Museum Gottwaldianum

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Museum Gottwaldianum

garland of flowers

wunderkammer showroom

2 sets of medical instruments

gastro-intestinal system

turtle anatomy without organs

turtle anatomy with organs

sea shells

nautilus shell

3 shells


fish and squid


beaver skull

moths and butterflies

nautilus lamp

detail of swine
"Christoph Gottwald(t) (1636-1700) was a German physician in Danzig and created one of the largest cabinets of curiosities of his time. His collection was purchased by Tsar Peter the Great together with the famous collections of Seba and Ruysch. Like more of Gottwald's works, publication was realized long after the author's death when the publisher Raspe purchased the manuscripts."

Gottwald commissioned the Polish baroque painter, Daniel Schultz the Younger, to render drawings he made himself of the contents of his wunderkammer into engravings, which was undertaken in about 1665. A handwritten inventory of the shells, anatomical specimens and marine creatures accompanied the engravings in a 1714 compendium of which only three copies were made. The copper plates were obtained by Raspe, a conchology enthusiast, and a German version of the 'Museum Gottwaldianum' first appeared in 1782.

The illustrations above come from one of the original 1714 prints and are online at the University of Strasbourg (huge images available). There are perhaps forty further plates - many of them shells or anatomical deformities. There is little in the way of background information online. See: i, ii, and a review of conchological literature [link updated Oct '08] by Peter S Dance [pdf], courtesy of the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. [previously]

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