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Freiberg Mining Academy Mineral Dealership (1767- )

The famous mining academy in Freiberg, Germany was founded in November 1765 by Prince Xavier of Kursachsen, and its mineral museum was founded at the same time, probably based initially on the collection formed by C.E. Gellert (1713-1795). In 1767 the Academy established its own mineral dealership (Niederlage), probably for the purpose of supplying students with study specimens for their own collections. It eventually expanded to supply specimens and geological/mineralogical equipment to schools, students and collectors throughout Germany, Europe and America, advertising minerals, ores, rocks and fossils, in large collections and as individual specimens

The long name of the dealership varies a bit in syntax but is generally some variation on "Königlich Sächsische bergacademische Mineralien Niederlage zu Freiberg. Usually the first two words (meaning "Royal Saxon") are abbreviated as K. S. Sometimes Mineralien Niederlage is hyphenated and sometimes not. In some labels the word bergacademische ("Mining Academy's") is omitted. Sometimes the words are shifted around to read Mineralien-Niederlage der K. S. Bergakademie (with a "k") zu Freiberg in Sachsen. In labels dating to after the founding of the German Republic in 1918 the company name changes to Staatliche Mineralien-Niederlage, Freiberg, Sa ("State Mineral Dealership, Freiberg, Saxony"), or Mineralien-Niederlage der Bergakademie Freiberg, Sa or Sächsische Mineralien-Niederlage zu Freiberg. As of 1970 the "Mineralien-Niederlage" portion was dropped entirely, and the labels read simply Bergakademie Freiberg, Sektion Geowissenschaften ("Geoscience Department"). All variations refer to the same, long-lived dealership. Many early labels carry a catalog number in the upper-right corner, suggesting that they were issued as large sets of specimens for teaching purposes; catalog numbers to more than 3,000 are known.

The company had numerous directors over the years. Karlheinz Gerl has listed the various successive administrators of the company as follows:

1765-1771 Christoph H. Lommer
1772-1775 Johann Fr. Scheuchler
1775-1784 Abraham Gottlob Werner
1784-1792 Ludwig Heinrich Kabisch
1792-1813 Christian A. S. Hoffmann
1813-1830 Friedrich August Breithaupt
1830-1833 Gustav Friedrich Richter
1833-1835 Fr. Aug. Breithaupt & Ferdinand Reich
1835-1844 Carl Chr. Benj. Buchwald
1845-1848 Albert Lindner
1848-1851 Fr. Aug. Breithaupt & Ferdinand Reich
1851-1888 Rudolph Benno Wappler
1888-1904 Alexander T. H. Zinkeisen
1904-1909 Wilhelm Maucher (Faktor)
1909-1916 Otto Karl Anton Köck
1916-1918 Closed due to the war
1918-1920 Friedrich K. G. B. Stutzer
1920-1952 Felix Otto Edelmann
1952-1956 Karl Neumann
1956-1965 Dr. Albert Bernstein
1965 Thiergärtner (kommissarisch)
1965-1972 Martin Guntau
1972-1996 Dr. Fritz Hofmann
1996-2007 Andreas Massanek

Integration of the mineral dealership into the collections of the institute for mineralogy and the stockpiles for teaching took place at the Mining Academy in 1956 under the direction of Dr. Albert Bernstein.
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Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. 2022
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at

Staff of the Freiberg Mining Academy Mineral Dealership in 1909: (from left) shop assistant Goldbach, Herr Ludewig (retired), shop assistant Kaltofen, Wilhelm Maucher (1879-1930), and warehouse manager Glöckner.

54 x 74 mm,
Dated on the back 1842, when Carl Buchwald was Director

51 x 79 mm,

Handwriting of Rudolph Wappler, Director in 1851-1888

39 x 59 mm,

Handwriting of Rudolph Wappler, Director in 1851-1888

45 x 64 mm,

Handwriting of Rudolph Wappler, Director in 1851-1888

48 x 65 mm,

Handwriting of Rudolph Wappler, Director in 1851-1888

50 x 66 mm,,

Handwriting of Rudolph Wappler, Director in 1851-1888,
With over-stamp of George F. Kunz (q.v.)

48 x 64 mm,
Unusual label in purple ink. Handwriting of Rudolph Wappler, Director in 1851-1888