"Description of the Refugee and Mining City Johann Georgen Stadt" (1723)

Title pageTitle page

Johann Christian Engelschall: Beschreibung Der Exulanten- und Bergstadt Johann Georgen Stadt : In vier Theilen vorstellende, I. Der Exulanten Zustand und wohin sie sich gewendet. II. Der Stadt Anbau, Wachsthum und darinnen vorgefallene Begebenheiten. III. Den dasigen Bergbau, dessen Ursprung, fündige Metallen und sämtliche Zechen. IV. Das eingepfarrte Hammerwerck Wittichsthal, wie auch die Obere- und Untere- Jugel. Leipzig : Lanckisch und Kircheisen, 1723

english translation of the title:

Description of the Refugee and Mining City Johann Georgen Stadt: Shewing in four Parts, I the Condition of the Refugees, and whither they have fled. II The Building and Growth of the City, and of the Events that have taken place therein. III Mining in said Place, the Origin thereof, the Metals found and all the Mines. IV The Wittichsthal Smithy incorporated in that Parish, as well as the Obere and Untere Jugel.

View of JohanngeorgenstadtView of Johanngeorgenstadt

The Ore Mountains (known in German as Erzgebirge) was one of the most important mining regions in early modern times. In 1654, refugees from Bohemia founded the town of Johanngeorgenstadt in the middle of the region, and it very soon became a flourishing mining center. Within a few decades a hundred iron ore mines were in operation. Later tin and silver mining began, and uranium was added after World War II. The book provides a detailed description of a booming mining town in the 18th century.

The book is the first edition of what appears to be the first description of the great mining city of Johanngeorgenstadt in the heart of Saxony's Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge), on the border with the Czech Republic. This is an uncommon book; library catalogues locate no copy in North America and about 25 copies in Europe. Mining began in Johanngeorgenstadt in the 17th century and by 1680 there were about 100 silver, iron, and tin mines in the town and surrounding area. It should be mentioned that in 1789, the chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth first discovered uranium from the Georg Wagsfort mine (Georg-Wagsfort-Fundgrube) in the city.

View of Johanngeorgenstadt (detail)View of Johanngeorgenstadt (detail)

The book describes the city, its buildings, its phenomenal growth in the 17th and early 18th centuries (today it has lost 90% of its population), the mines and their production (very detailed), and metal works (again, very detailed). The engraved plates depict the city, its buildings, and mine locations.

The volume contains one folding engraved view of the city and one folding engraved map of the city and its environs. Title printed in red & black. Small 4to, contemporary half-vellum & paste-paper boards (minor browning).

Fine copy. Stamp of the "I.F.H. Schlosser Bibl." (a private library) on verso of title. From the library of Carl Sahlin (1861-1943), industrialist and a writer on the science of mining and metallurgy. We reprint the description of the book by courtesy of the antiquarian bookseller Jonathan A. Hill (New York City), from whom the Iron Library acquired the volume.