Sunday, 18 October 2009

18th Century Minerals

In June last year I saw a rather special collection of minerals at the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge. This trip was part of the project I was working on at the time on Sir John St. Aubyn. Throughout his lifetime, Sir John had two very good friends, one was called the Rt. Hon. Charles Greville and the other was Sir Abraham Hume. I visited Sedgwick Museum, because I understood that they held the 18th century mineral collection, which was amalgamated by Abraham. The collection itself was beautifully arranged, and above is an example of some of his diamonds. They are mounted on small, slender ebony mounts, so that they could be studied in more detail during the time of collection.

Although many of the minerals were indeed beautiful, the most important insight I got during the visit was from these two labels. Interestingly, they are rather similar in their design. One can only assume that either the same person made them, or two very close friends around 200 years ago. I actually know who created the label on the right from the handwriting - a French expatriate called Comte Jacques Louis de Bournon. He catalogued John's, Abraham's and Charles' collections from 1794-1815. I am guessing that it is labelling a piece of lead, looking at the description 'Plumb'...!

1 comment:

  1. I love the little frame on the label to the right. OMG the verification word is Faulph - I know what that is!