Newsletter 2024 /1

Among the most recent and most interesting additions to the VMHM book collection are the first (1717) and second (1726) editions of the scarce work "Historisch- Medizinisches Regnum Minerale" written by Christoph von Hellwig, under the pseudonym Valentin Kräutermann. The same author, a German physician, also wrote under the pseudonyms Gaspar Schroeder and Constant A. Herzberger (Schuh).

In the 1717 edition (as in the two following editions of 1726 and 1747) the text is divided into two parts. While the first describes minerals, rocks, stones, ores, etc., the second part describes techniques in mining, assaying various ores and metallurgy. All types of mineral objects such as fossils, figured stones, precious and semiprecious gems and geological curiosities are included in the book. The descriptions also mention localities, physical properties, uses in medicine and industry, etc.

Even though the edition of 1726 was published as a second edition of the 1717 version, it is, in reality, a very different book with many additions and expansions to the text. The same remark applies to the third edition (not described in our museum). However, it was pointed out by Sinkankas that "the treatment is more in line with a herbal rather than a serious attempt to provide a scientific-technical education to readers".

We were also able to recently add to our spectroscope collection two more handheld instruments:
- A nickel-plated brass monoprism spectroscope (length 92 mm / 115 mm extended), signed "Ph. Pellin, Paris", before 1880.
- A more much more recent (ca. 1970) stainless steel hand spectroscope (length 11,5 cm) with an adjustable eyepiece on one side and an adjustable slit on the other side. The wavelength scale extends from 435 nm to 750 nm. Signed "Bleeker, Zeist, Holland" this instrument is a newer version of the Nedoptifa, Utrecht model

Claude Hootelé, Paul Tambuyser
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