [16], 347, [37] p.

Rare. Becher's first published work. Discusses metallurgical problems on the basis of the four elements theory, and deals with the generation of metals and testing ores.

Bibliographical references: CBN: 9, col. 816. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0233002]. VD17: 23:242166Y.

2. German, 1679 [2nd edition].
Natur=Kündigung | Der | Metallen. | Mit vielen Curiosen Beweiß= | thumben/ Natürilichen Gründen/ | Gleichnüssen/ Erfahrenheiten/ und bißhero | ohngemeinen Auffmerckungen vor | Augen gestellet. | Zur Erhaltung der Warheit/ Erläuterung | der Spagirischen Philosophi, und Gefallen | der Liebhabern. | Verfertiget durch | Johannem Joachimum Bechern | von Speyer/ Mathematicum, Medicum. | Lege totum & Relege. | Esdræ IV. c.8.v.2. | Edisseram autem tibi similitudinem Esdra. | Enimvero, sicut sciscitanti Terra dicat tibi, se | gignere perquàm copiosam quidem humum fin- | gendis fictilibus; Parvum autem Pulverem | unde Aurum Fit, ita se haber præsentis ævi | Negotium. | Cum Gratia & Privil. Sac. Casar. Majest. | [ornate rule] | Franckfurt am Mayn/ | Bey Christian Hermsdorffen zu finden. | Im Jahr 1679.

8°: [16], 347, [36] p., one plate. Rare.

Bibliographical references: BL [1034.a.6]. CBN: 9, col. 817. VD17: 23:240130Z.

3. German, 1705 [3rd edition].
Natur-Kündigung der Metallen. Mit vielen curiösen Beweissthümen, natürlichen Gründen, Gleichnissen, Erfahrenheiten, und bisshero ungemeinen Auffmerckungen vor Augen gestellet. Zu Erhaltung der Wahrheit, Erläuterung der Spagirischen Philosophi, und Gefallen der Liebhabern. Verfertiget durch Johannem Joachimum Bechern, von Speyer, Mathematicum, Medicum. ... Franckfurt am Mayn, In Verlegung Martin Hermsdorffs. An. 1705.

8°: [12], 347, [36] p., engraved title page.

Scarce. Last edition of a work that first appeared in 1661 called "Metallurgia" on the engraved title page.

Bibliographical references: Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 86. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0233003]. Sallander, Bibliotheca Walleriana, 1955: no. 11062. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 125.

Physica Subterranæ

Physica Subterranæ, 1669

4. Latin, 1669 [First edtion].
Actorum Laboratorii | Chymici Monacensis, | Seu | Physicæ | Subterranæ | Libri Duo, | Quorum Prior profun- | dam subterraneorum genesin, nec non | admirandam Globi terr-aque-aërei super | & subterranei fabricam, Posterior specialem subterra- | neorum Naturam, resolutionem in partes partiumq; | proprietates exponit, accessertunt sub finem Mille | hypotheses seu mixtiones Chymicæ, ante hâc nun- | quam visæ, omnia, plus quam mille experimentis sta- | bilita, sumptibus & permissu Serenißimi Electoris | Bavarjæ &c. Domini sui clementißimi | elaboravit & publicavit | Joannes Joachimus | Becherus, Spirensis, | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | Francofurti, | Imp. Joh. Davidis Zunneri. | [rule] | Anno M. DC. LXIX.

8°: A-B8 C3 2A-2C8 D-Z8 Aa-Rr8; 341l.; [40], 633, [9] p., one folding plate.

Rare. In his Physicae subterraneae (1667) Becher concluded that bodies were composed of three earths-terra lapidea (vitreous), terra mercurialis (mercurial), and terra pinguis (fatty). He considered combustible substances to be rich in terra pinguis, which was lost during burning. Even metals that were calcinable contained some of the fatty earth. Stahl later developed these ideas into an elaborate chemical system in which the term "phlogiston" replaced terra pinguis. The potential comprehensiveness of the phlogiston theory proved amazingly good in a world in which chemistry still held a qualitative attitude toward matter. Not only did the theory explain combustion and calcination as being caused by the loss of phlogiston, it explained the smelting of ores equally well. Since the ore (calx) of a metal is converted into metal by heating with charcoal, a substance rich in phlogiston, Stahl argued that phlogiston was transferred from the charcoal to the calx, converting the later into a metal.

Bibliographical references: Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 56. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 88. Hoover Collection: no. 107. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0232956]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 92. VD17: 23:242428D. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 156.

5. Latin, 1671 [Supplement 1].
Joh. Joachimi Becheri, | [... 2 lines of titles and memberships...] | Experimentum | Chymicum Novum, | Quo | Artificialis & instantanea Metallorum | Generatio & Transmutatio | ad oculum demonstratur. | Loco Supplementi in Physicam | suam subterraneam | et | Responsi ad D. Rolfincii Schedas | de non Entitate Mercurii | corporum. | Opusculum multis experimentis practicis, | nec non præcipuis Philosophorum dictis explicatis | refertum, Lectori Philochymico non | ingratum futurum. | [ornament] | Francofvrti, | Sumptibus Joh. Davidis Zunneri. | Typis Henrici Friesii. | [rule] | M. DC. LXXI.

8°: A-K8 L6; 56l.; [1]-172 p. Ornamental head- and tailpieces.

Very scarce. First supplement to his Actorum laboratorii chymici Monacensis, seu Physicae subterraneae libri duo, first published in 1669.

Bibliographical references: Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 56. Hoover Collection: no. 108. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0232873]. VD17: 39:117962W.

6. Latin, 1675 [Supplement 2].
Svpplementvm Secvdvm | In Physicam Subterra- | neam. | Id est: | Joannis Joachimi Becheri | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | Demonstratio Philosophica, | Seu | These Chymicæ, | Veritatem, & Possibilitatem transmutationis | metallorum in aurum evincentes. | Ad | Invictissimum Romanorum | Imperatorem | Leopoldum. | Encomivm Chymiæ Av- | gvstini Petræi. | Nobilissima ars Chemiæ, hominem sanum à | morbis præservat, ægrum sanitat, restituit pauperem ab | inopia, sublevatnaturam, abdita eruit, animum soli- | dâ scientia imbuit, nulli in injuriam facit, omnibus prodest, | & tandem ad ipsam DEI cognitionem | adducit. | [ornament] | Francofurti, | Impensis Joh. Davidis Zunneri. | [rule] | Anno M DC LXXV.

8°: [48], 136 p. Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0233023].

7. Latin, 1680 [Supplement 3, issue A].
Johannis Joachimi Becheri, | Med. Doct. Sacr. Cæs. Maj. Consil. | Experimentum | Novum Accuriosum | De | Minera | Arenaria | Perpetua. | Sive | Prodromus Historiæ, | Sev | Propositionis Præp. D.D. Hollandiæ | Ordinibus ab Authore factæ, circa Auri extra- | ctionem mediante Arena littorali, per modum mi- | neræ perpetuæ seu operatiionis magnæ fuso- | riæ cum emolumento. | Loco Svpplementi Ter- | tii in Physicam suam subterraneam. | [ornament] | Francofurti, impensis Mauritii | Georgii Weidmanni | M DC LXXX.

8°: A-L8 M4 ($5 signed); 92l.; [1]-136, [48] p. Very scarce.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3], Warning to the reader.; 4-5, Dedication, dated 1680.; 6-12, Preface.; 13-18, Introduction.; 19-133, Text.; 134-136, "Postmonitio."; [6 pgs], Contents.; [5 pgs], "... Catalogus Secretorum | Cuniculorum ..."; [29 pgs], "Theoria & experientia de nova temporis dimetiendi ratione, & accurata horologiorum constructione."; [8 pgs], Catalog of the works of Becher, published and forthcoming.

Bibliographical references: Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 24. Mellon, Alchemy and the Occult, 1968-77: no. ??. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0232975]. VD17: 39:117928R.

8. Latin, 1680 [Supplement 3, issue B].
Johannis Joachimi Becheri | Med. Doct. Sacr. Cæs. Majest. Consil. | Mineral Arenaria | Perpetua: | Sive | Prodromus Historiæ, | Seu | Propositionis Præ: D.D. Statibus Hollandiæ | ab Authore Factæ, circa Auri Extracti- | onem, Mediante Arena Littorali, per | modum Mineræ Perpetuæ, seu Opera- | tionis | Magnæ Fusoriæ cum Emolumento. | [rule] | Scriptum hoc, inservire poterit Lectori, pro Continuatione | Trifolii Hollandici, & Supplementi Tertii in Au- | thoris Physicam Subterraneam. | [rule] | Londini: Typis T.N. & venales prostant apud Marcum | Pardoe, sub signo Corvi Nigri è regione Palatii Bedfor- | diensis in viâ Regiâ vulgo dictâ The Strand. 1680.

8°: A-P4; 60l.; [1]-112, [8] p.

Contents: [1], Title page.; [2], "Præmonitio."; 3-4, Dedication.; 5-10, "Præfatio | Ad | Lectorem."; 11-16, "Introitus."; 17-108, Text.; 109-112, "Conclusio."; [1 pg], "Postmonitio."; [6 pgs], "Index."; [1 pg], "Omissa sic Restituenda."

Rare. This London imprint is unknown to most bibliographies, but may supercede the Franckfurt issue of the same year.

Bibliographical references: Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 57. NUC: 42, 117-20.

Physicæ Subterraneæ, 1681

9. Latin, 1681 [2nd edition].
[In red:] Actorvm Laboratorii | [in black:] Chymici Monacensis, | Seu | [in red:] Physicæ | [in black:] Subterraneæ | Libro Duo, | [in red:] Quorum Prior Profundam | [in black:] subterraneorum genesin, nec non admirandam | Globi terr-aque-aërei super & subterranei | fabricam; | Posterior | [in red:] Specialem subterraneorum Naturam, | [in black:] resolutionem in partes partiumque proprie- | tates exponit. Accesserunt sub finem mille hypoteses | seu mixtiones Chymicæ, antehac nunquam visæ: | omnia, plus quam mille experimentis stabilita, sum- | ptibus & permissu Serenissims Electoris Bavariæ &c. | Domini sui elementissimi elaboravit | & publicavit | [in red:] Joh. Joachimus Becherus, | [in black:] Spirensis, | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornament] | [in red:] Francofurti, | [in black:] Imp. Mavritii Georgii Weidmanni. | [rule] | [in red:] Anno M DC LXXXI.

8°: *7 A-Eee8 Fff4 ($5 signed except *2); 419l.; [14], 1-560, [2], 561-678, [2], 679-810, [10] p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [10 pgs], Dedication to Prince Ferdinand Maria.; [2 pgs], Preface.; 1-9, Introduction.; 10-560, Text.; [1 pg], Sectional title page, "Joh. Joachimi Becheri, | Spirensis Med. Doct. | Sacr. Cæs. Maj. Consiliarii. | Experimentum | Chymicum Novum, | Qvo | Artificialis instantanea Metallorum | Generatio & Transmutatio | ad oculum demonstratur. | Loco Supplementi in Physicam suam subterraneam | Et Respondi ad D. Rolfincii | Schedas de non Entitate Mercurij | corporum. | Opusculum multis experimentis practicis, nec non præ- | cipuis Philosophorum dictis explicatis refertum, Lectori | Philo-chymico non ingratum futurum."; [1 pg], Expanded title.; 561-675, Text.; 672-673, List of authorities cited.; 674-675, Bibliography of works cited.; 676-678, List of experiments reviewed.; [1 pg], Sectional title page, "Supplementum Secundum | In Physicam Subterra- | neam. | Id est: | Joannis Joachimi Becheri, | Spirensis, Med. Doct. | Sacr. Cæs. Maj. Consiliarii | Demonstratio Philo- | sophica, | Seu | Theses Chymicæ, | Veritatem, & Possibilitatem transmutationis | metallorum in aurum evincentes, | Ad | Invictissimum Romanorum | Imperatorem | Leopoldum. | Encomium Chymiæ Au- | gustini Petræi. | Nobilissima ars Chemiæ, hominem sanum à morbis | præservat, ægrum sanitat, restituit pauperem ab inopia, sublevat | naturam, abdita erúit, animum solidâ scientiâ imbuit, nulli, in- | juriam facit, omnibus prodest, & tandem ad ipsam | Dei cognitionem adducit."; [1 pg], Quotations.; 679-692, Preface.; 693-702, "Præliminaria ..."; 703-810, Text.; [10 pgs], Index.

Very scarce. Includes reprints of the three supplements that each appeared separately in 1671, 1675 and 1680.

Bibliographical references: Bolton, Bibliography of Chemistry, 1893: 289. Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 67. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 88. Mellon, Alchemy and the Occult, 1968-77: no. 138. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0232957]. VD17: 39:117920E. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 125.

10. Latin, 1703 [3rd edition].
Joh. Joachimi Beccheri D. Spirensis Germani ... Physica Subterranea Profundam Subterraneorum genesin e principiis hucusque ignotis, ostendens: Opus sine pari, primum hactenus & princeps ... Praefatione utili praemissa, indice locupletissimo adornato, sensuumque & rerum distinctionibus, libro tersius et curatius edendo, operam navavit; & Specimen Beccherianum, fundamentorum, documentorum, experimentorum, subjunxit Georg. Ernestus Stahl ... Editio novissima. Lipsiae, Apud Joh. Ludov. Gleditschium, 1703.

8°: [30], 560, [2], 561-1008 (i.e., 996), [36], [8], 304, [16] p., [1] leaf of plates. Page nos. 655-656, 823-832 omitted in paging; only 3F4-3Z8 omitted in signing. With 3 supplements; 1st and 2d with half-title, the 3d with special t.-p. Continuous paging; signatures continuous to Supplement 1. Half-title to Supplement 1 not included in paging. Supplements titled: 1. Experimentum chymicum novum ... et Responsi ad D. Rolfincii Schedas de non entitate Mercurii corporum. 2: Demonstratio philosophica, seu Theses chymicae veritatem & possibilitatem transmutationis metallorum in aurum evincentes. 3: Experimentum novum ac curiosum de Minera Arenaria perpetua. Supplements also published separately; cf. Duveen, LC. Titlepage in read and black, with vignette; head- and tail-pieces, initials. Includes indexes.

Very scarce. First published in 1669 under the title: Actorum laboratorii chymici monacensis, seu Physicae subterraneae libri duo. This is the first edition revised by Stahl, and especially important in connection with Stahl's development of the phlogiston theory. It includes the first edition of Stahl's "Specimen Beccherianum, sistens fundamenta, documenta, experimenta, quibus principia mixtionis subterraneae & instrumenta naturalia atque artificialia demonstrantur" with its own special title page, separate paging and signatures.

Bibliographical references: Bolton, Bibliography of Chemistry, 1893: p. 292-3. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 88-9. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 24. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0233014].

Physicæ Subterraneæ, 1738

11. Latin, 1738 [4th edition].
[In red:] Joh. Joachimi Beccheri, D. | [in black:] Spirensis Germani | Sacr. Cæs. Majest. Consil. & Med. Elect. Bav. | [in red:] Physica | [in black:] Subterranea | Profundam Subterraneorum Genesin, | E Principiis Hucusque Ignotis, | Ostendens. | [in red:] Opus Sine Pari, | [in black:] Primum Hactenus Et Princeps, | Editio Novissima. |Præfatione Utili Præmissa, Indice Locupletis- | simo Adornato, Sensuumque Et Rerum Distinctionibus, | Libro Tersius Et Curatius Edendo, | Operam Navavit | Et | [in red:] Specimen Beccherianum, | [in black:] Fundamentorum Documentorum, | Experimentorum, | Subjunxit | [in red:] Georg. Ernestus Stahl, D. | [in black:] Prof. Publ. Ordin. Hall, | [rule] | Lipsiæ, | [in red:] Ex Officina Weidmanniana, | [in black:] Anno M D CC XXXIIX.

4°: )(3 )()(4 A-Ssss4 ($3 signed except 3V; 2S3 as Ts3); 355l.; [14], 1-504, [18], [4], 1-161, [9] p., frontispiece.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [8 pgs], Preface by G.E. Stahl.; [3 pgs], Author's preface.; [1 pg], Contents.; 1-5, "Introitus."; 6-[282], Text.; [283]-341, Text.; 342-343, "Index Autorum."; 344, "Catalogus scriptorum hoc opere citatorum."; 345-[348], "Syllabus Experimentorum."; [349]-355, "Praefatio ad Lectorem."; 356-360, "Praeliminaria ..."; 361-416, Text.; [417], "Praemonitio."; 418, Dedication.; 419-421, "Praefatio ad Lectorem..."; 422-425, "Introitus."; 426-502, Text.; 503-504, Ex hac Demonstratione mea mathemathica ..."; [18 pgs], "Index Rerum."; [2 pgs], "Specimen Beccherianum ...", verso blank.; [2 pgs], "Praeloquium."; 1-161, Text.; [9 pgs], "Index Rerum.

Scarce. This is the last edition of Becher's famous work, and the only one published in quarto. "Stahl's edition of Becher's most important work (first published in 1669) the foundation of the phlogositon theory. Its influence on Stahl was immense, and resulted in the present edition. To Becher's text, Stahl adds a 161 page commentary on Becher's theories, "Specimen Beccherianum," along with his own interpretations, modifications and innovations." This edition contains the three supplements as well.

First published 1669 with title: Actorum Laboratorii Chymici Monacensis; published in 1703 with title: Physica Subterranea. Includes three supplements of earlier editions. Includes indexes.

Bibliographical references: BMC: 1, 118. Bolton, Bibliography of Chemistry, 1893: p. 293. Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 68. Davies, T.L., "Neglected evidence in the history of phlogiston", Annals of Medical History, 6, (1924), 280-7. Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 59. Edelstein, Catalog of the History of Chemistry, 1981: 188. Ferchl: p. 30. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 89. LKG: XII 58. Mellon, Alchemy and the Occult, 1968-77: no. 155. Neu, Chemical, Medical & Pharmaceutical Books, 1965: no. 340. NLM 18th Century Books (Blake): 37. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0233016]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 92. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 125.

German Editions

12. German, 1680 [German transl.].
Chymisches | Laboratorium, | Oder | Unter=erdische | Naturkündigung/ | Darinnen enthalten wird | I. Die tieffe Zeugung derer unter=erdischen Dinge: Wie | auch der wunderbare Bau der ober= und unter=erdischen | Erd=Wasser= und Lufft=Kugel: Und dann die absonder= | liche Natur der unter=erdischen Dinge Auflöß= und | Zulegung in ihre Theile/ | und derselben Eigenschafft. | II. Neue Chymische Proben/ einiger künstlichen gleich | darstelligen Verwandlung derer Metallen/ nach An= | leitung der in vorigen Jahren in Druck gegebenen | Physica Subterraneæ. | III. Ein nochmaliger Zusatz und Philosophischer Beweiß= | thum/ derer Chymischen/ die Wahr= und Möglichkeit | derer Metallen Verwandelung in Gold/ bestreitenden | Lehr=Sätze. | IV. Ein Chymischer Rätseldeuter/ derer verdunckelten | Wort=Sätze Urhebung und Geheimnisse offenbahrend | und aufflösend. | Wie soches alles durch fleissige Untersuchung | außgefertiget | Joh. Joachimus Becherus, | von Speyer/ der Artzney Doctor, | Nunmehr aber auff Begehren der Artzney, | und Chymiæ=Liebhabern in Druck | übergeben hat. | [rule] | Franckfurt/ | Gedruckt und verlegt durch Johann Haaß/ | Im Jahr M DC LXXX.

8°: [30], 732 (i.e., 734) p.; 192, 175 (i.e., 173) p., [14], 156, [4] p.

Very rare. A translation of Auctorvm laboratorii chymici monacensis, seu Physicæ Subterraneæ libri duo (2nd ed., Francofuti, 1681) with the inclusion of translations of the first two supplements and some additional material on alchemy. The translator was Becher. The long dedication to the Emperor Leopold I, dated 20 March 1675, gives a history of alchemy. The work was probably written in support of his unsuccessful attempt to extract gold from the sand of the Danube. This is probably the rarest of Bechers writings, unknown to many bibliographers.

Bibliographical references: NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0232967]. VD17: 39:117000T. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 157.

13. German, 1690.
Chymisches Laboratorium, oder Unter-erdische Naturkündigung ... Wie solches alles durch fleissige untersuchung aussgefertiget Joh. Joachimus Becherus ... Frankfurt, P. Fievet, 1690.

8°: [28], 732, 175, [15], 192, 156, [4] p.

Very scarce. A translation of Auctorvm laboratorii chymici monacensis, seu Physicæ Subterraneæ libri duo (Francofuti, 1681).

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIII 59a. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0232969]. VD17 [no copy listed].

14. German, 1723.
D. Joh. Joachim Bechers/ | Röm. Kayserl. Maj. Rat rc. | Mineralisches | A B C. | Oder Vier und Zwantzig | Chymische Theses | von der Geburt/denen Principiis, | Unterschied/ Vermischung/ und Auflö= | sung deren Mineralien, Metallen, und übri= | gen Unterirrdischen Dingen rc. | Aus dem Lateinischen ins Teutsche | übersetzet. | Nun aber auf vieler Begehren zum | Druck befördert | Durch | Friederich Roth-Scholtzen/ Siles. | [double rule] | Nürnberg und Altdorff/ | bey Johann Daniel Taubers seel. Erben/ | Anno 1723.

8°: A7 B-I8; 75l.; [1]-150 p., frontispiece (portrait of Becher).

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3-6], "Geneigter Leser."; 7-12, Dedication to Robert Boyle.; 13-16, "Vorrede and den Leser."; 17-150, Text.

Rare. Translation by Friederich Roth-Scholtz [see note below] of Alphabetum Minerale (1st ed., Francofurti, 1682). The work was intended to supplement and clarify the first supplement of Becher's Physica Subterrae (Franckfurti, 1671). Written while the author was learning mining techniques in Cornwall, this is a dictionary of mining and mineralogical terms. The work is dedicated to Robert Boyle.

Friederich Roth-Scholtz. (Born: Herrnstadt, Bavaria, Germany, 17 September 1687; Died: Nuremberg, Germany, 15 January 1736) German bookseller. Bookseller and librarian, Rothscholz compiled a large personal library of books, especially in chemistry, alchemy, and some mineralogy.

Bibliographical references: Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 66. Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 59. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 1, 86-90. Fulton, Bibliography of Robert Boyle, 1961: Supplement, [Last Page??].. NUC: 42, 117-20 [NB 0232994]. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 2, 642, no. VIII [incorrectly calls it 12mo.]. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 126. (Roth-Scholtz) ADB: 29, p. 346-348. DBA: I 1059, 195-204. WBI.

Tripus Hermeticus Fatidicus, 1689

15. Latin, 1689 [First edition].
[In black:] Joh. Joachim | [in red:] Becheri, | [in black:] Sirensis Medincinæ Doctoris, | [in red:] Tripus Hermeticus Fatidicus, | [in black:] Pandens Oracula Chymica, | Seu | [in red:] | I. Laboratorium Portatile | [in black:] cum Methodo verè spagyricè, sc. juxta | exigentiam Naturæ, laborandi. | Accessit pro Praxi & Exemplo | [in red:] II. Magnorum Duorum Productorum | [in black:] Nitri & Salis Textura & Anatomia, atque in | omnium præcedentium confirmationem | adjunctum est | [in red:] III. Alphabetum Minerale, | [in black:] seu viginti quatuor These de subterraneorum | & mineralium genesi, Textrua & Analysi. | His accessit | [in red:] Concordantia Mercvrilvnæ | [in black:] Omnia juxta Authoris Doctrinam & Principia | in Physica sua subterranea ejusque supplementis conscripta, adeòut hic Tripus Hermeticus Com- | mentarius Practicus super præfatam Physicam subterra- | neam verè dici queat, utpote scriptum raris Experimentis, multis Figuris & profundis Speculationibus innixum, | ut Lectori per se patebit. | [in red:] Exaratum in Cornubia ad extrema Angliæ or a inter | [in black:] ipsa miner alia experimenta & autopsiam. | [ornament] | Francofvrti Ad Moenvm, | [in red:] Sumptibus Johannis Georgii Schiele | [in black, rule] | M DC LXXXIX.

8°: A7 B-M8 N4; 99l.; [1]-186, [12] p.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; 3-6, Dedication to Edmund Dickinson.; 7-9, Preface.; 10-24, "Prolegomena Nonnulla."; 25-30, "Occasio Inventionis Hu- | jus Furni."; [31], Sectional title page, "Joh. Joachimi | Becheri, Spirensis Medic. Doct. | Scyphus Becherianus | Sive | Laboratorium | Portatile, | Quo Omnes Labores Chy- | mici Excogitabiles et Practicabi- | les Levi Sumtu, Brevi Tempore, | Jucunda Operatione Elabo- | Rari Possunt. Accessit Ejvsdem Metho= | dvs Vera Et Genvina Phi- | losopice Et Spagy- | rice Laborandi. | Plutarch. | Instrumenti cujusvis laus est, ut sit expedi- | tum & facile."; Text of Laboratorium Portatile.; Sectional title page, "II. | Joh. Joachimi Becheri, | Spirensis Medic. Doct. | Centrum Mundi Concatenatum, | Seu Duumviratus | Hermeticus, | Sive Magnorum Mundi Duorum | Productorum. | Nitri & Salis Textura & Anatomia. | Aeris nempè & Maris Considertio. | Pro Commentario | In Posteriora Dvo Capita | Svpplementi Primi Physicae | Svae Svbterraneae. | Hermes. | Quodcunque superius est, simile est ei, quod | est inferius."; 65-67, Dedication.; 68-70, Preface.; 71-97, Text of Duum Viratus Hermeticus.; [98], Sectional title page, "III. | Alphabetum | Minerale, | Seu | Viginti Qua- | tuor These Chymicæ De | Mineralium, Metallorum | Coeterorumque Subterra- | neorum Genesi, Principiis, | Differentiis, Mixtione Et | Solutione. | Cornubiæ in Anglia inter ipsas multifarias | mineras earum{\`q}ue examinationes, autopsia & pra- | xi congestæ & demonstratæ juxta principia | Philosophica | Physicæ Subterraneæ Doct. Becheri, | Truro Anno 1682."; 99-101, Dedication to Robert Boyle.; 102-103, Preface.; 104-149, Text.; 150-182, Text of Concordantia Mercuriorum Lunae.; 183-186, Text of Concordantia Menstruorum.; [8 pgs], Subject index.; [1 pg], Errata.; [1 pg], Blank.; [1 pg], Instructions to the binder.; [1 pg], Blank.

Rare. While visiting the mines of Cornwall, Becher wrote these works, the Laboratorium Portatile at Falmouth and the Alphabetum Minerale at Truro. The year and place imprinted on the sectional title page of this third section represents its year of composition not publication.

Bibliographical references: Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 57. Mellon, Alchemy and the Occult, 1968-77: no. 141.

Their- Kräuter- und Berg-Buch, 1663

16. German, 1663.
Parnassus Medicinalis | Illustratus. | Oder: | Ein neues/ und dergetalt/ vormahln noch nie | geschenes | Their= Kräuter= | Und | Berg=Buch/ | Sampt der | Salernischen Schul. | Cum Commentario Arnoldi Villanovani, und den Præsagiis Vitæ | & Mortis, Hippocratis Coj; Auch gründlichern Bericht vom destilliren/ | purgiren/ schwitzen/ schrepssen und Aberlassen. | Alles in Hoch=Teutscher Sprach/ so wol in Ligatâ als Prosâ, | lustig und außführlich in Vier Theilen beschrieben/ und mit Zwölff= | Hundert Figuren gezieret; | Durch | Johann Joachim Becher/ von Speyer/ der Artzeney Doctorn, Churfürstl. Maynsischen Mathematicum und Medicum. | Symbolem: | Vivitur ingenio, cætera Mortù erunt. | M DC [ornament] LXIII. | Mit Römischer Kayserl. Majestät Gnad und Privilegio. | Ulm/ | In Verlegung Johann Görlins/ Buchhändlers allda.

4 parts in one volume. [Part 1] 2°: A-I6 K4; ??l.; [12], [1]-104 p. [Part 2] 2°: A-Fff6 Ggg4; ??l.; [1]-632 p. [Part 3] 2°: a-g6 h2; ??l.; [1]-88 p. [Part 4] 2°: A-N6 O4 )(-)()(6 )()()(2; ??l.; [1]-164, [28] p. About 1200 illustrations are included in the text. Originally issued in 4 parts, each with its own title page, all of which bear the date 1662.

Contents: [Part 1] [2 pgs], Engraved Title page, dated 1663, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Dedication to Johann Shilipsen.; [4 pgs], "Vorrede."; [2 pgs], "Außlegung deß Kupfer-Tituls ..."; [1], Sectional title page, "Zoologia."; [2], Blank.; [3], "Eingang zu dem Ersten Theil."; [4], "Vorrede."; [5]-94, Text.; 95-104, "Beschluß über die | Zoologie."

[Part 2] [1], Sectional title page, "Phythologia."; [2], Blank.; 3, "Eingang zu dem andern Theil..."; 4, "Vorrede | ... | Kräuter=Buch."; 5-629, Text.; 630-632, "Beschluß über die | Phythology."

[Part 3] [1], Sectional title page, "Mineralogia."; [2], Blank.; 3, "Eingang zu dem Dritten Theil..."; 4, "Vorrede | ... | Berg=Buch."; 5-88, Text.

[Part 4] [1], Sectional title page, "Schola."; [2], Blank.; [3], "Eingang zu dem Vierdten Theil."; [4], "Vorrede über deß erläuterten."; 5-152, Text.; 163-164, "Beschluß über den Vierdten Theil."; [28 pgs], Recommendations and indexes to all four parts.

Rare. This is a description of the three realms of nature and their use in medicine. The first part describes the animal kingdom, beginning with man, followed by the beasts, birds, insects, lizards, etc. The second part is a botanical herbal that utilizes reworked illustrations from the earlier herbal of Mattioli. The third section is concerned with objects yielded by the earth including mineral resources, mines, minerals, fossils, stones, etc. Within the mineralogy section are descriptions of individual mineral types including petroleum, mercury, native metals, crystals, sulfur, coal, saltpeter, pyrite, arsenic, antimony, etc. The fourth section concerns the purposes to which nature can be put for the medical good of mankind and includes a section on distillation processes. A comprehensive index to all the parts is found at the book's conclusion. The text is heavily illustrated throughout but most particularly in the sections on animals and plants.

Facsimile reprint, 1957: Parnassus medicinalis illustratus, oder Ein neues, und dergestalt, vormahln noch nie gesehenes. Thier-Kräuter- und Berg-Buch, sampt der Salernischen Schul Cum Commentario Arnoldi Villanovani ... 1663. Ulm/Donau, K.F. Haug, 1957. 104, 632, 88, 164 p., illus. This facsimile reprint was limited to 300 copies.

Bibliographical references: BL. NUC.

17. Latin, 1664.
Institutiones chimicae prodromae i.e. Ioannis Ioachimi Becheri ... Oedipus chimicus obscuriorum terminorum & principiorum chimicorum mysteria aperiens & resolvens. Opusculum, omnibus medicinae & chimiae studiosis, lectu perquàm utile & necessarium Francofvrti, apud Hermannvm à Sande, 1664.

12°: ):(6 A-H12; 102l.; [16], 192, [7] p. 2 plates (engraved). Title vignette, "Errata," p. [199]. Rare.

Bibliographical references: Duveen, Bibliotheca Alchemica et Chemica, 1965: p. 55. Hoover Collection: no. 109.

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