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By J. R. Partington

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1 19 f. f Humboldt, (2), iii, 303; Browne, Ists, 1935,23,406 (417). j* Neimiann, Z . angeto. , 1921, xxxiv, 161. * ‘Description of the West Indies’, in Purchas his Pilgrimes, London, 4 vols. f®, 1625, iii, 8

The powdered silver ore was ground with salt and water, mercury ‘rained’ on through holland, and the mixture stirred over a furnace. Previously, a cold process lasting twenty days was used. The washed amalgam was squeezed in cloth bags to remove liquid mercury and the solid amalgam heated in a pot over a violent fire, a conical hood con­ densing the mercury, which ran off by a pipe. The silver was assayed on a cupel, the very small globule being put by forceps on a very delicate balance, the process being very nice and accurate.

Approbation dated Potosi, 15 M arch 1637. Reprinted 1729, 1770- The work was kept secret in Spain but a copy was obtained by Edward Mon­ tague, first Earl of Sandwich (1660), when ambass'kdor extraordinary to Spain, who translated two of the five books into English in 1669: T h e F irst Book o f the A r t o f M ettals, In W h ich is Declared the manner o f their Generation; and the Concomitants o f T h e m . . T h e Second Book o f the A r t o f M etals, W herin is T au g h t the Com m on W a y o f Refining Silver b y Q u icksilver..

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