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Thomas Nicols
NICOLS, Thomas.

NICOLS, Thomas.

English educator.

Nicols was professor at the University of Cambridge.

Biographical references: BBA: I 817, 395. DNB. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI.

A Lapidary, 1652

1. English, 1652 [First edition, issue A].
A | Lapidary: | Or, | The History | Of | Pretious Stones: | With cautions for the undeceiving of | all those that deal with | Pretious Stones. | [rule] | By Thomas Nicols, | sometimes of Jesus-Colledge in | Cambridge. | [rule] | Inest sua gratia parvis. | [rule] | Cambridge: | Printed by Thomas Buck, Printer to | the Universitie. 1652.

4°: A-A4 B2 C-Z4 2A-2I4 (A1 blank); 125l.; [10], 1-239, [1] p., folding gemmological key. Page size: 184 x 135 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs/=A1], Blank.; [2 pgs/=A2], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs/=A3r-A4v], Dedication to the Heads of the University of Cambridge, signed Tho. Nicols.; [1 pg/=B1r], "To the courteous Reader."-signed "T.N."; [2 pgs/=B1v-B2r], "The Contents of the Lapidary, | or Book of Cautions."; [1 pg/=B2v], "An Admonition or Advertise- | ment to the Reader."; [Folding table].; 1-239, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. The first book in English devoted to precious stones. A second state of the title page exists where the words "of Cambridge" have been removed from the imprint. Derived principally from Anselm de Boodt's Gemmarum et Lapidum historia, which is frequently quoted, Nicols adoptes De Boodt's classification and tone in debunking the occult powers attributed to gems. Thus Nicols work, as well as De Boodt's, mark very early steps toward a scientific mineralogy and gemology.

The text of the treatise provides a definition of precious stones, general divisions, manner of their generation, gemstones of the ancients, the reasons for transparency, color and hardness. Sections are provided on false gems, including artificially colored crystal, how to cut, engrave and polish gems, and supernatural properties. Nichols includes lists of names by which the gems are called in various countries, locations where they are found and the relative values of different stones.

Bibliographical references: BMC: 3, 1433. Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 2, 138. LKG: XVI 204. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4754.

2. English, 1653 [Variant edition].
A | Lapidary: | Or, | The History | Of | Pretious Stones: | With cautions for the undeceiving of | all those that deal with | Pretious Stones. | [rule] | By Thomas Nicols, | sometimes of Jesus-Colledge in | Cambridge. | [rule] | Inest sua gratia parvis. | [rule] | London: | Printed for Thomas Heath, and are to be sold at | his shop neare the Piazza in Covent Garden. | Ann. Dom. 1653.

4°: A-A4 B2 C-Z4 2A-2I4 (A1 blank); 125l.; [10], 1-239, [1] p., folding gemmological key. Title page is a cancel, with the remaining quires made up of the original 1652 edition. Page size: 184 x 135 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs/=A1], Blank.; [2 pgs/=A2], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs/=A3r-A4v], Dedication to the Heads of the University of Cambridge, signed Tho. Nicols.; [1 pg/=B1r], "To the courteous Reader."-signed "T.N."; [2 pgs/=B1v-B2r], "The Contents of the Lapidary, | or Book of Cautions."; [1 pg/=B2v], "An Admonition or Advertise- | ment to the Reader."; [Folding table].; 1-239, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

Rare. Not listed in the standard bibliographies, this variant issue is made up of the same quires as the original edition with a newly set title page, made to look like the 1652 edition. It is now said to be printed in London and sold by Thomas Heath.

3. English, 1653.
Arcula Gemmea: | Or, | A Cabinet | Of | Jewels. | Discovering | The Nature, Vertue, | Value of Pretious Stones, with infallible | Rules to escape the deceit of all such as | are Adulterate and Conterfeit. | [rule] | By Thomas Nicols. | Cambridge. | [rule] | Inest sua gratia parvis. | [rule] | London | Printed for Nath. Brooke, at the Angel in Cornhill. | [rule] | MDCLIII.

4°: A-Ii4 (A1 blank); 125l.; [10], 1-239, [1] p., folding table. Title page is a cancel, with the remaining quires made up of the original 1652 edition.

Contents: [2 pgs/=A1], Blank.; [2 pgs/=A2], Title page, verso blank.; [Folding table].; [4 pgs/=A3r-A4v], Dedication to the Heads of the University of Cambridge, signed Tho. Nicols.; [1 pg/=B1r], "To the courteous Reader."-signed "T.N."; [2 pgs/=B1v-B2r], "The Contents of the Lapidary, | or Book of Cautions."; [1 pg/=B2v], "An Admonition or Advertise- | ment to the Reader."; 1-239, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. This edition is identical to the first edition of 1652 with a new title page in addition to the previous one.

Bibliographical references: Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 2, 138. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 414. LKG: XVI 204. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4755. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1656. Wing: N-1143.

4. English, 1659.
Gemmarius Fidelius, | Or The | Faithful Lapidary, | Experimentally describing the | richest Treasures of Nature | In An | Historical Narration | Of several Natures, Vertues and | Qualities of all | Pretiovs Stones. | With an Accurate discovery of such as are | Adulterate and Counterfeit. | [rule] | By T.N. of J.C. in Cambridge. | [rule] | Non hic Nugarum, steriles metunter Abenæ: | Hic, hic, Gemmarum, Messis fæcunda Superbit. | [rule] | London, | Printed for Henry Marsh, at the Princes Armes, at the | lower end of Chancery-lane, near the Inner Temple-gate | in Fleet-street 1659.

4°: A-Ii4 (A1 blank); 125l.; [10], 1-239, [1] p., folding table. Title page is a cancel, with the remaining quires made up of the original 1652 edition.

Contents: [2 pgs/=A1], Blank.; [2 pgs/=A2], Title page, verso blank.; [Folding table].; [4 pgs/=A3r-A4v], Dedication to the Heads of the University of Cambridge, signed Tho. Nicols.; [1 pg/=B1r], "To the courteous Reader."-signed "T.N."; [2 pgs/=B1v-B2r], "The Contents of the Lapidary, | or Book of Cautions."; [1 pg/=B2v], "An Admonition or Advertise- | ment to the Reader."; 1-239, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. Duplicate to the previous editions with a new title page in addition to the original.

Bibliographical references: Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 2, 138. LKG: XVI 204. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4756.

5. German, 1675 [German transl.].
Edelsteinbüchlein=Büchlein/ | Oder | Bescreibung | der Edelgesteine. | Derer Gestalt/ Kräffte und | Tugenden/ Eigenschafften/ Preiß | und Werth | Samt | Beygefügten Warnungen für Be= | trug an alle diejenigen/ so mit Edel= | Gesteinen handeln und umbgehen. | Durch | Thomas Nicols | Professoren der Hohen=Schule | zu Cambridge in Engeland. | Allen Jubilirern/ Goldschmieden | und Liebhabern der Edelgesteine zu sonder= | bahren Gefallen auff begehren auß dem En= | glischen ins Teutsch übersetzt und | herausgegeben. | Von | Johann Langen | [rule] | Hamburg/ | In Verlegung Johann Naumanns und | Georg Wolffs/ Buchh. 1675.

12°: )(8 A-Q8; 136l.; [16], 249, [7] p. Ornamental initials and chapter headings.

Very scarce. First German edition, translated by Johann Langen.

Bibliographical references: Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 2, 138. LKG: XVI 205a. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4757. VD17: 3:302273B.

6. German, 1734 [German transl.].
Thomas Nicols | Professoren der hohen Schule zu Cambridge in Engeland, | Beschreibung | der | Steine | sowohl | Edel als Gemeine | Darinnen | derer Gestalt, Kräffte, Tugenden, | Medicin/ Eigenschafften, Preiss und Werth | auf das Deutlichste gezeiget wird | Samt beygesetzten Warnungen | sich für derer Verfälschung wohl zu hüten | wegen seiner Fürtrefflichkeit | aus dem Engelischen ins Teutsche übersetzet | durch | Johann Langen. | [rule] | Culmbach, zu finden bey Nathanael Lumscher, | druckts Friederich Elais Dietzel, 1734.

8°: )(8 A-X8; ??l.; 16, 274, [14] index p. Page size: 177 x 113 mm.

Very scarce. Second German edition, translated by Johann Langen. Essentially a reset reprint of the translation of 1675.

Bibliographical references: Ferguson, Bibliotheca Chemica, 1906: 2, 138. LKG: XVI 206b. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4758.

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