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Antiquariat Michael Kühn

FAIRS

March 4th-6th 2021

ABAA California Virtual Book Fair
starting at 9am (PST) at abaa.org/vbf

10–12 June 2021

folium – Die digitale Antiquariatsmesse der Schweiz, Österreichs und Deutschlands
Opening 10 June, 2 pm
folium-digital.de

23.–26. 9. 2021

Salon International du Livre rare & de l’Objet d’art,
Paris, Grand Palais Éphémère
Stand H10

menue
close
calendar
close
Antiquariat Michael Kühn

FAIRS

March 4th-6th 2021

ABAA California Virtual Book Fair
starting at 9am (PST) at abaa.org/vbf

10–12 June 2021

folium – Die digitale Antiquariatsmesse der Schweiz, Österreichs und Deutschlands
Opening 10 June, 2 pm
folium-digital.de

23.–26. 9. 2021

Salon International du Livre rare & de l’Objet d’art,
Paris, Grand Palais Éphémère
Stand H10

 
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Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun

24. November 2020

If you are next time in Stockholm (Sweden) take your time and travel three hours north-east by car to the enormous mining excavation known as the Great Pit at Falun, a Unesco World Heritage today. The Mining Area is one of the most outstanding industrial monuments in the world. The Great Pit (Stora Stöten) is the most striking feature of a landscape that illustrates the activity of copper production in this region since at least the 13th century with its peak in the 18th century. The 17th-century planned town of Falun with its many fine historic buildings, together with the industrial and domestic remains of a number of settlements spread over a wide area of the region, provide a vivid picture of what was for centuries one of the world’s most important mining areas with its metals production and this culminated in the 17th century in the dominance of Sweden as the major producer of copper and exerting a strong influence on the technological, economic, social, and political development of Sweden and Europe.
If you have time in the Hotel (while drinking a craft beer like Pitchers Falun) take your time and read (or read again) the German Romanticism novel, Die Bergwerke zu Falun, a story by E. T. A. Hoffmann from the cycle Die Serapionsbrüder (The Serapion Brothers) from 1819. It deals with the life of the young Elis Fröbom, who gives up his job as a sailor to become a miner. The story is part of an extensive literary tradition about the Falun Mine and the tragedies associated with the mine at the time. It is also an example of the fascination of German Romanticism with the underground world, in which geology combines with fantasy stories and dreams, and thus stands alongside with Novalis’ and Ludwig Tieck. The background to the story is the disappearance of the miner Mats Israelsson in Falun in 1677 shortly before his wedding. He was only found in 1719 and could be identified by his bride. His body had been almost completely preserved by copper vitriol in the mine.
Whilst working on the novel, E.T.A. Hoffmann used older literature on the mining district including Linneaus and Beckmann’s travel diaries. He also uses this rare and uncommon book here.

LEOPOLD, Johann Friedrich.
Relatio epistolica de itinere suo Suecico Anno MDCCVII (1707) facto. Ad excellentissimum atque celeberrimum virum, Dn Johannem Woodward, M.D. & physices in Collegio Greshamensi Prof. …- London, Timoth. Childe, 1720. 8vo. (190 x 115 mm) VIII, 111 pp., (1, blank) with 8 fold. engraved plates showing mineral specimens and maps. Contemporary somewhat worn half calf binding with raised bands and sparse blind-tooled spine. Sprinkled edges. With a wormhole in the upper margin on the title page.

This is the posthumously published first edition of an early description of Swedish mineralogy and geology and the mining industry especially about the Falun copper works. Published probably on request of the English naturalist, antiquarian and geologist John Woodward (1665–1728) it contains the Correspondence between the author and John Woodward about the journey through Sweden and his scientific research in the mines of the region. When Leopold visited the copper mining at Tiskasjöberg, the Falun mine accounted for two thirds of the world’s copper production. But not only copper was extracted, the mine was also Sweden’s largest gold and second largest silver producer at that time. Because the mining was rather haphazard, there were repeated collapses, and in 1687 a large part of the mine collapsed. The mine developed into an attractive travel destination and the physician Johann Friedrich Leopold (1676–1711) wrote one of the first.
He had studied in Altdorf and Strassburg, before he began studying with the Swiss naturalist Johann Jacob Scheuchzer and with Theodor Zwinger. He received his doctorate in 1700 and after traveling in Hungary, Germany, France, Holland, England and Italy, he settled in Lübeck to work as a practical physician. He died there in 1711.
On his travels Leopold acted as a link between Johann Jacob Scheuchzer and foreign natural scientists. In the winter of 1701/02, Leopold stayed in London, where he had the opportunity to marvel at John Woodward’s fossil collection. Woodward asked Leopold to invite Scheuchzer for correspondence in order to exchange English for Swiss natural produce. The contact with Woodward through the mediation of the former student Leopold proved to be a stroke of luck for Scheuchzer. In the course of the next two decades, Woodward and Scheuchzer developed an intensive exchange of parcels and letters and received a membership in the famous Royal Society. Leopold had not only arranged the contact with Woodward, but he also made connections with Scandinavian naturalists, gaining for Scheuchzer correspondence partners in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Holland. Leopold traveled to Sweden buy and organize interesting natural history specimens for his own museum. These objects and their exchange with other scientists functioned as an entry to became a member of a Scientific Circle or Society (like the Royal Society). John Woodward asked Leopold in his letters to organize him interesting specimens – and Lübeck offered not much in this respect. In the course of his trip to Sweden, Leopold sent a number of found objects to Zurich and suggested to Scheuchzer that he should exchange Swiss for Scandinavian natural produce, since he was not lacking correspondents but suitable objects of exchange. Over the years, Leopold continuously expanded his contacts in Scandinavia. As a result, the prospect of obtaining Nordic natural produce improved considerably. Scheuchzer, who also inquired about Nordic Alpine plants, also profited from this. But Leopold informed him that these „are difficult to obtain, because in such places no people can subsist because of the terrible cold, only desert oysters.“ Leopold never became a member of a scientific society due to his premature death, but Woodward paid him respect by publishing his travel account.
Ref.: Bring Itineraria svecana 116; not in Schuh, not in Hoover.
Lit.: Dunja Bulinsky. Nachbeziehungen eines europäischen Gelehrten. Johann Jakob Scheuchzer… Zürich, 2020. pp. 97 ff.

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Antiquariat Michael Kühn
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