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HEBENSTREIT, Johann Ernst.

(1702 – 1757)

(Born: Neustadt-Orla, Germany, 15 January 1702; Died: Leipzig, Germany, 5 December 1757) German physician, botanist & natural historian.

From 1719, Hebenstreit studied the subjects of medicine and natural hisotry at the Universities of Jena and Leipzig. At Leipzig in 1728 he was awarded the degree of master of philosophy, and in 1730 he graduated as a doctor of medicine based upon the dissertation, De viribus minerarum et mineralium medicamentosis (Leipzig, 1730). While at Leipzig, Hebenstreit had come under the influence of August Quirinus Rivinus [1652-1723], who introduced him to the field of botany. Upon his graduation, Hebenstreit found a position at the royal botanical gardens of the city. On behalf of Saxon King August II, Hebenstreit along with five companions, including Christian Gottlob Ludwig [q.v.], travelled from 1731 to 1733 on an extended expedition throughout North Africa. Their task was to collect natural history specimens as well as living animals, and bring them back to Leipzig. Upon the expeditions return, Hebenstreit took over as ordinary professor of physiology at the University of Leipzig. When the oppurtunity arrived, he also moved in succession to the professorships of anatomy and surgery, pathology and therapy.

Hebenstreit published works deal mostly with the anatomical and physiological aspects of medicine. His writings are based upon practical experience, and his Anthropologia Forensis (Leipzig, 1751) is among the first publications to show a connection between forensic medicine and the law. Hebenstreit was also interested in ancient medicine as it compared to his contemporary knowledge. He authored Erklärung Greich. Wörter von Krankheiten des menschlichen Körpers (1st ed., Leipzig, 1751), which is a glossary explaining Greek words that describe diseases of the human body. In natural history, Hebenstreit attempted to improve the system of plant classification by dividing plants based upon their fruits, and he devised a system for crustaceans and fish after their outer organs. Hebenstreit was voted a membership to the Leopoldian Akademie in 1731.

Biographical references: ADB: 11, 196. Börner, Vornehmsten Lebensumständen, 1749-64. Biographie Universelle: 23, 683-85. DBA: I 491, 26-92; II 539, 168-169. Fischer, Mineralogie in Sachsen, 1939: 53, 63, 72, 109, 110, 212, 220 & 291. Grosse, M., "Die beiden Afrika-Forscher J.E. Hebenstreit und Ch.G. Ludwig", Mitt. d. Ver. für Erdkunde zu Leipzig, 1901-2, 1-87. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: ??, 101. Hirsching, Historisch-literarisches Handbuch, 1794-1815. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, Supplement. Kobell, Geschichte der Mineralogie, 1864: 66. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 193. NDB: 8, 168 [by G. Uschmann]. Nova Acta Eruditorum: 1759, 179-92. Nova Acta II: 1761, appendix pp. 437-52. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 1042-3. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 4, 118-28. WBI. Weber, K.v., "Eine sächsischen Afrikaexpedition", Archiv für die Sächsischen Geschichte, 3, (1865), 1-50.

1. Latin, 1730 [Dissertation].
Q.D.B.V. | De | Viribvs Minerarvm | Et Mineralivm | Medicamentosis | Gratiosae Favltatis Medicae | Lipsiensis Indvltv | Praeside | Viro Excellenti Experientissimo | Domino | Ioan. Casparo Kvchlero | [...2 lines of titles] | Pro Licentia | Honores In Medicina Doctorales | Impetrandi | D.V. Maii MDCCXXX. | Dispvtabit | M. Ioan. Ernestvs Hebenstreit | Neostad. Ad Orilam Variscvs. | [rule] | Lipsiae | Literis Io. Christiani Langenhemii.

4°: [1]-47, [1] blank, [16] p.

Very scarce. Hebenstreit's doctoral dissertation with J.C. Kuchler as respondent. It contains a description of the medical virtues and uses of minerals. An oration by the physician Michael Ernst Ettmüller [1673-1732] is appended at the end.

J.C. Kuchler. (Born:      ; Died:      ) . Need Biography.

Bibliographical references: BL [B.417.(2.)]. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 237, no. 5. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 3, 229. (Kuchler)

Mvsevm Richterianvm, 1743

2. Latin & German, 1743.
[In red:] Mvsevm | Richterianvm | [in black:] Continens | [in red:] Fossilia, Animalia | Vegetabilia Mar. | [in black:] Illvstrata | Iconivvs Et Commentariis | [in red:] D.Io. Ernesti Hebenstreitii | [in black:] Anat. Et Chirvrg. P.P.O. | Accedit | [in red:] De Gemmis Scalptis | [in black:] Antiqvis | Liber Singvlaris. | [vignette] | [in red:] Lipsiæ | excvdi cvravit Casparvs Fritsch | MDCCXLIII.

2°: π2 (a)-(n)2 A-Z2 2A-2Z2 3A-3Z2 4A-4Z2 5A-5D2 (A)-(N)2; 246l.; [1]-56, [1]-384, [18], [1]-34 p., folding engraved frontispiece (interior of the museum), 18 engraved plates. Title in red and black. Plates occur facing pages [Intro] 16, [Text] 5, 19, 24, 35, 56, 75, 87, 95, 105, 123, 168, 170, 251, 381, [Christ] 1, 9 & 16. Page size: 405 x 248 mm.

Contents: [1-2], Half title page, "Mvsevm | Richterianvm," verso blank.; [Folding plate showing the interior of the museum.]; [3-4], Title page, verso blank.; [5], Inital dedication to Friderico Christiano.; [6], Blank.; [7]-[10], Text of dedication signed "Io. Christophorvs Richter," 3 May 1743 [date in Roman numerals].; [11]-16, "Lectori Benevolo | S.P.D. | Iohannes Christophorvs | Richter."; [Engraved portrait of Richter.]; [17]-50, "De | Fossilivm Ordinibvs | Commentatio. | Abhandlung | Von denen Lintheilungen | ausgegrabener Cörper." [Text in double column in Latin and German].; 51-56, A series of letters praising Richter's collection. These are signed, Io. Iacobvs Mascov, Ioannes Fridericvs Henckel, Fridericvs Menzivs and Ioh. Frider. Christ.; [1]-384, Text in double column in Latin and German.; [2 pgs], Title page to Christ's work, verso blank.; [16 pgs], "Ad Lectorem." [Preface to Christ's work.]; [1]-34, Text in double column in Latin and German.

Very scarce. A lavish book, describing and illustrating the minerals, fossils, gems and other objects of natural history contained in the collection of Johann Christoph Richter [see note below]. Richter had studied in his youth philosophy and literature; however, he succumbed to family wishes and pursued a successful career in business, which included dealing with glass making sands and coloring agents. Curious about the origins of the products he sold, Richter traveled to the mines that produced the agents. There he had his first introduction to the mineral specimens that he would spend the remainder of his life collecting. Richter wrote in the preface to this book: "The collection ... grew from day to day, to such an extent that it became necessary to sort the specimens into categories and arrange them on shelves and in display cabinets. As the number of shelves kept growing, my love for these things grew also, so that after a while, whatever time I had left over from the management of my personal or business affairs, I dedicated to their study and care" (Wilson (1994). Fortunately, Richter decided that some record of his collection and its organization should be preserved so that others might learn from his experience. For this purpose the services of Johann Ernst Hebenstreit were retained to write the systematic catalog and Christian Friedrich Boëtius [see note below] to illustrate the book with faithful engravings. The resultant book is Mvsevm Richterianvm.

The volume begins with a dedication to Saxon Prince Friedrich Christian and Richter's preface describing the development of his collection and the preparation of the catalog. Following this is a detailed discussion of the development of natural history collecting and systematic mineralogy. For this Hebenstreit draws upon earlier authorities and books by Pliny, Dioscorides, Aldrovandus, Henckel, Agricola, Gesner, Woodward, Linnaeus, Theophrastus, Caesalpinus, Mercati, etc. Ordered by the principal metal contained, the minerals and ores are then methodically discussed. Each metal is covered is in its own chapter, with the different mineral species and varieties that contain the metal listed underneath. Other chapters cover the sulfides, bitumen, salts, clays, "earths," quartz, and the gems. In each chapter after the systematic presentation, Richter's specimens are described with notes about association, habit and locality. Following the large mineralogical section of the work, other objects of Richter's collection are described. Included are marble, fossils, and preserved biological specimens. Finally, appended at the end and illustrated by three plates is a dissertation concerning the antique gem cameos contained in Richter's collection by Johann Friedrich Christ [see note below]. This work is titled: Mvsei ¦ Richteriani ¦ Dactyliotheca ¦ Gemnas Scalptas ¦ Opere Antiqvo ¦ Plerasqve Complexa ¦ Interprete ¦ Ioh. Frider. Christo. It follows the main treatise by Hebenstreit and may have in its history been separately issued as its own book. For further information on Christ and this work see, Sinkankas, J.S. (1993): nos. 1297 and 1831.

A significant feature of Mvsevm Richterianvm are the splendid plates. These include a large folding engraved frontispiece showing the interior of the museum, a full page portrait of Richter engraved after a 1739 painting by M. Bernigerothi and thirteen other plates realistically depicting 114 fine mineral specimens from Richter's collection. Two states of these plates exist. The most common issue are the uncolored which for their early date outshine many black and white mineral illustrations of later centuries. The second much rarer state is when the plates are superbly colored. More than likely, these were colored using the specimens themselves as models because very few colored mineralogies show the realistic, 3-dimensional quality present in almost everyone of the illustrations. Unfortunately, no information has been uncovered pointing to the colorist who tinted the plates, but with their skill, they created what is perhaps the finest hand-colored mineralogy.

Facsimile reprint, 1990: Prepared by The Mineralogical Record, Tucson, Arizona.

Johann Friedrich Christ. (Born: 1701; Died: 1756) German philosopher & poet.

Johann Christoph Richter. (Born: 1689; Died: 1751) German banker & mineral collector. A wealthy Leipzig banker, he built a large mineral collection of 2,309 specimens, plus gems, rocks, fossils and botanical examples for a total of 5,631 items in all. The museum was sold in 1751, with a few specimens being acquired by Johann Heinrich Linck.

Christian Friedrich Boëtius. (Born: Leipzig, Germany, 1706; Died: Dresden, Germany, 1782) German copper engraver. Boëtius was born the son of a bookseller and auctioneer. At an early age he was apprenticed to the Leipzig goldsmith Johann Friedrich Lauch. Boëtius was further artistically trained at the Zeichenakademie in Leipzig, where he remained four years. His highly developed skill as a copper plate engraver soon provided him with a steady flow of customers in Leipzig; however, sometime after 1736, Boëtius accepted a position in Dresden as court etcher and instructor at the local art academy. He remainded there until his death.

Bibliographical references: Beiträge zur Naturgeschichte sonderlich des Mineralreichs: 2, 129. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 1, 110-1 ["Prächtig, geschätzt und classisch."]. Fischer, Mineralogie in Sachsen, 1939: 275-6. Freiesleben, Sächsische Mineralien-Verzeichnisse, 1828: no. 9. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 236. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 262. Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen: 1743, 543. Hoover Collection: no. 392. Murray, Museums, 1904: 1, 146 & 3, 127 ["Some copies are on large paper in which the plates are coloured by hand."]. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 4, 118-28. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 2831. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1033. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 94-5, 97 & 190. (Christ) ADB. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). (Richter) DBA: I 1033, 73-76; II 1070, 222. Hirsching, Historisch-literarisches Handbuch, 1794-1815. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, Supplement. Poggendorff: 2, col. 634. WBI. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 190. (Boëtius) Thieme & Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon, 1907-50: 4, 209-10 [by A. Kurzwelly].

Historiæ naturalis fossilium caput de terris. Gratiosæ facultatis medicæ indultu præside D. Ioanne Ernesto Hebenstreit ... pro licentia summos in Medicina honores impetrandi Lipsiæ ipsis calend. Oct. An. MDCCXLV disputat Io. Georgius Lutherus ... (Lipsiæ, 1745).
See under: Lutherus, Johann Georg.

Progressionis de ordinibus gemmarum verbis C. Plinii, ex ejus naturalis historiae lib. 37, qui totus de gemmis est. (Lipsiæ, 1747).
See under: Plinius Secundus (pliny), Gaius.

Dissertatio de usu Hydrargyri interno. (Lipsiæ, 1735).
See under: Sartorius, (  ).