BORN, Ignaz von.
(1742 – 1791)
Von Born was born to a German noble family. He was sent to Vienna at the age of thirteen to study with the Jesuits; however, he quickly decided that the monastic life was not in his future. Instead he went to Prague to study law. After graduation, Von Born made an extensive tour throughout Germany, Holland and France. During this period, he was exposed to natural history, including mineralogy and mining. In 1770, he joined the department of mines and the mint. Among his first official duties was a tour of the mines of Hungary and Transylvania. At one location, he decended into a shaft to soon after the fires to detach the ore had been extinguished, and was exposed to a near fatal dose of arsenic rich vapors. This experience caused Von Born sickly health for the rest of his life, and forced him to persue passive activities such as his mineral collection. He was a dedicated Freemason and ardent anti-Jesuit. His work, Specimen Monachologiæ (1st ed., Vienna, 1783) is a vicious attack against the Jesuit monks in which the various orders are classified according to a system modeled after Linneaus'. Perhaps this was revenge against his Jesuit experiences in Vienna when he was a youth.
Biographical references: ADB: 3, 164. Cleevely, World Palæontological Collections, 1983: 61. Csíky, Forerunners of Mining-Geology Mapping, 1984. DBA: I 127, 361-433; II 156, 392-400. DBE: 2, 32. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: nos. 564-7. DSB: 2, 315-6 [by J.B. Gough]. Fettweis, G.B. and G. Hamann, eds., Über Ignaz von Born und die Societät der Bergbaukunde. Vorträge einer Gedenkveranstaltung zur 200. Wiederkehr des Gründungstages im September 1786 der ältesten internationalen wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft herausgegeben von Günter B. Fettweis und Günther Hamann. Wien, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1989. 153 p., illus., ports. [ISBN 3700116314]. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 48. NDB: 2, 466-7 [by G. Gugitz]. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 242-3. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 586 & Suppl. 1 (1985), 1, 302. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 405. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 1730.
1. Latin, 1772-5 [Collection catalog].
[Contained within a compartment of an elaborate engraved border:] Index Fossilium | quæ collegit, et in Classes | ac Ordines disposuit | Ignatius S.R.I. Eques | a Born | Dominus in Altsedlitsch | Inchau, Tissa etc: | S.C.R. Majest. in re | metallica et monetaria | a Considiis | Societatis Regiæ Holmensis | Socius. | [Within another compartment:] Praga apud Wolffgangum Gerle 1772.
[Within a compartment of an elaborate engraved border:] Index Fossilium | quæ collegit, et in Classes | ac Ordines disposuit | Ignatius Eques a Born | Academiæ Cæsareæ Nat. Cur. | Londinensis, Holensis, Senensis, | Monacensis, Georg. Patavinæ, et Amicorum Nat. Scrut | Berolinensium Sodalis. | Pars altera. | [Within another compartment:] Praga apud Wolffgangum Gerle 1775.
2 vols. [Vol 1: 1772] 8°: , -157,  p., engraved title, several engraved vignettes, 3 folding engraved plates. [Vol 2: 1775] 8°: , -148, ,  errata p., engraved title, 3 engraved plates. Page size: 197 x 116 mm.
Contents: [Vol 1] [2 pgs], Half title page, "Lithophylacium Bornianum," verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; , "Societati Scientiarum."; [1 pg], Blank.; [4 pgs], "Societas Regia."; [6 pgs], "Ad Lectorem Minerologum!"; -157, Text.; [5 pgs], "Nomina et Synonima Fossilium Huius Indicis Ordine Alphabetico."; [At end], 3 folding plates.
[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Half title page, "Lithophylacium Bornianum. Pars Altera," verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs], "Ad Lectorem Minerologum!"; 1-148, Text.; [3 pgs], "Nomina et Synonima Fossilium Huius Indicis Ordine Alphabetico."; [1 pg], Blank.; [2 pgs], Errata.; [At end], 3 folding plates.
Rare. This is a comprehensive catalog of Von Born's own large mineral and fossil collection. It is sometimes called by its half title, Lithophylacium Bornianum, and is based on Cronstedt's system. The publication of the first volume, which contains many new mineral descriptions, brought Von Born much critical acclaim from European mineralogists, as well as recognition from the Royal Court of Austria. On the strength of this reception, the author continued in 1775 the catalog's publication with the issue of a second volume, describing other minerals and petrifications in his possession.
The plates of volume one numbered I-III show various figures of crystal clusters. The three plates of the second volume, also numbered I-III show crystal figures on the first plate, while the remainder figure various petrifications.
Bibliographical references: Beckmann P.Ö.B.: 3, 590 & 6, 370. Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906: 97-8. Berlinische Sammlungen: 8, 666. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 1, 143-4. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 67. Erxl. P.B.: 2, 250. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 265. Hoover Collection: no. 151. LKG: XV 24. Partsch, Katalog der Bibliothek, 1851: no. 461. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 6, 56. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: p. 41 & 445.
2. German, 1774 [Original edition].
Des | Hrn. Ignatz, Edl. von Born, | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | Briefe | über | Mineralogische Gegstände, | auf seiner Reise | durch das Temeswarer Bannat, Sie= | benbürgen, Ober= und Nieder= | Hungarn, | an | den Herausgeber derselben, | Johann Jacob Ferber, | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | geschrieben. | [double rule] | Frankfurt und Leipzig, 1774.
8°: A6 2A8 B-O8 P2; 120l.; , -228 p., 3 folding maps. Page size: 200 x 120 mm.
Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso 2 lines of quotation signed Young.; [4 pgs], Dedication, signed J.J. Ferber, 4 December 1773.; [6 pgs], "Inhalt."; -228, Text.; [At end], 3 folding maps.
Scarce. In 1770, in his capacity as an official of the department of mines and the mint, Von Born made a lengthy tour through the southern realms of the Austrian Empire. At that time, this encompassed the mineral rich lands of Hungary and Transylvania. His keen observations of the regions he travelled through were recorded in a series of letters Von Born sent to the Swedish mineralogist Johann Jacob Ferber. These letters contain a vibirant, warm description of the people encountered as well as numerous intersperced accounts about the mineralogy and mining of the area. They also show Von Born to be an expert in his profession.
Ferber after having recieved the complete series of letters, decided their content should be shared with a wider audiance. Therefore, he undertook to edit them, and see to their publication as the present work. This volume was so well received that two translations [which see] were published.
Bibliographical references: Berlinische Sammlungen: 9, 433-34. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 72. LKG: VI 56 & XIV 842. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 143.
3. English, 1777 [English transl.].
Travels | Through The | Bannat | Of | Temeswar, | Transylvania, | And | Hungary, | In the Year 1770. | Described In | A Series of Letters to Prof. Ferber, | On The | Mines and Mountains | Of these different Countries, | By Baron Inigo Born, | Counsellor of the Royal Mines, in Bohemia. | To which is added, | John James Ferber's | Mineralogical History of Bohemia. | [rule] | Translated from the German, | With some explanatory Notes, and a Preface on the Mechanical Arts, the | Art of Mining, and its present State and future Improvement, | By R.E. Raspe. | [rule] | In nova sert animus mutatas dicere formas. | [double rule] | London: | Printed By J. Miller, No. 6, Old Bailey; | For G. Kearsley, No. 46, Fleet-Street. | M DCC LXXVII.
8°: π2 a-b8 c8 B-Y8 Z8; 198l.; [i]-xxxix, , 1-320,  p., 2 folding maps. Page size: 212 x 127 mm.
Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [i], "Cross Veins or Cross Joints ..."; [ii], Blank.; iii-xxxix, "Preface."; [1 pg], Blank.; [10 pgs], "Appendix | To The | Preface, | Orological Tables | Of Some | Mines | Described In | Ferber's Letters | From | Italy, | And In This | Publication. | Those of the Mines at Joachimstal, in | Bohemia, to be compared with the Map."-followed by 9 tables.; 1-227, Text of 23 letters.; , Blank.; , "Abstract | Of | Mr. J.J. Ferber's | Mineralogical History | Of | Bohemia. | Published in German at Berlin, 1774."; , Blank.; 231-320, Text.; [22 pgs], "Index."
Scarce. Translation by Rudolf Erich Raspe of Briefe über Mineralogischer Gegenstände (Frankfurt & Leipzig, 1774). This edition also contains a translation of Johann Jacob Ferber's Beitrage zu der Mineral-Geschichte von Boehmen (Berlin, 1774). The work by Von Born consists of a series of 23 letters addressed to Ferber describing the mining, geology and mineralogy he encountered on a trip through Hungary. Much of the text contain interesting observations on the production of copper, silver and gold. A map at page 84 shows Von Born's route through the territory. The last letter contains a valuable and interesting account of the various mineral collections visited during the trip. Ferber's text provides a mineralogical account of the region of Bohemia. Bound in at page 320 is a large folding map of the area with an indication of the various mining centers and geological features mentioned in the text.
Rudolph Erich Raspe. (Born: Hannover, Germany, 1737; Died: Muckross, County Kerry, Ireland, 1794) German geologist. Raspe studied science and philology and worked as a librarian for several universities before fleeing to England in 1775 after pilfering some gems that were supposedly in his care. He worked at the Dolcoath Mine, Camborne, where he wrote his famous tale The Surprising Adventures Of Baron Munchhausen as well as discovering in St. Agnes a new tin-bearing sulphide, stannite. In 1791 he had to move again (to Ireland) after his involvement in a mining swindle in Scotland.
Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 843a. NUC. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 143. (Raspe) Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. • BBA: I 915, 143-152. • DBA: I 1000, 77-125; II 1043, 334-354. • DNB. • DSB: 11, 302-5. • Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. • ISIS, 1913-65: 2, 384. • Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 352. • Poggendorff: 2, col. 572. • Sarjeant, Geologists, Suppl. 1, 1986: 2, 718, Suppl. 2 (1986), 2, 1010-1 & Suppl. 1 (1995), 3, 1948-9. • Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. • WBI. • World Who's Who in Science: 1396.
4. French, 1780 [French transl.].
Voyage | Minéralogique | Fait En Hongrie Et En Transilvanie, | Par M. De Born, | Traduit de l'Allemand, avec quelques | notes, par M. Monnet, Inspec- | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | [ornament] | A Paris, | Rue Et Hostel Serpente. | [double rule] | M. DCC. LXXX. | Avec Approbation & Premission.
8°: a8 χ2 A-Q12 R11; 213l.; [i]-xvj, , -405,  p. Page size: 168 x 92 mm.
Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "Voyage | Minéralogique," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-x, "Avertissement | Du Traducteur."; [xi]-xvj, "Table | Des Lettres."; [4 pgs], "Approbation."; -396, Text.; -405, "Table | Des Matieres."; [1 pg], "Errata."
Very scarce. Translation by Antoine Grimoald Monnet of Briefe über Mineralogischer Gegenstände (Frankfurt & Leipzig, 1774).
Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 154. LKG: XIV 844b.Johann Gottlieb Kern vom Schneckensteine oder dem sächsischen Topasfelsen. Zum erstenmal herausgegeben und mit anmerkungen vermehrt, von Ignatz Edlen von Born ... (Prag, 1776).
See under: Kern, Johann Gottlieb.Lettre à M. le Chevalier De Born Sur La Tourmaline Du Tirol. Par M. Müller ... (Paris, 1779).
See under: Müller Von Reichenstein, Franz Joseph, Freiherr.
5. German, 1786 [Original edition].
Ueber | Das | Anquicken | Der gold= und silberhältigen | Erze, Rohsteine, Schwarzkupfer und Hüttenspeise. | [short rule] | Von | Ignaz Edlen von Born, | [...5 lines of titles and memberships...] | [vignette] | [double rule] | Wien, bey Christian Friederich Wappler. | [short rule] | 1786.
4°: , 227 p., 21 folding plates (designed by J.. Frierer and engraved by J. Ziegler).
Very scarce. Von Born invented an amalgamation process for extracting gold and silver from various ores. Since the process did not require the usual melting of the ore, it had considerable economic effect by not requiring any fuel. For his discovery, Von Born was given as a royalty a small percentage of the money saved where ever his process was used.
There is considerable information regarding the mining techniques used in Spanish America of the 16th century. Included are excerpts from the writings of Albaro Alonso Barba [q.v.], José Acosta [??-??], among others.
Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 153. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 143.
6. French, 1788 [French transl.].
Méthode d'Extraite les Métaux parfaits des Minérais, et autres Substances Métalliques par le Mercure. Par M. de Born ... Vienne, Imp. de Gay, 1788.
8°: , 295 p., 21 folding plates.
Very scarce. Translation of Ueber das Anquicken der gold- und silberhaltigen Erze (Vienna, 1786).
Bibliographical references: Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906: pp. 97-98. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: pp. 73, 760, 764, 778, 781, 160. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 143. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: pp. 41 & 445.
7. English, 1791 [English transl.].
Baron Inigo Born's New Process of Amalgamation of Gold and Silver Ores, and other Metallic Mixtures, as, by his late Imperial Majesty's Commands, Introduced in Hungary and Bohemia, from the Baron's Account in German, Translated into English by R.E. Raspe. With Twenty-Two Copper Plates. To which are added, a Supplement, of a Comparative View of the Former Method of Melting and Refining; and an Address to the Subscribers, giving an Account of the Latest Improvements, and of the Quicksilver Trade. London: Printed for T. Cadell, 1791.
4°: a-d4 e1 B-Kk4; 145l.; [i]-xxxiv, -256 p., 22 plates (some folding). Page size: 274 x 220 mm.
Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-vi, "List | Of | Subscribers."; [vii]-xxxiv, "An | Address to the Subscribers."; -158, Text.; -179, "Reference to the Plates."; , Blank.; -256, "Reports And Opinions"; [At end], 22 plates.
Very scarce. Translation by Rudolf Erich Raspe of Ueber das Anquicken der gold= und silberhältigen Erze (Wien, 1786). Pages 181-256 contain, "Reports and opinions on the advantages of amalgamation. Drawn up by some eminent miners and metallurgists, at their meeting, at Glasshutte, near Shemniz, in 1786. Published by J.J. Ferber, at Leipzig and Vienna, 1787."
Bibliographical references: Hoover Collection: no. 152. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 143.
8. German, 1789-90 [Periodical?].
Bergbaukunde. [Edited by Ignaz von Born & Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich von Trebra]. Leipzig: G.J. Goeschen, 1789-90.
2 vols. [Vol 1] 4°: , 408,  p. [Vol 2] 4°: , 468,  p. Two fine & large mezzotint vignettes on titles, 13 folding engraved plates & maps, three folding printed tables, & one engraving in the text.
Rare. Co-edited by Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich von Trebra. In 1786 Born and Trebra were the founders at Szkleno in Hungary of the Societät der Bergbaukunde, which had the purpose of increasing the knowledge in the areas of geology, mining, mineralogy, and metallurgy. It was an international scientific society and many of its members were important names including von Heynitz, Lavoisier, Gmelin, Charpentier, Ferber, Poda, Hawkins, and Goethe. The Bergbaukunde was the first and only publication of the Society, which includes in the first part of volume one the plan and by-laws of the society. The remainder of the text contains numerous contributions on the mining activities and mineral resources of Germany, Hungary, France, England, Mexico, etc. The plates show various geological cross-sections, maps, illustrations of machinery, etc.
Bibliographical references: BL [457.a.24,25.]. LKG: VI 95 & 96.
9. French, 1790 [Trade issue].
Catalogue | Méthodique et Raisonné | de la | Collection des Fossiles | de Mlle. Éléonore de Raab. | [rule] | Terres et Pierres. | [rule] | Tome Premier [-Second]. | [ornament] | A Vienne | [double rule] | Aux Dépens de J.V. Degen, par I. Alberti 1790.
Catalogue | ... | [rule] | Sels Mineraux; Bitumens Fossiles; | Substances Métalliques | [rule] | Tome Second. | ... | Aux Dépens de J.V. Degen, par I. Alberti 1790.
2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: π7 a-b8 A-Z8 2A-2H8 2I3; 258l.; , -500,  p., 34 tables on 17l. [Vol 2] 8°: π4 a-b8 A-Z8 2A-2H8 2I2 2K8 2L-2N8 2O1; 284l.; , -499, ,  p., 32 tables on 16l. Page size: 184 x 110 mm.
Contents: [Vol 1] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank; [8 pgs], "Préface de l'Auteur."; , "Avis de l'Editeur."-signed J.V. Degen.; -498, Text.; 499-500, "Explication | de la Table du Premier Volume."; -, "Fautes À Corriger."; [32 pgs], "Distribution | Des | Fossiles."
[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [6 pgs], "Préface de l'Auteur."; -499, Text.; , Blank.; [10 pgs], "Fossiles, | Dont | l'Analyse A Étérapportée | Dans Ce Catalogue."; [56 pgs], "Table Et Nomenclature | Des | Fossiles | Et | Produits Chimiques, | Qui Se Trouvent Dans Ce Catalogue."; [32 pgs], Tables.
Rare. Edited by J.V. Degen [see note below]. From the editor's notes, it is learned that this book was privately printed for the friends and correspondents of Von Born, and limited to a total printing of 70 copies. Von Born was commissioned to prepare a catalog of the very fine mineral collection formed by Éléonore de Raab [see note below]. In the preface to the first volume, Von Born notes that this collection is one of the most complete of its kind. The specimens are described both by their exterior characteristics following Werner and by their chemical compositions in accordance with the theories of Lavoisier, Morveau, Fourcroy and Berthollet. Besides the typical information for each speciment described, the author includes many notes, comments, and references, showing that he was one of the ablest mineralogists of his day.
Jakob V. Degen. (Born: Liedertswil, Switzerland, 1756; Died: Vienna, Austria, 28 August 1848) Austrian publisher. Need Biography.
Élénore De Raab. Austrian mineral collector. (fl. 1790's) De Raab was the daughter of Franz Anton Ritter von Raab. She married the Spanish Ambassador della Huerta, and is sometimes referred to by early author's as "Frau von Uberta." De Raab owned a collection of about 2,500 small choice mineral specimens many of which had been given her by Von Born. In 1791 and 1792, De Raab purchased a suite of 41 mostly Cornish specimens from the English collector Philip Rashleigh. Eventually, De Raab's collection was acquired by the banker and art collector Count Moritz Christian Friess [1777-1826] of Vienna. In 1824, the Fries mineral collection was auctioned with the prominent buyer being Ferdinand Zimmerman, a professor at the Medicinisch-Chirurgische Josephs-Akademie.
Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 67. Freiesleben, Sächsische Mineralien-Verzeichnisse, 1828: no. 49. LKG: XV 25a. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 143. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 794. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 47, 171 & 188-89. (Degen) ADB. • DBA: I 225, 336-339; II 257, 183-193. • Knoll, Österreichische Naturforscher, 1957: 187-9, portait [by E. Kurzel-Runtscheiner]. • NDB. • Poggendorff: 1, col. 535?. • WBI. • Wurzbach, Biographisches Lexikon Österreich, 1856-91. (De Raab) Mummert, P.A., "Women in Mineral History. Let's Set the Record Straight!", Matrix, 8 (2000), 32-5. • Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 188.
10. French, 1790 [Presentation issue].
Catalogue | Méthodique et Raisonné | de la | Collection des Fossiles | de M\^l\^le\^. Éléonore de Raab. | [rule] | Terres et Pierres. | [rule] | Tome Premier [-Second]. | [ornament] | A Vienne | [double rule] | Aux Dépens de J.V. Degen, par I. Alberti 1790.
Catalogue | ... | [rule] | Sels Mineraux; Bitumens Fossiles; | Substances Métalliques | [rule] | Tome Second. | ... | Aux Dépens de J.V. Degen, par I. Alberti 1790.
Tome Premier | Seconde Partie.
Tome Second | Seconde Partie.
2 vols. bound in 4. [Vol 1, pt. 1] 8°: , -240 p.; [Vol 1, pt. 2] 8°: , 241-500,  p., one plate (numbered Tab 1; shows crystal drawings).; [Vol 2, pt. 1] 8°: , -232 p., 32 tables on 16l.; [Vol 2, pt. 2] 8°: , -499,  blank,  p. Page size: 227 x 138 mm.
Contents: [Vol 1, pt. 1] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank; [8 pgs], "Préface de l'Auteur."; , "Avis de l'Editeur."-signed J.V. Degen.; -240, Text.; One plate.
[Vol 1, pt. 2] [2 pgs], Sectional title page, verso blank.; 241-498, Text.; 499-500, "Explication de la Table du Premier Volume."; -, "Fautes a Corriger."; [32 pgs], "Distribution des Fossiles."
[Vol 2, pt. 1] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [6 pages], "Préface de l'Auteur."; [32 pgs], Tables.; -232, Text.
[Vol 2, pt. 2] [2 pgs], Sectional title page, verso blank.; -499, Text.; , Blank.; [10 pgs], "Fossiles, dont l'analyse a étérapportée dans ce catalogue."; [56 pgs], "Table et Nomenclature des Fossiles et Produits Chimiques, qui se Trouvent dans ce Catalogue."
Very rare. This is a special presentation issue of Catalogue Méthodique et Raisonné. It consists of the same text printed on a thicker, higher quality paper, which has been cut to a larger size and bound into four volumes. Sectional title pages have been added to the two additional volumes. The copy examined is inscribed on the title page by Born with the indication that this was the thirteenth example. No record has been found as to how many of these presentation copies were created.
Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 67. LKG: XV 25a. Partsch, Katalog der Bibliothek, 1851: no. 462 ["2 Tomes en 4 Volumes"]. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 794. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 47, 171 & 188-89.
11. German, 1791.
Catalogus Bibliothecæ Bornianæ publica auctione vendetur die 10 November 1791 ... In der Spiegelgasse ... Vienna, 1791.
Small 8°: , -109,  p.
Very rare. Auction sale catalog of the library of Von Born, very rich in chemical, alchemical and mineralogical works.
Bibliographical references: Weil Catalogs: 32, no. 14.Abhandlungen einer Privatgesellschaft in Böhmen, zur Aufnahme der Mathematik, der vaterländischen Geschichte, und der Naturgegeschichte. Zum Druck befördert von Ignaz Edlen von Born. (Prag, 1775-84).
See under: Privatgesellschaft..