Pech, Carl Friedrich (1831-1899? )The firm of Carl Friedrich Pech (Jr.) was a mineral dealership in Berlin. Research in the Berlin City Archives by Günter Grundmann revealed the probable precursor organization in 1832, the firm of C.F. Pech at Markgrafenstraße 98; the company business is listed as Materialwarenhandlung (dealers in household goods, groceries, colonial produce and drugs). By 1841 the company founder had died and the business was under the management of his widow, whose maiden name was Kuhlicke, at Karlstrasse 29, and in 1844 at Marienstrasse 7. The company had disappeared by 1846.
The International Genealogical Index shows Carl Friedrich Pech (Jr.), born in the "Jerusalem" sector of Berlin on October 16, 1831, the son of Carl Friedrich Pech (Sr.) and Caroline Dorothea Kuhlicke. Clearly he is our man. His name first appears in relation to minerals in a report on the 1872 conclave of naturalists and physicians in Leipzig; G. Leonard lists some of the mineralogical displays that were presented, including "collections of minerals and rocks of C.F. Pech, Berlin." Pech's reception there amongst the scholarly elite must have been encouraging, because two years later he appears formally as a mineral dealer, perhaps via the purchase of the mineral dealership of B. Böhmer:
In 1873 the mineral dealership of B. Böhmer appears at "An der Markthalle C, Haus C." The following year (1874), at exactly the same address, the "Berliner Mineralien-Comtoir von C.F. Pech" appears. This correlates with a mention in Leopold Fischer's 1875 work on "Nephrit und Jadeit," of C.F. Pech's mineral dealership in the Markthalle Haus C. Later in 1875 the company appears at a new address: Charlotten-Strasse 36, and remains there through 1880.
Pech soon became well-known for the high quality of his specimens. American mineral collector extraordinaire Clarence S. Bement (q.v.) purchased a fabulous 10-cm blue topaz from Alabashka from Pech in the late 1870's, demonstrating the high quality of Pech's stock. The mineralogist W. Voigt, writing in Annalen der Physik in 1890, mentioned visiting Pech and being impressed by a "very costly green tourmaline crystal from Brazil, 9 cm long and 3 cm thick." Many other very fine specimens bearing Pech's label exist in European collections.
In 1881 through 1891 the company address was "Unter den Linden 69." We have labels that give the address "Unter den Linden 67" as well, but it probably refers to the same quarters. And finally, from 1892 to 1899, the address was "Luisen-Strasse 19" and the company name had changed to "Mineralien-Handlung von C.F. Pech." The company does not appear in city records after 1899.
Markthalle Haus C (1874-1875)
Unter den Linden (1881-1891)
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Pech’s 10-cm Russian topaz, purchased by Clarence S. Bement in the late 1870’s and now in the American Museum of Natural History.
48 x 70 mm,
Pech’s most ornate label, probably reserved for the best specimens. Charlotten-Strasse address (1875-1880)