Author: Johann Heinrich Pistorius
Publisher: Berlin, Carl Heinrich Nortmann for the author, 1821
First edition. The businessman, landowner and distiller Pistorius (1777-1858) developed an innovative and effective double still, which he obtained a Prussian patent for in 1817, and 'was very efficient and continued in use for 70 years' (R.J. Forbes A Short History of the Art of Distillation (Leiden: 1970) p. 355). The present work is an introduction to distilling techniques and methods, followed by a description of Pistorius' distilling apparatus and the improvements that it introduced, and the methods of producing spirits from various fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes; the large lithographic plates depict Pistorius' apparatus and also its predecessors. A Polish edition, translated by Cyprian Janowski, was published in Lwów in 1822 under the title Praktyczna nauka gorzelnictwa, and a second edition, edited by Friedrich Wilhelm Lüdersdorff, was published in 1841.
8vo (192 x 116mm). Grey-blue wrappers, the upper cover original, the spine and lower cover modern, entirely uncut; pp. x, 213, [3 (imprint, blank, errata)], fraktur types, ll. 5/4 and 7, 6/5-7, 8/6, 10/2, 11/2 and 4, and 14/4 cancellantia, those in quires 5, 6, and 8 noted in the footnote on p. 71, those in 10 and 11 in the footnote on p. 167; 6 folding lithographic plates by Hausgenoss after F.W. Lüdersdorff, letterpress tables in the text; upper wrapper very slightly spotted and marked, some variable spotting, browning and marginal creasing, one plate with small length of adhesive tape on margin touching image, another a little browned, lacking the folding lithographic table, nonetheless a crisp and entirely uncut copy; provenance: inscription dated 1833 on upper wrapper -- occasional pencilled markings.
This first edition is very rare on the market and similarly in institutions, excepting a small number of copies in Germany; COPAC does not locate any copies in the UK, and only one copy of the second edition (British Library).
Engelmann, Bibliotheca mechanico-technologica p. 283; for the 2nd ed., cf. Poggendorff I, col. 1516 (s.n. Lüdersdorff).