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Gabriel Plattes
PLATTES, Gabriel.

PLATTES, Gabriel.
(1600? - 1655?)

(Born: 1600?; Died: London, England, 1655?) English scientist.

Practically nothing is known of Plattes. He is thought to be of Dutch extraction, and he was an author on agricultural subjects. His notable work on the subject is A Discovery of Infinite Treasure (London, 1639). He was an original thinker and thorough scientist, who insisted on practical experimentation to confirm hypothesis. Though described as the "original genius in husbandry," he was neglected in his lifetime. Despite his poverty, he refused to beg for money and eventually died of starvation. His body was found in the street.

Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 881, 255-256. DNB: 45, 410. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI.

1. English, 1639 [First edition].
A Discovery of Sub- | terraneall Treasure, viz. | Of all manner of Mines and Mineralls, | from the Gold to the Coale; with plaine | Directions and Rules for the finding of | tehm in all Kingdomes and Countries. | And also the Art of Melting, Refining, and Assaying of | tehm is plainly declared, so that every ordinary man, | that is indifferently capacious, may with small | charge presently try the value of such | Oares as shall be found either by | rule or by accident. | Whereunto is added a reall Experiment whereby every ignorant | man may presently try whether any peece of Gold that | shal come to his hands be true or counterfeit, with- | out defacing or altering the forme thereof, | and more certainly than any Gold- | smith or Refiner could for- | merly discerne. | Also a perfect way to try what colour any Berry, Leafe, Flower, | Stalke, Root, Fruit, Seed, Barke, or Wood will give: | with a perfect way to make Colours that they | shall not stayne nor fade like ordinary | Colours. | Very necessary for every one to know, whether he be Tra- | vailer by Land or Sea, or in what Country, Do- | minion, or plantation soever hee shall | Inhabite. | [rule] | Imprinted at London by I. Okes, for Iasper Emery, and | ar to be sold at his shop at the signe of the Eagle and | Child in Pauls Church-yard next Watlin-street. | M DC XXX IX.

4°: π2 B-I4 K2 ($3 signed); 36l.; [12], [1]-60 p. Decorative woodcut initials. On verso of title page is printed between decorative borders: "Imprimatur: Tho. Vvykes. February 19. 1638."

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso "Imprimatur Tho. Wykes."-dated 19 February 1638.; [2 pgs], Blanks.; [3 pgs], "To his Worthy Friendmaster William Englebert Esquire."; [5 pgs], "To the Reader."; 1-60, Text.

Very scarce. This is the first practical guide in English on identifying economic minerals and metallurgy. It is an interesting treatise, containing a wealth of factual information, illustrated by the author's own experiments. Mention is made of the gold and silver mines in New England, Virginia and the Bermudas, as well as other parts of America. Besides providing details of the procedures of assaying, the author gives a recipe by which he claims to have produced pure gold at a cost, however, greater than the value obtained. An entire chapter discusses all kinds of vegetable dyes. A second edition of this work appeared in the same year 1639 under the title: A Discovery of Infinite Treasure.

Facsimile reprint, 1980: Published by Ilkley, Yorkshire, Reprinted for the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, London by Scolar Press, 1980. [10], 60 p.

Bibliographical references: BL [727.c.15.]. BMC: 4, 1583. Cole, Chemical Literature, 1988: no. 1042. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 434. NUC: 461, 298-9 [NP 0414356]. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 1, no. 5100. Wing: P-2410.

2. English, 1653 [2nd edition].
A discovery of subterraneal treasure, viz. of all manner of mines and minerals, from the gold to the coal, with plain directions and rules for the finding of them in all kingdoms and countries : and also, the art of melting, refining, and assaying of them is plainly declared ... : also a perfect way to try what colour any berry, leaf, flower, stalk, root, fruit, seed, bark, or wood will give, with a perfect way to make colours that they shall not stain, nor fade like ordinary colours. London, Printed for J.E. and are to be sold by Humphrey Moseley ..., 1653.

4°: [10], 1-60 p.

Very scarce. Dedication signed: Gabriel Plattes.

Bibliographical references: NUC: 461, 298-9 [NP 0414358]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 2, 309. Wing: P-2410.

3. English, 1679 [3rd edition].
A Discovery of | Subterranean Treasure: | (viz.) | Of all manner of Mines and Minerals, | from the Gold to the Coal; with plain Directions and Rules | for the finding of them in all Kingdoms and Countries. | And Also | The Art of Melting, Refining and Assaying of them is plain- | ly Declared, so that every ordinary man, that is indifferently capa- | cios, may with small charge presently try the value of such Oars as | shall be found either by Rule or by Accident. | Whereunto is added | A real Experiment whereby every ignorant man may pre- | sently try whether any piece of Gold that shall come to his hands be | True or Counterfeit, | without defacing or altering the form thereof, | and more certainly than any Goldsmith or Refiner could formerly | Discern. | Also A | Perfect way to try what colour any Berry, Leaf, Flower, | Stalk, Root, Fruit, Seed, Bark, or Wood will give: With a | perfect way to make Colours that they shall not stain nor fade like | ordinary Colours. | Very necessary for every one to know, whether he be Traveller by Land | or Sea, or in what Country, Dominion, or Plantation soever he shall | Inhabit. | [rule] | By Mr. Gabriel Plattes. | [rule] | London. | Printed for Peter Parker at the Leg and Star in Cornhill, | over against the Royal Exchange, 1679.

4°: π2 A-C4; 14l.; [4], [1]-24 p. Very scarce.

Contents: [1 pg], Title page.; [2 pgs], "To the Reader."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-24, Text.

Bibliographical references: NUC: 461, 298-9 [NP 0414359]. Wing: P-2411.

4. English, 1715.
A Discovery of Subterranean Treasure, Viz. all manner of mines & minerals, from the gold to the coal. London, für die Buchhändler, o. J. (c1715).

8°: [2], 22 p.

Very rare. Spätere Ausgabe, erstmals 1639 erschienen. - BM, Compact ed. XX, 486. - Vgl. Hoover 225. Ferguson I, 170 (beide innerhalb einer Sammelausgabe von 1738 bzw. 1740). - " It is of importance as the first English work on mining and metallurgy " (Sotheran, Suppl. II, 14195). - Papierbedingt gebräunt, braunfl. und mit Randschäden. Unbeschnitten.

A Discovery of Subterranean Treasure. (London, 1740).
See under: Barba, Alvaro Alonso.

5. English, 1784 [American issue].
A discovery of subterranean treasure containing useful explorations, concerning all manner of mines and minerals, from the gold to the coal; with plain directions and rules for the finding of them in all kingdoms and countries. : In which the art of melting, refining, and assaying of them is plainly declared ... Whereunto is added a real experiment whereby every ignorant man may presently try whether any piece of gold that shall come to his hands be true or counterfeit ... Also a perfect way to try what colour any berry, leaf, flower, stalk, root, fruit, seed, bark, or wood will give: with a perfect way to make colours that they shall not stain nor fade like ordinary colours. : Very necessary for every one to know, whether he be a traveller by land or by sea, in what country, dominion, or plantation soever he shall either sojourn or inhabit. By Mr. Gabriel Plattes. Philadelphia, Printed and sold by Robert Bell, in Third Street., M,DCC,LXXXIV. [1784].

8°: A4 B-E8; 20l.; [1]-37, [3] p.

Rare. Early American imprints. First series, no. 18732.

Bibliographical references: Evans, American Bibliography: no. 18732. NUC: 461, 298-9 [NP 0414367]. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 63360. USGS Library Catalog.

6. English, 1792 [American issue].
A discovery of subterranean treasure, viz. all manner of mines & minerals, from the gold to the coal, with plain directions and rules for finding them in all kingdoms and countries. : Also the art of melting, refining and assaying them made plain and easy ... : To which is added a real experiment, to try whether a piece of gold be true or counterfeit ... : Also a sure way to try what colour any berry, leaf, flower, stalk, root, fruit, seed, bark or wood will give: together with directions for making colours that shall not stain nor fade. : Very necessary for everyone to know, whether he be a traveller by land or sea, or in what country, dominion, or plantation soever he may inhabit. / By Mr. Gabriel Plattes. Philadelphia, : [s.n.], Printed M,DCC,XCII.

4°: A-C4; 12l.; [1]-24 p.

Rare. Early American imprints. First series, no. 31174.

Bibliographical references: Evans, American Bibliography: no. 31174. NUC: 461, 298-9 [NP 0414368]. Sabin, Dictionary, 1868-1936: no. 63360.

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