Franckfurt am Mayn, Johann Friedrich Fleischer, 1739. Small 8vo. Recent hvellum. 2 old names on titlepage. (4),198,(3) pp., some textillustr. in woodcut showing chemical apparatus.
Scarce fourth German edition. The first part of the book deals with the generation of metals...the second with the extraction of silver by mercury. He cites alchemical literature on the origin of the earth, minerals, salts, adding clear descriptions. He excelled in the "Treatment of silver ores by amalgation, using processes that he himself had discovered and that were in large measure responsible for the wealth of the province." (DSB).
"Barba was a native of the village of Lepe in Andalusia. He entered the church and became pastor of St. bernards at Potosi, in South America. While there he had the opportunity of studying minerals and mining, extraction of silver and assaying, and became very skilful in these branches of science. He embodied his knowledge and experience in the treatise "El arte de los metallos", published in Madrid in 1640 in 4to, with illustrations. It was kept as secret as possible by the Spaniards, but when Edw. Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, was ambassador extraordinary to Spain, he obtained a copy and translated two of the five books into English in 1669. The first book appeared at London in 1670, and the two together in 1674. Two German translations followed, one from the English, and long after, another from the French; and two in French from the Spanish." (Ferguson I: p.70-71). - Duveen p.42-43 (but not this edition). Thorndike VII: pp. 257-61.