Minerals through the eyes of the naturalist of the 16th century

10 January 2017
Press Office of the Amber Museum

Area of expertise of Gessner, called "Swiss Plinius" by his contemporaries, included linguistics, zoology, botanics, medicine, pharmacology, as well as mineralogy. He was interested in variety of stone forms, as well as nature of crystals, he deserves credit for the compilation and publishing of the work "On All Kinds of Fossils, Gems, Metals" (1565).

Representation of mineral types by Gessner is different from the modern one: he relegated to them, after the German physician Georgius Agricola, some kinds of shells and fossils, as well as geods and druses of unusual form.

At the exhibition, there is a fragment of a mineral, coral and metal collection that was composed by Gessner and his contemporary, German phisician and scientist Johann Kentmann. Amber samples, as well as its famous "neighbors" in cabinets of curiosities collections – white and red corals, teeth of fossil sharks, ammonites, belemnites, etc. – are chosen based on sketches made by Gessner and Kentman from the manuscript of the 16th century that is currently kept in the library of Basel University.

The World Ocean Museum and Kaliningrad department of the Russian Geological Society partook in shaping the object range.

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