Engraving of Abraham Gottlob Werner’s Collection of Minerals and Gemstones (1772)
This engraving shows German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner’s (1749–1817) collection of minerals and gemstones. Werner was a leading contributor to the fields of mineralogy and geognosy in the Age of Enlightenment and an influential teacher at the Freiberg Mining Academy, which was founded in 1765. There, he taught Alexander von Humboldt, among others. In the so-called basalt dispute, Werner emerged as an advocate of Neptunism: he was convinced that the origin of rocks and minerals was to be found in water. Like other renowned eighteenth-century mineralogists, Werner built up an extensive collection of minerals and fossils, storing them in custom-made cabinets and display cases.
Source: Siegfried Leberecht Crusius, Rerum metallicarum subsidium Academia Freibergensis D XIII Nov. MDCCLXV fundata. Leipzig, 1772, frontispiece. Available online at: http://www.deutschefotothek.de/documents/obj/87714293
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