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Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim
FISCHER VON WALDHEIM, Gotthelf.

FISCHER VON WALDHEIM, Gotthelf.
(1771 - 1853)

(Born: Waldheim, Saxony, Germany, 15 October 1771; Died: Moscow, Russia, 6 October 1853) German naturalist.

Waldheim received his M.D. from the University of Leipzig in 1798.

Biographical references: ADB: 7, 84-5. Büttner, Johannes W. E., Fischer von Waldheim. Leben und Wirken des Naturforschers Johann Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim (1771 bis 1853). Berlin, Akademie-Verlag, 1956. [Published as: Freiberger Forschungshefte, ; Bd. 15].. DBA: I 322, 264-275; II 374, 318, 322; II 371, 58-59. Hamberger & Meusel, Gelehrte Teutschland, 1796-1834. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8. Poggendorff: 1, col. 753 & 1564. WBI.

1. French, 1806 [Collection catalog].
Museum d'Histoire Naturelle et l'Universite Imperiale de Moscou, mis en ordre et decrit par G. Fischer. Tome 1er, contenant les mammiferes. Moscou, 1806.

4°: [10], 119 p., 8 plates.

Very scarce. This is apparently a description of the museum of natural history objects of the Imperial University of Moscow (now Moscow University). Fischer had a particular interest in minerals, and persumablly there is an account of the mineral collection contained in this work.

2. French, 1806 [Collection catalog].
Museum Demidoff | [tapered rule] | Mis En Ordre Systématique Et Décrit | par | G. Fischer. | Conseiller antique, Professeur-Demidovien, Directeur du Muséum | de l'Université Imperiale de Moscou, et Membre de plusiers | societés savantes. | [tapered rule] | Tome Second. | Minéraux Et Petrifications. | Avec 6 planches. | [tapered rule] | à Moscou, | Aux dépensdu Propiétaire | a l'Imprimerie de l'Université Impériale. | 1806.

4°: π9 A-Z4 Aa-Mm4 Nn3; 160l.; [I]-XVIII, [1]-300, [2] p., frontispiece (showing panorama of the museum and grounds), 5 plates (one folding).

Very rare. The descriptive catalog of Pavel Grigorievich Démidoff's [see note below] mineral collection is given within this volume. It lists 3,850 specimens of minerals, rocks, fossils and gemstones that were contained within a general natural history cabinet. The plates illustrate minerals and fossils. The collection was subsequently acquired by the University of Moscow.

The description of the mineral collection is contained in the second volume. The first volume of the set contains a decription of the library (Moscow, 1806; lxxiii, 275 p.) and volume 3 describes animals and plants (Moscow, 1817; xl, 326 p.). Apparently in 1817, after volume 3 appeared, the complete work was again reissued in Moscow and Leipzig (by Fleischer).

Pavel Grigorievich Démidoff. (Born: 1738; Died: 1821) Russian naturalist, aristocrat & traveller. Démidoff founded the botanical gardens of Moscow. His uncle, Akinfi Nikitich Démidoff [?-c1740] established the family's extensive gold, silver and copper mines. From this beginning Pavel inherited a collection of mineralized examples, to which he added other examples as well as a large library, and botanical and zoological examples. The whole collection was then donated to the University of Moscow where the remains are today located.

Bibliographical references: Agassiz, Bibliographia Geologiæ, 1848-54: 2, 420. Bridson, History of Natural History, 1994: no. Bc582. Freiesleben, Uebersicht der Litteratur, 1822: 184. Murray, Museums, 1904: 3, 35. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2133. (Démidoff) Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 126 & 167.

3. French, 1809 [First edition].
Notice des fossiles du Gouvernement de Moscou; Servant de programme pour inviter les membres de la Societe imperiale des naturalistes a la seance publique du 26 octobre. Moscou, Imprimerte de l'Universite imperinle, 1809.

8°: 36 p.

Rare. The Russian government wished to sponsor an examination of fossils found in the country. This is a program to invite members of the Societe Imperiale des Naturalistes of Moscow to help with the work.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 773.

4. French, 1810.
Description des objets rares du Museum de l'Université Impériale de Moscou. Par Gotthelf de Fischer. Moscou, 1810.

2°: hand-colored plates.

Rare. Apparently, this is a description of the rarest objects of the Museum of the Imperial University of Moscow (now Moscow University). It includes descriptions of mineral specimens held in the collection.

Bibliographical references: Freiesleben, Uebersicht der Litteratur, 1822: p. 184. Murray, Museums, 1904: 3, p. 35.

5. Russian & French, 1811.
Система | Изкопаемыхъ | Служашcyая Основаниемъ Порядка, Въ Какомъ Расиодожены Они | въ Музеъ | Императорскаго Московскаго | Университета. | Пзданная | Директоромъ Онаго, Профессоромъ И Кавалеромъ | Готтгелфомъ Фишеромъ. | [wavy rule] | Москва | Въ Универсишекой Типографiи, | 1811.

[French title reads:]

Onomasticon | Du Système D'Oryctognosie | servant de base à l'arrangement des Minéraux du Muséum | De L'Université Impériale De Moscou. | par le Professeur | Gotthelf Fischer. | Directeur du Muséum. | [wavy rule] | Moscou. 1811 | de l'Imprimerie de l'Université Impériale.

4°: xx, 178 p.

Rare. The text is printed in both Russian and French. This is a textbook of Oryctognosie, or physical mineralogy, which provides accounts of the physical properties of minerals. It includes descriptions of various minerals, especially those found in Russia. It also provides a good reference to mineralogical nomenclature, especially between the French and Russian languages.

Bibliographical references: BL [726.e.11.]. LKG: XIV 773.

6. French, 1816 [First edition].
Essai | sur la Turquoise et | sur la Calaite, | Par | Gotthelf Fischer, | [...17 lines of title and memberships...] | [wavy rule] | Imprimée aux frais des Frères Zozima. | Avec deux planches. | [ornate rule] | A Moscou, | de L'Imprimerie de L'Université Impériale. | 1816.

8°: [1]-46 p., 2 folding plates. Title taken from front wrap. Printed on a pale blue paper. Page size: 204 x 122 mm.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso Russian text.; [3], Dedication.; [4], Blank.; [5]-46, Text.; [At end], 2 folding plates.

Rare. The first substanial scientific monograph on turquoise also known as calaite. Fischer reviews previous writers on the subject and provides a bibliography of 30 entres on pages 11-13. Sinkankas provides a long description of this work.

Bibliographical references: BL [B.389.(8.)]. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2134.

7. French, 1818 [Second edition].
Essai | sur la Turquoise | et | sur la Calaite, | Par Gotthelf Fischer, | Vice-Président de L'Académie Impériale | Médico-Chirurgicale. | Seconde Édition, | Imprimée aux frais des Frères Zozima, | Et Ornée de Trois Planches. | [ornament] | Moscou, | De L'Imprimerie d'Auguste Semen, | Imprimeur de L'Académie Impériale Médico-Chirurgicae. | [wavy rule] | M. DCCC. XVIII.

8°: [1]-38; 24l.; [1]-47, [1] p., 3 folding plates. Page size: 200 x 120 mm.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso Russian text.; [3], Dedication to Sir James Wylie.; [4], Blank.; [5]-47, "Essai sur la Turquoise et sur la Calaite."; [1 pg], Blank.; [At end], 3 folding plates.

Rare. Memoir on Persian turquoise, a gemstone known since ancient times. A bibliography containing 32 entries appears on pages 12-15.

Bibliographical references: BL [B.389.(12.)]. NUC. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2135.

8. Russian, 1818 [No more published?].
Ориктогнозiя, | Или | Краткое Описанiе | ВсЪhъ | Ископаемыhъ Веществъ | Съ Изъясненiемъ Терминовъ | Сочиненiе | Готтгельфа Фищера, | И.М.H. Академiи Виcе-Президенxа. | Въ Пользу Учащиhся Въ Оной Академiи. | [ornate rule] | Часть Первая. | [ornate rule] | Москва, | Въ Типографiи Имп. Мед.-Hир. Академiи. | [short rule] | 1818.

[Transliterated title:]

Oriktognoziia, | Ili | Kratkoe Opisanie | VsEkh | Iskopaemykh Veshchestv | S Iz'iasneniem Terminov | Sochinenie | Gottgel'fa Fishchera, | I.M.Kh. Akademii Vitse-Prezidensha. | V Pol'zu Uchashchikhsia V Onoi Akademii. | [ornate rule] | Chast' Pervaia. | [ornate rule] | Moskva, | V Tipografii Imp. Med.-Khir. Akademii. | [short rule] | 1818.

8°: π8 1-288 294; 235l.; [i]-xiv, [1]-456 p. Page size: 205 x 120 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso "Напечашано по опредъленiю Московскаго ..."; [iii], Dedication.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-[viii], Text of dedication.; [ix]-xiv, "Оглавленiе | Первой Уасми | Ориктогнозiи."; [1], Sectional title page.; [2], Blank.; [3]-456, Text, with last line reading: "Конецъ Первой Части"

Extremely rare. This is a through examination of oryctognosie section of mineralogy that Fischer wrote as an advanced textbook. At Moscow University in first quarter of the nineteenth century, formal descriptive mineralogy was cultivated. Fischer led the charge, teaching the course in mineralogy, and preparing in 1818 a textbook, the {\scyr Oriktognoz\char12\char31}, that bears all the features typical of a descriptive mineralogy. He follows Werner in his discussion of the characteristics, and divides the minerals into stones, salts, combustible substances, and metals. These classes are then broken down into families, which consist of several mineral forms. The account of the minerals given by Fischer are so arduous and difficult that it is virtually impossible to determine the species described. A citation to a second volume published in 1820 has been seen, but no physical copy has been discovered to describe.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. CBN [no copy listed]. NUC [no copy listed]. Tikhomirov, Geologiia v Rossii 19 Veka, 1960-3: 2, p. 278-279.

9. French, 1837.
Oryctographie | Du | Gouvernment De Moscou, | Par | Gotthelf Fischer-De-Waldheim. | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornate rule] | Ouvrage publié aux frais de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou, | Accompagné de 62 plances et du portrait de l'auteur. | [ornate rule] | Moscou, | De L'Imprimerie D'Auguste Semen, | 1837.

4°: [4], xvii, 202 p., frontispiece portrait, 57 plates (7 colored), 5 maps. There is also a second titlepage, with the date 1830-37.

Very scarce. Concerns the paleontology?? of Russia.

Bibliographical references: BL [1252.l.18.]. NUC. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 812.

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