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Lewis Feuchtwanger
FEUCHTWANGER, Lewis.

FEUCHTWANGER, Lewis.
(1805 - 1876)

(Born: Fürth, Bavaria, Germany, 11 January 1805; Died: New York City, New York, U.S.A., 25 June 1876) German/American physician, chemist & mineralogist.

In 1827, Feuchtwanger received his M.D. from the University of Jena, and he emigrated to the United States in 1829. He eventually ended up in New York City where he opened a pharmacy. However, he turned his attention to chemistry, and developed an alloy of nickel, copper and zinc known as "German Silver." He convinced the government to mint some one-cent and three-cent specimens using his allow, and today these are highly sought after by numismatists. Lewis' father was a mineralogist, and the son retained his interest, building a large collection and becoming a dealer in minerals and gems. He exhibited his collection at the Great Exhibition, London, 1851 and the Industrial Exhibition, London, 1862, where a portion was sold. From the 1850s to the 1870s, Feuchtwanger obtained and sold commercial quantities of minerals and ores, opening a plant in New York to prepare chemical preparations from the raw material.

In 1832, Feuchtwanger offered his cabinet of minerals and other objects of natural history for sale, either in its entirity or piecemeal. Included were a large wax yellow Baltic amber weighing almost 2lbs., an American beryl weighing 70lbs., three collections of precious stones, and three collections of minerals containing 160, 350 and 940 specimens. Apparently, the collection was not completely dispersed as Canfield (1923) records that his daughters presented his collection to the Society of Ethical Culture in New York City about 1900.

Biographical references: ABA: I 535, 281-284. Adams, Dictionary of American Authors, 1904. Adams, E.H., "Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger. A short biography", The Numismatist, 26, (1913), no. 6, 297-302, illus. American Chemists & Chemical Engineers: 2, 94-6 [by W.D. Miles]. American Journal of Science: 1st Series, 22 (1832), no. 1, 180. Appleton Cyclopedia of American Biography: 2, 445-6. Elliott, Biographical Index, 1990: 78. Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: 1, p. 335. Wallace, Dictionary of North American Authors, 1951. WBI.

1. English, 1838 [First edition, issue A].
A | Treatise On Gems. | In Reference To Their | Practical And Scientific Value; | A Useful Guide For The Jeweller, | Lapidary, Artist, Amateur, Mineralogist, And | Chemist; Accompanied By A Description Of The Most | Interesting American Gems, And Ornamental | And Architectual Materials. | [rule] | By Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger, | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | New York: | Printed by A. Hanford. | [double row of dots] | 1838.

8°: [A-B]4 C-X4 Y2; 90l.; [i]-vi, [2], 9-178, [2] p., 25 woodcut illus (6 numbered). Page size: 135 x 220 mm.

Rare. As the first treatise on gemology published in the United States, this volume is suprisingly readable and acurate in its stone descriptions. It begins with general information about the properties of minerals like form, cleavage, fracture, hardness, color, specific gravity, etc. The work continues with a discussion of the minerals that are considered gems such as diamond, sapphire, chrsoberyl, topaz, etc. The descriptions each contain information about the stones history, physical properties and known localities. An appendix contains descriptions of pearls and coral. The work ends with an index to the stones described.

Bibliographical references: Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 187. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2081 [long commentary].

2. English, 1838 [First edition, issue B].
A | Treatise On Gems, | In Reference To Their | Practical And Scientific Value; | A Useful Guide For The Jeweller, Amateur, Artist, Lapidary, | Mineralogist, And Chemist. Accompanied By A De- | scription Of The Most Interesting American | Gems, And Ornamental And Arch- | itectual Materials. | [rule] | By Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger, | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | New York: | Printed by A. Hanford. | : : : : : : : | 1838.

4°: [A]-T4 U1; 81l.; [i]-[viii], [9]-162 p. Page size: 230 x 140 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1838..."; [iii], Testimony to the quality of the work by James Renwick, dated 26 March 1838.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-vi, "Preface."; [vii-viii], Blanks.; [9]-49, "Treatise on Gems. Part I. Introduction."; [50], Blank.; [51]-147, "... Part II. Treatment of the Individual Gems."; [148], Blank.; [149]-158, "Appendix."; [159]-162, "Contents."

Rare. The text has been entirely reset with many minor changes in the format and chapter numbering.

Bibliographical references: Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2082.

3. English, 1859 [2nd edition].
A Popular | Treatise on Gems, | In Reference To Their | Scientific Value: | A Guide For The Teacher Of Natural Sciences, | The | Lapidary, Jeweller, And Amateur: | Together With A | Description Of The Elements Of Mineralogy, And All | Ornamental And Architectural Materials. | With Elegant Illus-trations. | By | Dr.L.Feuchtwanger, | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | New York: | D.Appleton & Company, 346 & 348 Broadway. | 1859.

12°: [2], 464, [2] p., hand-colored frontispiece, 17 plates (10 hand-colored), 134 test illus. Page size: 184 x 126 mm.

Very scarce. An enlarged edition with more technical material and longer descriptions. Feuchtwanger has added more crystallographic content and expands the material on properties and classification. The second part gives descriptions of individual gemstones, including notes on their history, value, artificial stones, uses in lapidary, etc. The plates at the end depict rough and cut diamonds, famous diamonds, etc.

Bibliographical references: Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2083.

4. English, 1867 [3rd edition].
A Popular | Treatise On Gems, | ... | By | Dr. L. Feuchtwanger, a | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | Third Edition. | New York: | Published By The Author, No.55 Cedar St. | 1867.

12°: [2], 505, [1] p., frontispiece (portrait of Feuchtwanger), 17 plates.

Very scarce. Although called a "Third Edition," this appears to be a reprint with new material in the form of an important bibliography and tables bound in at the end.

Bibliographical references: Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2084.

5. English, 1872 [4th edition].
A Popular | Treatise On Gems, | In Reference To Their | Scientific Value: | A Guide For The Teacher Of Natural Sciences | The | Lapidary, Jeweller, And Amateur: | Together With A | Description Of The Elements Of Mineralogy, And All | Ornamental And Architectural Materials. | With Elegant Illustrations. | By | Dr. L. Feuchtwanger, [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | Fourth Edition. | New York: | Printed By The Author, No. 55 Cedar St. | 1872.

8°: [viii], 9-178, [2] p., a few woodcuts in text. Page size: 135 x 220 mm. Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

Catalogue, 1851

6. English, 1851 [Collection catalog].
[Ornament: eagle with an American flag] | A Catalogue | Of | American | Minerals, Fresh-Water Shells, Fossils, | Coals, Ores, | Indian Relics, Etc. | Exhibiting At The | World's Industrial Exhibition, | In London, A.D. 1851, | Under The Auspices Of The State Of Massachusetts, And With | The Sanction Of The Central Committee Of The U.S. | The Collection Of | Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger, Chemist, | 141 Maiden Lane, New York, U.S.A. | [double rule] | New York: | Published For The Proprietor. | 1851.

8°: [1]-22 p. Printed wraps. Title repeated on cover. Page size: 188 x 114 mm.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3], "General Summary."; [4], Blank.; [5]-8, "Preface."; [9]-14, "Specific Catalogue"-listing 68 lots of minerals, shells and relics.; [15], Blank.; [16], "Abbreviations."; [17]-22, "Alphabetical Index Of Specimens."

Very rare. Issued in conjunction with the1851 Industrial Exhibition held in London, this is a catalog of specimens Feuchtwanger had on display in the state of Massacheusetts exhibit. Several hundred specimens of American minerals, ores, shells, and relics are listed. The index at the end provides locality information and as expected shows most pieces coming from the north-eastern United States, but there are also some examples that originated from as far away as Wisconsin, Missouri and Mississippi.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

7. English, 1862 [Sale catalog].
[Printed on the front cover, within an ornately bordered box:] Industrial Exhibition, London, 1862. | [wavy rule] | A | Large Collection | Of | American Minerals, | containing Many Hundred | Unique Specimens | Of | Gigantic Crystals And Ores. | [ornate rule] | J.W. Feuchtwanger, | Of New York, | Exhibitor And Proprietor. | [rule] | Vincent L. Dili, Stereotyper. [white space] D. Murray, Printer.

8°: [1]-17, [1] p. Pagination includes the front and back covers. Title printed on front cover.

Contents: [1-2], Title page (on cover), verso blank.; [3]-5, "Catalogue | Of | Minerals."-dated January 1862. [=a descriptive text of the various mineral cabinets].; 6-17, "List of minerals contained in various collections." [=contents of 12 cabinets are described].; [1], Blank [=back cover].

Very rare. Exhibition and sale catalog offering a series of twelve suites of American minerals for sale by one of the earliest known specimen dealers in this country. The different collections could be purchased at a variety of prices, with most specimens originating from the eastern United States, but also some gold specimens coming from distant California.

8. English, 1871.
A hand-book on silex, embraced in three practical treatises: I. On soluble glass, and all its applications in the arts. II. On glass making, in all its details. III. A guide for soap making, the manufacture of all soaps and their manipulations ... By Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger ... New-York, L. & J.W. Feuchtwanger, 1871.

8°: xii, [13]-347 p., frontispiece (portrait of Feuchtwanger), diagrams.

Very scarce. LC Control Number: 08015660

9. English, 1874 [Collection catalog].
Catalogue of Lewis Feuchtwanger's Mineral Collection. New York, 1874.

8°: 31 p., center stapled.

Extremely rare. No copy located. This title is listed in a catalog of books for sale by the famous Foote mineral dealing firm circa 1889. This almost certainly was a sale prospectus for Feuchtwanger's mineral collection.

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