Sito di Zappetta Gialla sull'Oro.

Vai Home page   Vai al Sommario



E' un Sito sull'oro con centinaia di pagine utili alle vostre ricerche e dispone anche di Facebook per dialogare ecc. Per la Posta in generale: ho sostituito la mia precedente pagina Facebook (si può ancora consultarla, ma non più scriverci) con una nuova in formato Gruppo, la cui iscrizione è assolutamente gratis e dove potrete inserire domande o argomenti aggiungendo vostri "post", oppure rispondere e dialogare in quelli di altri già presenti.

Per la Posta particolare, invece, cioè dialoghi privati ed esclusivi con giornalisti, enti, collaboratori scrivetemi qui

IMPORTANTE: se nel vostro schermo la tabella centrale, testi ed altro li vedete troppo piccoli potete ingrandire tenendo premuto il tasto Ctrl e cliccando su + o -


La scuola mineraria



pubblicazione di Miniere d'Oro(2003) www.minieredoro(2006 / 2023)



Sezioni principali di questo Sito:

Miniere d'Italia

La Valle d'Ayas

Giuseppe Pipino

Il deposito di oro alluvionale italiano

Italia fiumi con oro

Imparare a cercarlo

Attrezzi necessari

Pulizia dei minerali

E' oro? e tipi di oro

Le Leggi sulla ricerca

I cercatori d'oro

Storia oro Italia

I minerali in genere

Club, gare e mostre

Pagina guida per ricerche scolastiche

Oro nel mondo

I vostri racconti

Collaboratori e corrispondenti


Documento per gentile concessione del Museo Storico dell'Oro italiano.





Giuseppe Pipino.



According to the studies on the subject, the first mining school was founded in 1765 in Freiberg, Saxony, followed in 1777 by Schemnitz school in the Hungarian Kingdom (today's Banska Stiavnica in Slovakia), and in 1783 by the school of Paris (EYLES, 1964). Banskà Stiavnica claims that honour for herself in that on 18 September 1764 the first lesson was held at the local Bergakademie, an evolution of the mining school (Bergschule) founded in 1735 (STEPANEKOVA e NOVAK, 1992). If the term "foundation" refers to the official act of constitution, implying approval of a rule and appointing teachers, the "SCUOLA DI MINERALOGIA" established in Turin in 1752 can be said to be Europe's, and therefore the world's, first Mining Academy. It undoubtedly arose from a hardly existent local tradition and owed much to Freiberg and Schemnitz schools, where its first teachers were educated. In fact, before the official foundation, in those ancient mining centres teaching was not in the hands of public institutions but of expert private citizens who were occasional praticants, and their activities were not coordinated and centralized. The foundation of the School of Turin on the contrary was an official act, planned by the government and carried out when Nicolis di Robilant and his cadets returned from their well-known " educational trip" to Saxonian and Hungarian mining centres.

We have a shirt, hagiographic biography of Nicolis di Robilant signed R:M:D: (1824), fully included in the first volume of "Repertorio delle miniere" (1826), which represents the source of information (and misunderstanding) for the later authors. I have been collecting material about di Robilant and his role from the two sections of the State Archive of Turin, from the Accademia delle Scienze and the Biblioteca Reale, for a more exhaustive study on the bsubject. I herewith anticipate some useful information for a deeper insight about the origins and the closure of the Scuola. Moreover, I collected a huge variety of material concerning mining activities in the Sardinia Kingdom in various periods and particularly dining the frst half of the XVIII century, when Sesia Valley, Ossola Valley, Sicily and Sardinia were annexed to the State. The relevance of the mining resources of the above-mentioned areas gave birth to great expectations in terms of profit and to a plan for a 'rnethodical exploitation of Mines" which included the foundation of the Scuola. The plan failed and the School was closed after the first course because of the peculiar administrative structure of the State, which did not allow the King to directly control all the mines, the bureaucratic centralisation of any activity, the excessive and expensive rigour of controls, the lack of capital and the inadequate technical preparation of the cadres, including Nicolis di Robilant. However, that course formed some technicians such as Belly, Graffion and Trona, whose work would be of great importance in the years to come.

The school, whose existence and importance are ignored today, was on the contrary well known abroad even after its closing. FERBER mentions it in the 23° letter written in German to Cavalier de Born in 1772. ln its French translation, published in 1776 with notes by the Baron of Dietrich, we can read: "...Mr RUBILANTE fut chargé par le roi de former & de diriger cette petite academie des mines & d’instruire des subjects"; one of the notes adds more infomation and tells: "...Cetre école est tombé, parceque le roi ne trouva pas de gain a l'exploitation des mines".

At the end of 1749. Count Carlo Baldassarre Perrone of San Martino, owner of Valpelline copper mine and ambassador in Saxony, suggested King Charles Emmanuel III to send some men to Saxonian mines to leam mining and metallurgical technologies to apply in Piedmont. The King agreed to the proposal, in the false expectation of obtaining large personal profits, much the same way as many of his predecessors did. Count Perrone returned to Saxony, obtained approval from the local government and prepared the arrival of those men (DAGNA, 1968). The participants were chosen from among the military apparatus and particularly the Royal Artillery School, founded in 1739 with the aim of forming technicians for all branches of the State administration. The Royal Bill dated 30 April I749 informed the Finance General that the King had "considered convenient to charge Cavalier di Robilant, captain of our artillery regiment, with the direction and command of the four cadets of the same corps on their way to Saxony to practise in the rnines. The four cadets chosen were Vallino, Fontana, Ponzio and Bussoletti, whereas Nicolis di Robilant was chosen later to replace Cavalier of Salmour, with whom he was welcomed at the court of Dresden and visited the mines in Freiberg.

The cadets left straight away for their destination, whereas Nicolis left Turin on 12 May 1749 and, after paying a short visit to his father who was on duty in Venice, joined the cadets in Munich. From there they resumed their journey together through Ratisbona and Freiberg to Dresden, where they arrived on the 27° of May. After the introduction to the court of Frederick Augustus, King of Poland and duke of Saxony, to the Prime Minister Count Bruhl and to Marshal Rozowscki, military governor, they visited the most famous monuments and museums of Dresden, including the celebrated Zwinger Garten natural history museum. At the end of the month they returned to Freiberg and were introduced to Cavalier von Schonberg, President of the Mines, and to the vice-president Baron von Kirohback who prepared a plan of studies and granted them the necessary authorisation to access the mines and the city minerals collections, including his own.

Due to the presence of mines and metallurgical plants, Freiberg had a long tradition as a renowned centre of mining activities and studies and was to become a true Bergakademie. This institute was officially established in 1765, perhaps also as a consequence of the long stay of the Piedmontese visitors, followed by technicians from other Italian states. During their stay, that lasted less than 10 months, the group was taught by the main experts of the area who, as Nicolis di Robilant wrote in 1790: "were all largely rewarded". Friedrich Hoffman, councillor and mines counsellor (also known for passing to the service of the King of Naples), taught them metallurgy; Christlieb Ehregott Gellert, Frederick Augustus` mining counsellor, taught them mineralogy and metallurgical chemistry; Johannes Zeibt taught them geometry and underground architecture, and Johann Andreas Klotsch docimasy. Later on Gellert published his lessons in the book "Anfangsgrunde zur metallurgischen Chimie" (Leipzig, 1750): in the preface he reports the remarkable learning disposition of the Piedmontese cadets and praises "count" di Robilant as an acknowledged expert in physics and mathematics.

During his stay in Freiberg, Nicolis bought and transcribed the texts of the lessons and a number of short essays on mines, salt-mines and machinery, ledgers, foundry workers" oaths and others on various topics, such as "Breve relazione delle miniere d'Inghilterra ", "Relazione delle fonderie d'argento di Norvegia ", and "Relazione sulle miniere del Piemonte " written by Joan Alerwelt, one of the Saxons invited by Victor Amadeus in 1720. From Turin he also received reports and information concerning Piedmont mines together with ore samples to analyse. Following the King's orders, he bought Baron von Ponickau’s collection that would be sent to Turin to form the core of the Museo di Mineralogia. Later on, he also obtained a report on Sardinian mines, written in Schmalkalden on 28 April 1745 by Christian Bose, who had been inspector of those mines from 1741 to 1745 on behalf of the London owner company.

At the end of the course in Freiberg, di Robilant and the four cadets were authorised to visit Ober-Erz-Gebirge and Grunthal mines and plants: they visited the mines and plants for the treatment of tin and copper in Zinnwald, Altenberg, Grasliz, Johanngeorgenstadt and could see the manufacturing plant for the blue pigment from cobalt and the plant for the separation of silver from copper in Grunthal. Here they stayed longer as they had been allowed to study the production processes.

Upon di Robilant's request, Charles Emmanuel III gave permission of extending his educational trip to other sites in Germany and surrounding countries, where he learned processes unknown in Freiberg: in Goslar the method used for extracting zinc from its minerals and in Magdeburg the method used for parting gold from silver. In Bohemia he studied brass production, in Hungary the washing of gold sand. In Scbemnitz, in front of the King's commissioners, he carried out the extraction of zinc from pseudogalena, a laborious process he had learnt in Goslar that would be explained in a chemistry treaty published by Gellert in 1754. On his way back, Robilant lingered in Carinthia, Styria and Tyrol to visit gold, silver and salt-mines.

Meanwhile, the Finance Office had begun collecting infomation about mines and evidences of ore deposits in the Kingdom that were on his way back and turned out to be the most interesting ones. The information gathered on the Eastern Piedmont valleys was used to compile a "Short report addressed to Cavalier di Robilant concerning the mines in Sesia Valley, Adorno Valley and Agosta Valley, to the best of the knowledge of the Royal Finance Office".  Before returning to Turin, it was suggested that Robilant should visit those areas and the valleys of Ossola, even if they were not specifically indicated in the title. The letter accompanying the information, that he received while in lnnsbruck, ordered him to visit Anzasca Valley as a simple traveller "to arouse less suspicion".

ln November 1751, Nicolis di Robilant returned to Italy with only three of his four cadets; in fact Fontana had died in Saxony, as testified in a note written by the Baron of Dietrich to FERBER letters. In Milan Count Borromeo granted the group permission to visit Anzasca Valley mines. In Novara they met a corporal and four miners coming from Turin, who helped them collect samples from ore deposits in the valleys of Sesia, Sessera, Aosta, Anzasca, Bugnanco,
Antigorio, Vetro, and Antrona.

On 17 January 1752 Nicolis di Robilant and his cadets returned to Turin and were received by the King, to whom they illustrated the mission results. After that the War Council began to be held frequently "on the subject of mines" and on 6 April 1752 the King received a plan signed by the Minister Giovanni Battista Bogino, first engineer Count Ignazio Bertola, the Finance General Count Giuseppe de Gregory of Marconengo and by Cavalier di Robilant himself.

The experience acquired abroad by Robilant, "the large and precise reports he compiled on the mines situated in His Majesty's Kingdom", the two plans elaborated by Count Bertola for the establishment of a mining school with
museum and laboratory, the Count of Marconengo’s report on the running of state mines, can only give "a general idea of the great and complex task of introducing maintaining and increasing a systematic exploitation of ore deposits in the Kingdom". The authors of these reports declare themselves unable to face "such an arduous enterprise" and warn that "many of the measures proposed should be re- examined and re-elaborated in order to meet the goal with the necessary uniformity of principles and means“. The only chance at the moment is to arrange a series of measures divided in two parts: one concerning the school and one concerning the mines run by the Finance Office.

Count Bertola, former founder of the Royal Artillery School, had devised a plan for the "establishment of mining schools, both theoretical and experimental and training ... and the building of a Museum and a Laboratory connected to those institutes“. The execution of the whole project was advancing rapidly in a house next to the Arsenal. The school rules were drawn up based on a "Project of a course in Metallurgical studies" prepared by Cavalier di Robilant and was divided into 39 points: 1. the school is established in Turin in a building next to the Arsenal; 2. it is composed of one classroom, two rooms for the Mineralogy Museum and one laboratory; 3. the staff will be composed of: a General Inspector of the Mines; an assistant officer who will act as substitute of the inspector in case of need, director of the laboratory and curator of the museum and teachers; 4. the assistant officer will be supported by an attendant; 5. the school will stay open from the day of the retum of the employees from the annual visit to the mines until their next leaving; 6. there will be two hours of lessons in the morning and two in the afternoon; 7. no class will be held on Sundays, Wednesdays and other holidays; 8. lessons will be taught in Italian; 9. classes will be divided into 5 courses: metallurgical chemistry, ore analysis, namely docimasy, underground geometry, principles of applied metallurgy ; 10. the lessons in metallurgical chemistry will have a theoretical and a practical part: the former will be on mineralogy, the latter on the principles regulating the properties of bodies; 11. the lessons in docimasy will deal with the methods of analysis of metals, semi-metals and salts; 12 the lessons in underground geometry will concern how to draw plans and profiles of mines; 13. underground architecture will concern underground pitting and building of tracks and washers; 14. metallurgy will deal with managing foundry operations, building furnaces etc.; 15. models of mining machinery, devices and tools will be collected; 16. these will be kept in cabinets and in one of the rooms of the Museum; 17. in the other room a collection of minerals will be arranged; 18. models and minerals will be entrusted to the Curator; 19. each sample will have a serial number matching the catalogue; 20. the General Inspector will hand in at the Museum samples of newly discovered minerals; 21. teachers returning from their trips will also have to hand in samples of minerals; 22. samples of foreign minerals will also be kept in the museum; 23. each catalogue will be complete with a table of contents to simplify searching activities; 24. theoretical classes will be followed by experiments in the chemistry laboratories; 25. every kind of furnaces, machinery, cupels and melting pots necessary for the classes will be gathered in the laboratory; 26. Artillery General Superintendent will supply the laboratory with all necessary items; 27. the Museum Curator will also act as director of the laboratory; 28. teachers will lead students to the laboratory and show them furnaces, machinery and so on; 29. the Kingdom's ores will be analysed in the laboratory; 30. a register containing analysis results and notes will be kept in the laboratory; 31, the register will be complete with a table of contents to simplify searching activities; 32. a sentinel will be put to guard the school entrance; 33. all employees will be subject to General Inspector; 34. they will receive a salary; 35. Artillery General Superintendent will pay all the expenses of the school; 36. teachers will regularly inform the Inspector on the students’ progress; 37. at the end of the year the students will visit metallurgical plants; 38. they will always accompany their teachers during their periodical trips; 39. officers and cadets appointed to the school will always be chosen among the Royal Artillery Corps.

On 13 April 1752 the King approved the Rules and Bogino's plan af officers and other subject to appoint to the mining school": Captain di Robilant was elected Director of the School and General Inspector of the mines; Captain Ronzini the Inspector’s attendant, curator of the museum and Director of the Laboratory; second Lieutenants Bussoletti, Ponzio and Vallino were appointed teacher (maestri); cadets Tesauro, Trona, Belly, Gros, Borelli Teppati, Maccario and Graffion students; Novellis was hired on probation as laboratory and museum expert and was supported by two miners (bombisti). On the 17° of April the King sent Captain di Robilant a copy of the Rules, communicating his decision to elect him to the "Superior Direction" of the school and to elect him "General Inspector of Mines". The King begs of him to ask Fortresses General Superintendent for all the material necessary to run the school; some artillery cadets had already been chosen to attend chemistry and docimasy classes and only the worthy ones would be allowed to continue their studies. Everything else was left to his experience and zeal. The King also informed him of his decision of entrusting the superintendence of Mines to a "group of people of Our choice." The same day, he also gave notice to Cavalier De Nicola, Artillery General Lieutenant, of having established the School, entrusted the direction to Cavalier di Robilant, captain of the regiment in which De Nicola himself is Colonel, and of having already chosen other Officers and cadets as teachers and students. These Officers and cadets "...though engaged in the School and in the various duties concerning the Mines, will still be considered members of the Artillery Corps"; the school was already open and all the Colonel had to do was to appoint a sentinel " deny access to unauthorised people".

ln the Royal Bill dated 24 April 1752, Charles Emmanuel after reminding the sending of Cavalier di Robilant and the cadets to Germany and declaring himself satisfied with his reports and with "the convenient enlightenment he has acquired", recognised the validity of the arguments expressed by the War Council concerning the impossibility of "establishing a general plan for the exploitation of mines". He decided to entrust this "duty" to a Congress made up of the President of the House of Commons, Count Angelo Francesco Benso di Pramoto, the Finance General Giuseppe de Gregory di Marcorengo, the Artillery General Superintendent Domenico Antonio Ricca, Cavalier di Robilant himself, and Artillery vice-superintendent solicitor Giuseppe Federico Angiono. The Congress would be independent in the decisions concerning the mines and would ask for the King's intervention only on matters considered worthwhile: all members "and Cavalier di Robilant included" shall swear "of well and faithfully accomplish their incumbencies" and will receive the oath of the inferior officers. Each decision will have to he approved by at least three out of the five members and as Cavalier di Robilant was instructed to "leave to visit the mines" without delay, he should leave with the Congress "all infomation he possibly can”. On the 6° of May the King, having been invited to give Cavalier di Robilant "a particular distinguishing mark", officially appointed him as General Inspector of the Mines and two days later he granted him an annuity of L. 800 and the commenda of San Marco di Chivasso.

On the 21° of May the newly elected Inspector and one of the cadets left for a first inspection to the mines of Lanzo and Susa Valleys, where exploration had begun on behalf of the State Finance Office and thence to Valpelline copper mine in Aosta Valley, for which di Robilant five days later drew up a restructuring plan for Count Perrone di San Martino. On the l0° of June he wrote a "Plan for the assignment of the various mines under the responsibility of the Royal Finance Office, to the eight Artillery cadets charged with studying such mines The cadets, who were all Cavaliers, were appointed this way: Tesauro, Teppati, Maccario and Gros to Alagna mines, Trona to Scoppello foundry, Graffion to Prez S. Didier, Borelli to Andorno, Belly to Lanzo Valley. On the l5° of June he sent instruction to second-lieutenants Ponzio and Vallino and on the 23° he left for the annual tour of the mines.










Approfondimenti di questa pagina


continua in inglese
Tutta la traduzione

All contents copyright
© 2003--2023 VDA
All rights reserved.
No portion of this service may be reproduced in any form.

Posta in generale: ho sostituito la mia precedente pagina Facebook (si può ancora consultarla, ma non più scriverci) con una nuova in formato Gruppo, la cui iscrizione è assolutamente gratuita e dove potrete inserire domande o argomenti aggiungendo vostri "post", oppure rispondere e dialogare in quelli di altri già presenti. Posta particolare: per dialoghi privati (giornalisti, istituti ecc.) scrivetemi invece qui.

Indicazioni stradali con Google

Puoi collaborare inviando materiale generico o resoconti di esperienze personali: le schede riporteranno il tuo nome  (vedi qualche esempio).

Per la Rete. Oltre alle conseguenze nelle quali spesso s’incorre, tipo intervento da parte di terzi legittimamente interessati (un esempio), copiare o utilizzare contenuti d’altri siti porta quasi sempre a risultati screditanti per il proprio lavoro, soprattutto nel caso il materiale fosse tratto da web ben conosciuti e molto visitati i cui utenti, nel caso appunto ravvisassero (accidentalmente?) il contesto di cui sopra, considererebbero detta scopiazzatura come rivelatore della mancanza di buon gusto oltre che di idee nei confronti del gestore del sito in “odor” di plagio . In ogni caso si tratterebbe di un gesto che, al di la delle apparenze iniziali, non offrirebbe al proprio web alcuno sviluppo positivo per il semplice motivo che non è generato da un’azione costruttiva bensì passiva.  A mio modesto avviso, un sito per risultare interessante deve avere una propria personalità nella scelta dei contenuti e nel modo in cui questi vengono presentati: meglio ancora se caratterizzato da alcune informazioni non  facili da reperire. Altro che copiare da altri siti. Per il cartaceo. Talvolta vengo a sapere che qualcuno ha utilizzato paragrafi del sito nella stesura di qualche suo lavoro su cartaceo (libri ecc.): non mi riferisco certo ai seri scrittori e giornalisti che con una comune richiesta di autorizzazione via e-mail (la concedo sempre, salvo particolarismi) mi appagano anzi di soddisfazione per quanto concerne la mia attività in rete (e ciò mi basterebbe), ma piuttosto alle persone che pubblicano il contesto non solo senza chiedermene per semplice formalità il consenso, ma addirittura senza la buona educazione di citare, nel prodotto finito, il fatto di avere in qualche misura attinto anche dalle mie pagine. Non riporto per esteso le credenziali dei "maldestri autori" dei quali mi sono finora accorto perché ritengo che i loro nomi (e pubblicazioni annesse) non meritino qui di essere "pubblicizzati" in alcun modo, cioè esattamente al contrario e nel rispetto di come invece solitamente mi comporto con tutte le persone che mi contattano in simili circostanze e delle quali in seguito io segnalo appunto con piacere (è nell'interesse informativo del sito) la pubblicazione che li riguarda. Insomma, una questione d'impostazione e correttezza reciproca che tra l'altro può solo agevolare entrambi.