A German Mystery, can you help?

One of the more spectacular specimens we acquired from Wigan and Leigh College Geology Museum was this beautiful slab of Lithographic Limestone from Solnhofen, Bavaria southern Germany.The Solnhofen Limestone is famous as the beds where the first Archaeopteryx fossil (a primitive bird) was discovered  in 1860, along with a range of other spectacular fossils.

I’ve never come across something like this and assume it is a demonstration piece of the printing blocks that were made from these rocks (the limestone is also known as The Lithographic Limestone).

One of my colleagues from the museum has tried to translate the text, but it is mostly in old german making a translation difficult. Click on the images to make them bigger. If you can help, please let me know!

A jewish amber collector and the Nazis

I had a really interesting e-mail this morning from a researcher called Rachel King about some amber we have in the collection.

Rachel came to look at our Paneth Amber collection last year.  Alfred Paneth was a Jewish Chemist who lived in Königsberg, Germany when the Nazi’s were coming to power. One of his passions was collecting amber. In 1933 he went on a lecture tour to Britain and never went back to Germany.

Rachel’s e-mail was about a small salt cellar. She has come across a factory product list from a state owned amber factory. It seems to date from round the time Paneth was in Königsberg (1929-1933).  The factory also sold portraits of Hitler and Göring in amber!

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