Documents: 8

Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek

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Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek, Mss 8
Paper · 1 + 288 + 1 pp. · 34 x 24 cm · Italy (Tuscany) · about 1577-1591
Libro di ricordanze del Granduca di Toscana riguardante l'amministrazione fatta da Roberto Pandolfini delle Vene di Ferro dell'Isola dell'Elba 1579

This paper manuscript with parchment binding is an exemplar of the category “libri di ricordanze,” which were very popular among Florentine merchants. This “libro di ricordanze” belonged to the Grand Duke of Tuscany; it is probably comprised of the notes (and copies) of a certain Roberto di Pandolfo Pandolfini regarding the management of iron mines on the island of Elba. Included are lists presumably recording the price of iron (ore). — On the island of Elba, abundant deposits of iron ore, characterized by high iron content, were mined and were exported primarily to central Italy. — Following the actual notes, eight smaller-format attachments are pasted in (pp. 52a-d, pp. 54a-d, pp. 56a-b, p. 59, p. 61, pp. 62a-b, p. 65, p. 67), as well as numerous blank pages (pp. 68-288), which make up the main part of the volume. — The manuscript was purchased in Florence in 1957. (ruh)

Online Since: 10/08/2015

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Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek, Mss 13
Paper · 1 + 32 ff. · 33 x 24.5 cm · Italy · 1786
Disegni, e spiegazione della Fonderia principio, e termine della Campana di S. Pietro, fusa dal Cavalier Luigi Valadier, e Giuseppe di lui figlio nell'anno 1786 – per ordine di N. S. PP. Pio Sesto […]

In this magnificently illustrated manuscript of unusual content, the Italian architect and town planner Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839) describes the casting of the Campanone, the largest bell in St. Peter's Basilica, in a text featuring 14 watercolored pen and ink drawings. The Vatican had commissioned the bell from the foundry of his father, Luigi Valadier, who passed away in 1785, before the work on the bell was completed. The son Giuseppe completed the commission and in 1786 prepared a manuscript about this work, pairing each drawing with a written explanation in the form of a legend. First Valadier shows the foundry building (2v-7r); then, in an almost photographic wealth of detail and in vivid colors, he shows the process of producing the bell including the technique of the false bell and the casting in bronze (8v-21r). Finally the finished bell (22v-23r) is transported through the streets of Rome on a wooden sled (24v-25r) and is blessed by Pope Pius VI (26v-27r). – The manuscript was purchased in Bern in 1948. (ruh)

Online Since: 10/08/2015

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Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek, Mss 14
Paper · 1 + 127 + 1 ff. · 28.5 x 20.5 cm · Italy · before 1828
L’architettura pratica

This manuscript by the Italian architect and town planner Guiseppe Valadier (1762-1839) vividly illustrates various aspects of architecture and technology. The manuscript contains 127 panels of pen and ink drawings in vivid colors that were created before 1828 (Tav. CI to Tav. CCXXXV, many panels are missing). Partly the panels are grouped thematically by material (e.g., wood (fol. 1r-8r), iron (fol. 9r-24r), copper (fol. 25r-31r), bronze (fol. 32r-58r)), partly by construction themes (e.g., construction of walls fol. 103r-117r). These drawings served as models for part of the total of about 320 panels presented in the two volumes of panels of Valadier’s work „L’architettura pratica dettata nella scuola e cattedra dell’insigne Accademia di San Luca“, printed in Rome in 1828-33 and based on lectures he had given at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. The numbering of the panels in the manuscript corresponds to that in the printed work. — The manuscript was purchased in Italy in 1956. (ruh)

Online Since: 10/08/2015

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Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek, Mss 20
Parchment · 100 ff. · 23.5 x 17.5 cm · Italy · last third of the 13th century
Aristotle/Albertus Magnus manuscript

The 13th-century manuscript is composed of three parts. The first part contains Aristotelian and pseudo-Aristotelian works in Latin translation. The second part contains 'De mineralibus' and 'De natura loci' by Albertus Magnus. The third part consists of a commentary by Michael Scotus on Johannes de Sacrobosco's work about the heavenly spheres, an anonymous commentary on the Arithmetic of Boethius, and the commentary by Averroës on Aristotle's 'De longitudine et brevitate vitae'. This manuscript is among the finest examples of Italian secular book production from the last third of the 13th century, and it is one of the earlier illuminated Aristotelian manuscripts. (pil)

Online Since: 03/24/2006

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Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek, Mss 28
Paper · 1 + 67 + 1 ff. · 21.5 x 15 cm · Southern France · 1421
Registre manuscrit, contenant plus de 70 notariés, concernant Bollène, Département Vaucluse

This paper manuscript contains copies of 70 notarial documents that have a relation to the city of Bollène in the Vaucluse department of Southern France. The thematic focus is on trip hammers. — The manuscript was purchased in Paris in 1955. (ruh)

Online Since: 10/08/2015

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Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek, Mss 30
Parchment · 2 + 102 + 2 pp. · 20 x 16 cm · about 1700
Belli Esperimenti Sopra li Metalli e Minerali Scritti e Mandati Alla Maesta Cesarea del Imperatore Leopoldo Da Giouanni Baptista Coene Di Passauia Pho.

This paper manuscript, produced around 1700, mentions in its title Emperor Leopold (I, reigned 1658-1705). The identity of Giovanni Baptista Coene from Passau, named as author, remains obscure; no further information is available about him. — The names of metals and other materials that Coene used in experiments are not written out in the text, but are represented by alchemic symbols (planetary signs, etc.). Because these occur in large numbers, the text is not easily readable or understandable. Further evidence that the manuscript is rooted in alchemy comes from the fact that Coene refers to Paracelsus (1493/94-1541), e.g., in the short final chapter with the title “Che cosa il Balsamo Samech di Paracelso” (pp. 101-102). Coene also mentions the “Testamentum” (pp. 99-100) and names Raimundus Lullus (1232/33-1315/16) as its author; today it is considered a pseudo-Llull text. — Within the chapters, individual paragraphs are numbered, but in the last quarter of the manuscript this numbering seems to have been added later (pp. 81-102). At the end of the manuscript, the numbering is incorrect (instead from p. 70ff. it should read correctly p. 97ff.). — The manuscripts was purchased in Italy in 1952. (ruh)

Online Since: 10/08/2015

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Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek, Mss 38
Paper · 1 + 444 + 1 pp. · 17 x 11 cm · 1526
Anno domini 1526 am tag fabiany vn[d] Sebastiany ayn liblichs piechel angefange[n] durch mych wocken pniowsky von aylem-berk obristem Sudy des margrafftum yn marhern […]

The author of this manuscript gives his name at the outset (p. 3): Wok Pňovsky von Eulenberg (Czech: Vok Pňovický ze Sovince) comes from the Moravian noble family von Eulenberg (Czech: ze Sovince), whose coat of arms is depicted in the manuscript (p. 130). Wok is documented between 1499-1531; from 1518-1525 he held the position of chief justice of Moravia. In 1526 with this manuscript he produced an early exemplar of a “Probierbuch” (assay book), which treats several procedures for analyzing and further processing various ores and metals. The first part of the manuscript is divided into 40 chapters (pp. 4-130); in the second part of the manuscript, the sections are not numbered (pp. 133-420). Added at the end is a later (17th century?) table of contents (pp. 429-444), which offers short summaries of the chapters. Assaying was of great importance to the practice of early modern mining and metallurgy. Near Eulenburg castle (Czech: hrad Sovinec), the ancestral home of the family in Northern Moravia, Wok himself was engaged in the mining of precious metals (Papajík 2005, pp. 198-200). In Wok, therefore, the mining entrepreneur and the assayer coincided in one person. Before 1924 the manuscript was part of the holdings of the library of the museum of the ‘Gymnasium’ or preparatory school (Czech: Knihovna gymnazijního muzea) in Troppau (Czech: Opava), a predecessor institution of the present library of the Silesian Museum (Czech: Knihovna Slezského zemského muzea). The manuscript has been lost since 1924. After a devastating fire in the spring of 1945, in which all accession books were destroyed, no documentation about the manuscript exists in the museum library today (information from 07-16-2015). David Papajík summarizes the current state of Czech research: “Vok also addresses theoretical aspects of mining. In 1526 he authored an extensive German language work of 420 pages on the topic, which, while it survived until the recent past and was held in the library of the museum of Opava, it was lost by 1924. We only know a description from 1881, produced by Josef Zukal. It is a great pity that this unique document about the understanding of mining of that time, has not survived into the present” (Papajík 2005, p. 200). The above-mentioned description from 1881 offers the following additional information “«Ms. chart. sec. XVI. Kl. Oct. bound in black leather without decoration, 420 pages […]. Mining flourished in the area of Eulenburg in the 15th and 16th century; thus the present work owes its creation to practical need. Without doubt it is Wok’s original manuscript and offers an interesting insight into the state of metallurgy of the time. The index in a different hand was added at a much later time; this fact as well as the great wear indicate that the book was in use for a long time (Zukal 1881, p. 15 f.). The manuscript was purchased in New York in 1955. (ruh)

Online Since: 03/17/2016

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Schlatt, Eisenbibliothek, Mss 57
Paper · 24 ff. · 48 x 34 cm · 1802
Prozhekt mosta chrez reku Nevu dlja udobnosti prokhozhdenija su-dov vo vsjakoe vremja 1802 [transcription].

This large-format manuscript (the translation of the Russian title is “Bridge-building project across the Neva River to accommodate the passage of ships at all times, 1802”) presents a bridge-building project across the Neva River in St. Petersburg. Following the title page with a decorative frame in a gray color wash (fol. 2) and the table of contents (fol. 3), there are twelve panels of watercolored drawings that give an overview and a detailed view of the project. Seven illustrations are two-sided, one of them has a fold-out page. All texts in this manuscript are in Russian and in Cyrillic script. — The bridge was designed by Charles Baird (1766–1843), a Scottish engineer who had set up a business for metal casting, machine construction and shipbuilding in St. Petersburg and who had built a cast-iron bridge nearby in 1805/06. The manuscript’s bridge project, however, calls for a combination of a floating bridge and a drawbridge: the floating bridge, resting on pontoons, splits into two branches, which end in two drawbridges near the shore (fol. 4a-5), so that it is possible to cross the bridge even while a ship passes beneath it. Other panels show, for example, the lifting mechanism hidden in the pillars (fol. 14a, 16, 17) and one of the boat-like pontoons anchored in the bed of the Neva River (fol. 20a-21). – The manuscript was purchased in Copenhagen in 1978. (ruh)

Online Since: 10/08/2015

Documents: 8