Pharmaceutical and Scientific Treasures at the Vienna Dorotheum Auction

Powdered belladonae (nightshade) and powdered baldrian (valerian) – both part of a collection of historical pharmaceutical items presented at the auction of “Historical scientific instruments, models, and globes” to be held on 20th October 2009 at the Dorotheum Vienna. The event features a true rarity, the complete furnishings of a 17th century pharmacy – a period of revolutionary advances in pharmacy and medical chemistry. The Dorotheum expert Simon Weber-Unger considers the furnishings of this pharmacy from Schärding am Inn, at the time still a part of Bavaria, to be of true museum quality. The ensemble comprises three chests of innumerable labelled drawers, a sales counter, mortar, scales, and a large number of pharmaceutical vessels and boxes and is valued at between 20.000 and 30.000 Euro.
The auction also presents the estate of the renowned Viennese manufacturer of scales Ernst Albert Rueprecht & Son including a diversity of items that is representative of scientific instrument making in 19th century Vienna: not only scales, weights, and tools but also certificates and even an autograph letter from Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen to the workshop owner, discussing the purchase of a balance (valuation € 20.000 – 30.000).
A sundial by Georg Hartmann dating to 1554 is valued at between 20.000 and 30.000 Euro. In his day, Hartmann (1489 – 1564), a friend of Albrecht Dürer, was probably the most renowned instrument maker in Nürnberg. Of similar fame during the late 18th century, the Nürnberg globe manufacturer Johann Georg Klinger contributes to the auction a terrestrial globe dating to 1790 (valuation € 6.000 – 8.000), while a pair of Viennese Biedermeier globes, terrestrial and celestial, by Tranquillo Mollo is valued at 6.000 – 10.000 Euro.
Pocket- and travelling microscope, mainly from 18th century Britain, will delight collectors and cognoscenti; among other famous makers there will be a solar microscope by George Adams dating to circa 1770 (valuation € 4.000 – 6.000).
Last but not least, the auction also features the skeleton of a horse, a cow, and a pig, all from a scientific cabinet (starting at € 1.500). Vintage cameras and accessories from the 1860 to 1950 period, e.g. a stereo viewer with travel panopticon, will bring the auction to a close.
Historical scientific instruments, models and globesVintage cameras and accessories
20th October 2009, starting at 4:00 P.M.
Public Viewing:
from 13th October 2009
PALAIS DOROTHEUM, Vienna 1, Dorotheergasse 17