The Mineralogical Record
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Hans Lenk     

Dr. Hans Lenk was Professor of Mineralogy and Geology at Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Bavaria during the first years of the 20th century. The university's mineral collection had been donated in 1748 by Markgraf Friedrich-Alexander von Beyreuth at the time the institution was founded. (Today it numbers about 4,000 specimens.) Prof. Lenk was in charge of the mineral collection, and drew on it in order to have illustrations of specimens prepared for a book on mineralogy. The original book, though currently unknown, is assumed to have been written in German and published between 1900 and 1910. The 40 color plates depicting 169 specimens thereafter took on a life of their own and subsequently appeared in several other mineralogy books published in other countries.

The originals were clearly watercolor paintings by a local artist whose name has not been recorded. They are a little crude, and the crystal angles depicted are not always precisely correct, but they are interesting artworks that preserve the flavor of the specimens. The initial reproduction was undoubtedly by the chromolithographic process. The plates in The World's Minerals (1911) by Leonard J. Spencer (1870-1959), Curator of Minerals at the British Museum and Editor of Mineralogical Magazine. Although the first edition of 1911 is said to have chromolithographic plates, the images in the second edition of 1916 have been converted from chromolithography to half-tone offset lithography, and have lost some of their sharpness. True chromolithographic versions appear in I Minerali by Ettore Artini (1866-1928), published in Milan in 1914. The same plates also appeared in Karl Schulz's Mineralreich (1923), Chamber's Mineralogical Dictionary (London, 1945), but the earliest appearance is apparently in Karel Kopecky's "Mineralogie" portion of a series called Maly Brehm (published in Prague, 1900--not seen). Spencer, at least, identifies the source of the plates as Prof. Lenk. The versions reproduced here are from Artini (1914).

W.E.W.

Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of artworks found: 27 | Artworks being viewed: 25 to 27

The Mineralogical Record: Hans Lenk - Sphene Sphene
Chromolithographic print of a watercolor painting (1914) by an unknown artist, from a specimen in the collection of Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany; shown 7 cm across (actual size?). Reproduced from Plate 38, Figure 161 of Artini's I Minerali (1914)(Mineralogical Record Library.
The Mineralogical Record: Hans Lenk - Analcime from Val di Fassa (Passathal], Italy Analcime from Val di Fassa (Passathal], Italy
Chromolithographic print of a watercolor painting (1914) by an unknown artist, from a specimen in the collection of Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany; shown 8.8 cm across (actual size?). Reproduced from Plate 36, Figure 156 of Artini's I Minerali (1914)(Mineralogical Record Library.
The Mineralogical Record: Hans Lenk - Columbite Columbite
Chromolithographic print of a watercolor painting (1914) by an unknown artist, from a specimen in the collection of Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany; shown 6.7 cm across (actual size?). Reproduced from Plate 39, Figure 163 of Artini's I Minerali (1914)(Mineralogical Record Library.
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