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FERBER, Johann Jakob.

(1743 – 1790)

(Born: Carlscrona, Sweden, 9 September 1743; Died: Bern, Switzerland, 12 April 1790) Swedish mineralogist.

Ferber studied under A.F. Cronstedt, J.G. Wallerius and C. Linnæus at the University of Uppsala. He then traveled extensively exploring the mines of Germany, France, and Italy. In 1774, he was appointed professor of natural history and philosophy at the University in Mittau. In 1783, he relocated to St. Petersburg, and then in 1786 he entered the service of the King of Prussia.

Biographical references: ADB: 6, 629-32. Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists: 424 [1 portrait listed]. DBA: I 314, 62-80; 314, 82-88. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 137. Meusel, Verstorbenen Teutschen Schrifsteller, 1802-16. Poggendorff: 1, col. 733. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 991-2. Svenskt Biografiskt Handlexikon: 1, 331-2, profile. Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon: 15, 589-92. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 905. WBI.

1. German, 1773.
Herrn Johann Jakob Ferbers | Briefe aus Wälschland | über | natürliche Merkwürdigkeiten | dieses Landes | an den Herausgeber derselben | Ignatz Edlen von Born, | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | [vignette] | [double rule] | Prag 1773. | bey Wolfgang Gerle.

8°: π4 A-Bb8 Cc4; 208l.; [8], [1]-407, [1] p., engraved title vignette. Page size: 218 x 136 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso "Magni Omnino res est rerum ..."; [4 pgs], "Vorbericht des Herausgebers."-signed Ignatz edler von Born, 4 June 1773.; [2 pgs], "Inhalt."; [1]-407, Text.; [1 pg], "Druckfehler."

Scarce. Ferber's first book is the account of his geological travels through Italy. Like many of his later works, the format of the text is as a series of 26 letters addressed to another mineralogist, Iganz Elder von Born, who also wrote the forward. The letters describe diverse natural phenomena encountered in Ferber's travels throughout the region of southern Austria and northern Italy, but especially observations on mining, geology and mineralogy. Included are descriptions on the occurrences of specific species including marble, gypsum, jasper, as well as remarks on the ancient ruins of the area and observations on the moutains, volcanoes and fossils.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 67. DSB. Ferchl: 152. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 184. Hoover Collection: no. 296. LKG: XIV 513. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 793. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: p. 41.

Travels through Italy, 1776

2. English, 1776 [English transl.].
Travels | Through | Italy, | In the Years 1771 and 1772. | Described In | A Series of Letters to Baron Born, | On The | Natural History, | Particularly | The Mountains and Volcanos of that Country, | By John James Ferber, | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Translated From The German; | With Explanatory Notes, and a Preface on the present | State and future Improvement of Mineralogy. | By R.E. Raspe. | [rule] | In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas. | [double rule] | London: | Printed For L. Davis, In Holbourn, | Printer To The Royal Society. | M DCC LXXVI.

8°: π1 a-b8 B-Aa8 Bb6; 208l.; [2], [i]-xxxiii, [1], [1]-377, [3] p. Page size: 212 x 128 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Half title page, "[ornate rule] | Mr. Ferber's | Travels | Through | Italy. | [ornate rule]," verso blank.; [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; iii-xxxiii, "Preface"-dated March 1776.; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-331, Text.; [332], Blank.; 333-377, "Index."; [1 pg], Blank.; [2 pgs], "Books | Printed For | Lockyer Davis."

Scarce. Translation by Rudolph Ernst Raspe from Briefe aus Wälschland (Pragæ, 1773).

Rudolph Erich Raspe. (Born: Hannover, Germany, 1737; Died: Muckross, County Kerry, Ireland, 1794) German geologist. Raspe studied science and philology and worked as a librarian for several universities before fleeing to England in 1775 after pilfering some gems that were supposedly in his care. He worked at the Dolcoath Mine, Camborne, where he wrote his famous tale The Surprising Adventures Of Baron Munchhausen as well as discovering in St. Agnes a new tin-bearing sulphide, stannite. In 1791 he had to move again (to Ireland) after his involvement in a mining swindle in Scotland.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 515b. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 391. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 796. (Raspe) Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 915, 143-152. DBA: I 1000, 77-125; II 1043, 334-354. DNB. DSB: 11, 302-5. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. ISIS, 1913-65: 2, 384. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 352. Poggendorff: 2, col. 572. Sarjeant, Geologists, Suppl. 1, 1986: 2, 718, Suppl. 2 (1986), 2, 1010-1 & Suppl. 1 (1995), 3, 1948-9. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 1396.

Lettres sur la Minéralogie, 1776

3. French, 1776 [French transl.].
Lettres | Sur La | Minéralogie | Et Sur Divers Autres Objects | De | L'Histoire Naturelle | De L'Italie | Écrites par Mr. Ferber à Mr. le Chev. de Born. Ouvrage traduit de l'allemand, enrichi de notes & | d'observations faites sur les lieux, | par | Mr. le B. de Dietrich, Correspondant de l'académie | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornament] | à Strasbourg, | Chez Bauer & Treuttel, Libraires. | & se vend à Paris, | Chez Durand Neveu', Libraire, rue Gallande. | [double rule] | M. DCC. LXXVI. | Avec Approbation Et Privilege Du Roi.

8°: )(8 A-Hh8 Ii6; 262l.; [16], [1]-507, [1] p. Page size: 194 x 120 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [6 pgs], "Préface | De | M. Le Chev. De Born, | Éditeur Allemand."; [3 pgs], "Préface | Du | Traductur."; [5 pgs], "Sommaire | du Contenu de cet ouvrage."; [1]-507, Text.; [1 pg], "Errata."

Scarce. Translated by Baron de Phillippe Frédéric Dietrich from from Briefe aus Wälschland (1773). Contains 26 letters on the mineralogy of Italy, including Venice, Florence, Naples, Sicily, Mt. Etna, Island of Elba, and Corsica.

Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 296. LKG: XIV 514a. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 391. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 795.

4. German, 1774.
Bechreibung des Quecksilber - Bergwercks zu Idria in Mittel-Cräyn. Berlin, Bey C.F. Himburg, 1774.

8°: [8], 76 p., 3 folding plates (including one colored plan).

Very scarce. Description of the mercury mines at Idria, Italy.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 255. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 391.

Beyträge, 1774

5. German, 1774.
Johann Jacob Ferbers, | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | Beyträge | zu der | Mineral= Geschichte | von Böhmen. | [ornament] | [double rule] | Berlin, 1774. | Bey Christian Friedrich Himburg.

8°: *3 A-R8 S1; 82l.; [22], [1]-162 p., one folding plate, one folding map (hand colored; "Reiches Gebürg). Page size: 202 x 110 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs], Dedication to Albrecht von Haller, dated 23 October 1773.; [14 pgs], "Vorrede."; [2 pgs], "Inhalt."; [Folding hand colored map; "Reiches Gebürg."]; [1], Sectional title page, "Erster Abschnitt. | Von | der Lage und Eintheilung | der | Böhmischen Bergwerke, | nach den Gebirgen | und in den verschiedenen Kreisen | dieses Königreichs."; [2], Blank.; [3]-20, Text.; [21], Sectional title page, "Zweyter Abschnitt. | Naturgeschichte und Nachrichten | von dem Betriebe | der vornehmsten | Böhmischen Bergwerke."; [22], Blank.; [23]-162, Text.; [At end], One folding plate.

Scarce. This work, one in an important series by Ferber, went a long way in constructing the foundation for future geological studies of the Austro-Hungary empire. Divided into three parts the author first lists each mining operation in Bohemia. The second describes in detail nineteen operating mines in the area, giving details of their operation an production. The final section discusses the legal rights of the nobility versus the landowners regarding the mineral wealth of the area.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 72. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 391.

Travels through the Bannat of Temeswar, Transylvania, and Hungary, in the Year 1770. Described in a Series of Letters to Prof. Ferber ... By Baron Inigo Born ... To which is added, John James Ferber's Mineralogical History of Bohemia ... (London, 1777).
See under: Born, Iganz Edler Von.

6. German, 1776.
Bergmännische Nachrichten von den merkwürdigsten mineralischen Gegenden der Herzoglich-Zweibrückischen, Chur-Pfälzischen, Wild- und Rheingräflichen und Nassauischen Länder. Mietau: J.F. Hinz, 1776.

8°: 94 p., plates.

Scarce. Concerns the mining and mineral resources of Germany.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 271.

7. German, 1776.
Versuch einer Oryktographie von Derbyshire in England ... Mietau, J.F. Hinz, 1776.

8°: [1]-104, [i]-[xxiv] p., one folding plate (showing cross sections). Page size: 220 x 130 mm. uncut.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii], Dedication to Prince Peter.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-[viii], "Durchlauchtigster herzog Gnädigster Fürst und Herr."; [ix]-[xvi], "Vorrede."; [xvii]-[xviii], "Inhalt."; [xix]-[xiv], "Erklärung der Kupfertafeln."; [1]-60, "I. Physikalische Erdbeschreibung des Landes."; 60-67, "II. Von der politischen Verfassung und Haushalthung bey den Derbyshirischen Bergwerken."; 67-77, "III. Von den Grubenbau in Derbyshire und den hülfsmitteln desselben an Maschinen."; 79-81, "V. von dem Bleyschmelzen."; 82, "VI. Von dem Kupferschmelzen in Derby in Derbyshire."; 83-85, "VII. Aufbereitung des Gallmeys."; 86-87, "VIII. Bereitung der rothen Mennige."; 88-90, "IX. Von der Porcellainfabrike bey Derby."; 91-101, "X. Bereitung des englischen Steinguts."; 101-104, "XI. Sammlung einiger englischer Bergwörter."; [At end], One folding plate.

Very scarce. Describes the mines, miners and mining techniques of Derbyshire, England. The plates show geological cross sections and mining equipment, and the map is of Derbyshire.

English transl., 1808: Contained in: John Pinkerton's A general collection of the best and most interesting voyages and travels ... London, 1808-14, volume 2, pp. 465-88.

Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 300. LKG: XIV 433. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 797.

8. German, 1778.
Neue Beyträge zur Mineralgeschichte verschiedner Länder. Erste Band, der zugleich Nachrichten von einigen chymischen Fabriken enthält. Mietau: J.F. Hins, 1778.

8°: xii, 462 p., illustrated.

Scarce. A note in the BLC catalog suggests that this was part of a series under the general title: "Fragment einer Geschichte des Englischen Bergbaues - Mineralogische und technologische Bemerkungen, auf einer Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen in England und Schottland gesammlet von J.C. Fabricius. Mit Anmerkungen und Zusätzen von J.J. Ferber."

Bibliographical references: LKG: VI 68. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 798.

9. German, 1780.
Physikalisch - Metallurgische Abhandlungen über die Gebirge und Bergwerke in Ungarn, von Johann Jakob Ferber ... Nebst einer Beschreibung des Steirischen Einschmelzens und Stahlmachens, von einem Ungenannten. Mit kupfern ... Berlin und Stettin: Bey F. Nicolai, 1780.

8°: [16], 328 p., 4 folding plates.

Scarce. The present work, one of author's most influencial, helped to lay the ground work of the geological investigation of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Described here in full detail are the mineral resources of the countries together with information about mining procedures and the output of various mines. The plates illustrate various mining operations.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 852. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 391. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 799. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: pp. 87-8.

10. German, 1784.
Anmerkungen zu physischen Erdbeschreibung von Kurland. Jacob Benjamin Fischer's Zusäze zu seinem Versuch einer naturgeschite von Lipland, nebst Einigen anmerkungen zu physischen erdbeschreibung von Kurland, entworfen von Johann Jakob Ferber ... Rigs, J.F. Hartknoch, 1784.


Scarce. LKG: XIV 757a. First edition. Apparently based on J.B. Fischer's work, but listed under Ferber in NUC but not BLC.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 757a.

11. German, 1787.
Nachricht | von dem | Anquicken | der | gold- und silberhaltigen Erze, | Kupfersteine und Speisen | in | Ungarn und Böhmen | nach | eigenen Bemerkungen daselbst im Jahr 1786 | entworfen | von | Johann Jacob Ferber, | [...12 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Berlin, | bey August Mylius, 1787.

8°: xxxii, 200 p., 2 plates, table.

Scarce. In this book, Ferber delivers his observations on the processing of metallic ores containing gold, silver and copper in Hungary and Bohemia. These observations were based on his personal experiences traveling throughout the region in 1786.

Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 298. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 391.

12. German, 1788.
Untersuchung der Hypothese von der verwandlung der mineralischen Körper in einander. Aus den Akten der Kaiserl. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu St. Petersburg übersetzt mit einigen anmerkungen vermehrte und herausgegeben von der Gesellschaft naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin. Berlin, F. Maurer, 1788.

8°: viii, 72 p.

Scarce. Presumablly concerns the origin of ore deposits.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIII 178 & 179. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 800.

13. German, 1789.
Drey Briefe mineralogischen Inhalts, an Freyherrn von Racknitz ... geschrieben von Johann Jakob Ferber ... Berlin, A. Mylius, 1789.

8°: 70 p.

Scarce. LKG: VI 69a. First edition.

Bibliographical references: LKG: VI 69a.

14. German, 1789.
Mineralogische und metallurgische Bemerkungen in Neuchatel, Franche Comté und Bourgogne im Jahre 1788, angestellt von J.J. Ferber. Berlin: August Mylius, 1789.

8°: 77 p., 5 folding plates.

Scarce. The plates show mostly mining machinery and the text references the glass works at Mont Cenis.

Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 297. LKG: XIV 351. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 801.

15. German, 1804.
Relation von der item aufgetragenen mineralogischen, berg-, und huttenmannischen Reise durch einige polnische Provinzen ... herausgegeben von J.C.W. Voigt. Arnstadt und Rudolstadt, 1804.


Scarce. LKG: XIV 726. First edition, edited by Johann Carl Wilhelm Voigt. Not under Ferber in NUC, perhaps under VOIGT though.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 726.

16. German, 1787.
Ist es vortheilhafter, die silberhältigen Erze und Schmelzhüttenprodukte anzuquicken, als sie zu schmelzen? Beantwortet von einigen zu Glashütte bey Schemnitz in Niederhungarn im Sommer und Herbst 1786 versammelten Berg- und Schmelzwesensverständige Leipzig und Wien, Bey Rudolph Grässer und Compagnie, 1787.

8°: 144 p.

Rare. The text in German and French is a description of the silver containing ores and the methods by which they are processed, with an introduction signed J.J. Ferber.

Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 295.