King, Rachel (2014) Collecting nature within nature – animal inclusings in Amber in Early Modern Collections, or “Miniture marvels of nature”. In: Collecting nature. Collecting histories . Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, pp. 1-18. ISBN 9781443860550

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When the French diplomat Charles Ogier saw frogs and lizards embedded in amber for sale during his visit to Danzig in November 1635 he called them “miniature miracles of nature.” With rare exceptions, few of these objects—copiously documented in inventories of the time—have actually survived. Instead, we must depend on Michele Mercati’s Metallotheca(1717), Sendel’s Historia Succinorum (1742) and contemporary “scientific” watercolours for an idea of their appearance. Such publications and drawings not only record their appearance but also further document
their presence in collections. What was it that made the inclusion in amber so attractive to the early modern collector? Was it the body preserved within, the baffling ability of the material to preserve it, or the pleasure of
owning a piece of poetry, this genre of object having been immortalised by Martial in his Epigrams? Or, indeed, something quite different? This chapter explores the collecting of nature within nature.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
Q Science > QE Geology
Q Science > QK Botany
Q Science > QL Zoology
Theme: Material culture: creation and use
Department: Art and Design (from 2012)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ross Anderson
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2015 12:32
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 12:32

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