Historic Crystals

Last update: 3 November 2016

This gallery is currently under construction. The three sections (Chemistry, Physics and Lore of Crystals) will be completed over the coming months.

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The Chemistry of Crystals

Various minerals

Rare pseudomorph of talc after quartz from the classic Gopfersgrun locality in Germany, formerly from the Sir Robert Ferguson (1769-1840) collection.

The study of mineral pseudomorphs can be traced back to the pioneering work of Johann Reinhard Blum (1802-1883) who built a rich collection of pseudomorphs and wrote the classic book Die Pseudomorphosen des Mineralreichs in 1843. Beautiful images of pseudomorphs can be found in a 2012 special issue of extraLapis, including the talc pseudomorph after quartz from Gopfersgrun (p. 47) now part of The Tricottet Collection. To be continued.

Figures: Cassiterite after orthoclase, Wheal Coates (A. G. Burdett-Coutts) | Limonite after pyrite, Pelican Point (M.L. Ehrmann) | Talc after quartz, Gopfersgrun (R. Ferguson)

The Physics of Crystals

Cubic (Isometric) System
Various minerals and models

Unsigned 19th century glass and wire model housed in a red plush lined mahogany case, representing 9 cubic crystal forms by different colours (edge of 66 mm).

Cubes, octahedra, dodecaedra, tetrahexahedra, trapezohedra...

Summary coming later.

Figures: Wire & glass crystal model (Unk.)

Monoclinic System
Various minerals and models

Unsigned crystal model of a Carlsbad Twin in Bakelite, black with white edges, dated back to the first half of the 20th century.

Summary coming later.

Figures: Bakelite crystal model (Unk.)

The Lore of Crystals

From minerals
Original artworks

Pair of citrine crystals embedded in natural matrix mounted over gold gilt wooden bases, formerly from a late 19th century collection in Genova, Italy.

See also: Urban Geode

The beauty of crystals in mineral natures mortes

Summary coming later.

Figures: Mineral composition photograph (J. Schäfer, 1855) | Citrine montage (Unk., c. 1880) | Contact print display (A.L. Flagg, 1905)