1571. Item #87114
THURNEISSER ZUM THURN, Leonhart. PROKATALEPSIS ODER PRAEOCCUPATION, DURCH ZWOLFF VERSCHEIDENLICHER TRACTATEN; GEMACHTER HARM PROBEN. Frankfurt: Johann Eichorn, 1571. First edition. Folio. Pp. , lxxxv, [2,1 blank]. Title red and black within an elaborate woodcut border. The first word in the title is transliterated from Greek. Portrait on Aii, framed by strapwork incorporating laboratory equipment and two nudes pouring chemicals. Colophon, on Hiiij recto, p.[lxxxv11]. Ex library, with the only markings being two faint, inconspicuous stamps. Bound in 18th century marbled boards, with new spine. The method of analysis and conclusions described in this book are noted by Johann Carl Moehsen p.72 and by Sprengel (Geschichte der Medicin, Halle, 1827, ii., p.499). Thurneisser or Thurneysser, as well as five other spellings, was born in Basel in 1530. His father was a goldsmith. Arrested for selling gilt lead as gold, Thurneisser fled Basel, fought in the army of Albert of Brandenburg, was captured and imprisoned. By 1558 he was a metallurgist in the Tyrol, then from 1560 to 1570 was sent to many countries by the Archduke Ferdinand to research metallurgy. In 1569 he first published his Archidoxa and in 1570 the Quinta Essentia. He wrote on chemistry, alchemy, meteorology, pharmacology and medicine, making it up as he went along. From 1570 to 1584 he was a physician in the court of the Elector of Brandenburg, who put at his disposal an abbey in Berlin, where he had a laboratory as well as a printing press, employed 300 people, and amassed a large fortune. This he lost in a divorce from his third wife, and left Berlin for Rome, Florence and Cologne. History sees him now as a flamboyant charlatan. (Bibliotheca Chemica, p. 453; D.S.B.).