External Characteristics Collection

The External Characteristics Collection - part of the Mineralogical Collection of Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749-1817) - is a scientifically valuable collection. Today, this collection contains 617 minerals, rocks and fossils, 249 porcelain plates with colour application made from Meissen porcelain and 1161 crystal models made from lead, brass, porcelain and wood.

Within the framework of the project, workflows for the digitisation of various object types were developed and tested. The objects were photographed with a profiled camera under studio conditions. The corresponding labels and note cards were scanned with a grey wedge and a colour chart. The object information in the catalog and on the labels were checked and adopted, the objects were described comprehensively and their relevant properties were recorded. Research was carried out, in particular on historical mineral names, localities and the history of the collection and its objects.

Furthermore, word lists for the data fields, e.g. way of acquisition, preparation, related documents, etc., and thesauri for the localities, mineral classifications and the crystallographic description were created.

The research revealed new insights into the origin of the collection. The descriptions of 258 objects could be supplemented by the discovered catalog of the "ältere akademische Kennzeichensammlung" that was used in teaching around 1800. 150 objects could be assigned a previously unknown place of discovery.

The labelling of the porcelain plates was compared with the tabular indices of the paints used in the Königlich-Sächsische Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen in 1814 and 1816, respectively. The manufacturing of the porcelain plates was dated between 1814 and 1817.

In addition to the current crystallographic description of the crystal models, historical descriptions from various sources were added.

The web-based access will be implemented via the data base system "AQUiLAgeo" from Senckenberg within the scope of the project HE3015 / 7-1 with a running time until 30.11.2017.

Some examples for objects of the External Characteristics Collection


Amethyst - Violblau, Inv.-Nr.: 111021,
Steinmark - Lavendelblau,  Inv.-Nr.: 108097
Kupferlasur - Lasurblau, Inv.-Nr.: 108099
Eisenerde - Indigblau, Inv.-Nr.: 108102
Gelberde - Okergelb, Inv.-Nr.: 108139
Rotheisenocker - Hyacinth-oder Ponceau- Roth, Inv.-Nr.: 108147
Eisenblüthe - Zackig, Inv.-Nr.: 108234
Brauner Glaskopf - Nierförmig, Inv.-Nr.: 108254
Ammonit - Fremdartige äussere Gestalten oder Versteinerungen, Inv.-Nr.: 108348

Porcelain plates

Meissner Porzellan mit Farbaufstrich, um 1815 - No: 4., Inv.-Nr.: 111021
Meissner Porzellan mit Farbaufstrich, um 1815 - Chrom: 896., Inv.-Nr.: 111050
Meissner Porzellan mit Farbaufstrich, um 1815 - 15., Inv.-Nr.: 111105
Meissner Porzellan mit Farbaufstrich, um 1815 - 1286., Inv.-Nr.: 111114
Meissner Porzellan mit Farbaufstrich, um 1815 - a. Neur:, Inv.-Nr.: 111125
Meissner Porzellan mit Farbaufstrich, um 1815 - Violet, Inv.-Nr.: 111244

Crystal models

Oktaeder aus Blei, A. G. Werner, Freiberg, um 1780, Inv.-Nr. 111301
Kombination aus Hexaeder mit konkaven Flächen und Tetrakishexaeder, C. I. Lösche
Deltoidikositetraeder aus Holz, C. I. Löscher, ca. 1784, Inv.-Nr. 111566
Kristallmodelle aus Messing, Paris und/ oder Freiberg, um 1790
Kristallmodelle aus Porzellan, Lambotin, Paris, ca. 1802
Kristallmodelle aus Holz, aus der Werkstatt von R. J. Haüy, Paris, um 1800

All photographies are taken by Susanne Paskoff, Freiberg.