Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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HOFFMANN, Christian A.S.

(1760 – 1813)

(Born: Freiberg, Germany, 3 July 1760; Died: Freiberg, Germany, 15 March 1813) German mineralogist.

Inspector of precious stones, Hoffmann studied at the Freiberg Bergakademie under A.G. Werner, who became his mentor. He was encouraged by his professor to distribute his ideas through writings. Hoffmann edited the Bergmännischen Journal from 1800 to 1804.

Biographical references: ADB: 12, 593. DBA: I 551, 392-393; II 600, 180. Hamberger & Meusel, Gelehrte Teutschland, 1796-1834. Poggendorff: 1, col. 1123. Schiffner, Alter Freiberger Bergstudenten, 1935-40: 1, 184 & 3, 127-8. WBI.

Handbuch der Mineralogie, 1811

1. German, 1811-8.
Handbuch | der | Mineralogie | [tapered rule] | von | C.A.S. Hoffmann. | [tapered rule] | Erste [-Vierte] Band. | [tapered rule] | Freyberg, 1811. | bey Craz und Gerlach.

4 vols. [Vol 1: 1811] 8°: *7 2A-2C8 2D4 2E1: ??l.; [i]-x, [1]-245, [1], [i]-xiv, [1]-58 p. Page size: 194 x 118 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank; [iii]-iv, Dedication to Abraham Gottlob Werner, verso blank; [v]-vi, Preface; [vii]-xxiv, "Vorrede"; [1]-16, "Einleitung"; [17], "I. Präparativer Theil der Oryktognosie."; [18], Blank. [19]-349, Text, folding chart at page 326 titled: "Uebergäuge der Gattungen und Arten des Silber-Geschlechtes Theils unter sich, Theils in Gattungen und Arten anderer Geschlechter."; [350], Blank.; [351], "II. Applikativer Theil der Oryktognosie."; [352], Blank.; [353]-685, Text.; [1 page], "Errata."; [2 pages], "Bey dem Verleger sind folgende Bergmännische Schriften in Menge zu haben."

[Vol 2, pt 1] [2 pages], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-382, Text.

[Vol 2, pt 2] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii], Dedication to Abraham Gottlob Werner.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-vi, Preface.; [vii]-x, "Vorrede."; [2 pages], Blanks.; [1]-322, Text.; [2 pages], "Bey den Verleger sind unter andern auch folgende mineralogische, berg- und hüttenmännische Schriften in Menge zu haben."

[Vol 3, pt 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-iv, "Vorrede" (iii-iv); [1]-339, Text.; [1 page], "Verbesserungen."

[Vol 3, pt 2] [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3]-311, Text.; [1 page], Blank;

[Vol 4, pt 1] [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3]-288, Text.

[Vol 4, pt 2] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-x, "Vorrede."; [1], "Ergänzungen Berichtigungen und Zugaben." [2], Blank.; [3]-208, Text.; [209]-245, "Register über alle vier Bände und herrn Br. Werners Leztes Mineralsystem."; [1 page], "Noch einige Berichtigungen."; [i], "Abraham Gottlob Werner's Leztes Mineral-System."; [ii], Blank.; [iii]-xiv, "Vorbericht."; [1]-26, "Mineral-System."; [27]-58, "Anmerkungen."

Very scarce. This work is one of the greatest encyclopedias of Werner's mineral theories ever published. It was the only authorized publication of Werner's mineral system. It was begun by Hoffmann who died after the first two volumes were published, and continued on by the young August Breithaupt, who completed the third and fourth volumes. In this monumental treatise, the Wernerian doctrine of mineralogy is propogated in its fullest treatment. The authors accept all of Werner's theories concerning mineral formation and classification, and includes numerous illustrative examples. The text is extremely generous in its treatment of the subject, sometimes devoting long detailed sections to minute points. Werner did not publish much on his theories but his students and followers insured that his ideas would reach a larger audience by authoring their own works following his guidelines.

The first volume provides a short history of mineralogy, definitions, descriptions of physical properties, including color, optics, streak, hardness, specific weight, transparency, luster, and crystal form, chemical qualities, the use of the blow-pipe, nomenclature, and a synopsis of the classification system. Later volumes contain essentially a descriptive mineralogy. Under each species, all that was known is included in the descriptions.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 74. Ferchl: 239. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 251. LKG: XII 187. Poggendorff: 1, col. 1123. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1094.