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(1603 – 1671)

(Born: Aschersleben, Denmark, 24 September 1603; Died: Schloß Gottorf, Schlewig, Germany, 22 February 1671) Danish librarian & naturalist.

Olearius was a well-known travel writer. After studying at Leipzig he became librarian and court mathematician to Duke Frederick III. of Holstein-Gottorp, and in 1633 he was appointed secretary to the ambassadors Philip Crusius, jurisconsult, and Otto Briigge-mann or Brugman, merchant, sent by the duke to Muscovy and Persia in the hope of making arrangements by which his newly-founded city of Friedrichstadt should become the terminus of an overland silk-trade.

Biographical references: ADB: 24, 269-76. BAB: 506, 2-3. Dansk Biografisk Lexikon. DBA: I 916, 37-50; 916, 401; II 967, 168-208. DBE: 7, 486. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. Poggendorff: 2, col. 322. SBA: Scandinavian Biographical Archive: A-240, 120-123. Thieme & Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon, 1907-50. WBI. Zischka, Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1961: p. 468.

1. German, 1666 [First edition].
Gottorffische | Kunst=Cammer/ | Worinnen | Allerhand ungemeine Sachen/ so theils die | Natur/ theils künstliche Hände hervor gebracht und bereitet. | Vor diesem | Aus allen vier Theilen der Welt zusammen getragen. | Jetzo beschrieben Durch | Adam Olearium, Bibliothecarium und Antiquarium | auff der Fürstl. Residentz Gottorff. | [ornament] | Schleßwig in der Fürstl. Druckerey gedruckt durch Johan Holwein/ | [rule] | Im Jahr 1666.

Square 4°: [16], 88 p., 36 engraved plates (numbered I-XXXVI). With a second titlepage, engraved. Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: BL [462.a.27.]. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 258. NUC [no copy listed]. Origins of Museums. Ed. Impey & MacGregor, 1985: 124-5. VD17: 23:292132Q.

Gottorffische Kunst-Kammer, 1674

2. German, 1674 [2nd edition].
Gottorffische | Kunst-Kammer/ | Worinnen | Allerhand ungemeine Sachen/ So | theils die Natur/ theils künstliche Hände her= | vorgebracht und bereitet. | Vor diesem | Aus allen vier Theilen der Welt | zusammen getragen/ | Und | Vor einigen Jahren beschrieben/ | Auch mit behörigen Kupffern gezieret | Durch | Adam Olearium, Weil. Bibliothecarium | und Antiquarium auff der Kürftl. Rest= | dentz Gottorff. | Anjetzo aber übersehen und zum andern mal | dedruckt/ | [ornament] | Auff Gottfriedt Schltzens Kosten. 1674. | [rule] | In dessen Buchladen zu Schleswig solche zu finden ist.

4°: [12], 80 p., engraved frontispiece, 37 engraved plates (34 folding). Page size: 166 x 204 mm.

Very scarce. Description of a famous natural history and ethnographic cabinet. It was originally formed by Bernhard Paludanus (or Ten Broek), a 16th century physician who travelled extensively and brought back the many items to Enkhuizen in Holland, where he died in 1633. Through Olearius, The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein purchased the collection and brought it to his estate at Gottorf in 1651. After subsequent additions, Olearius was retained to write this catalog, which was long used by collectors as a convient handbook. Murray records that the greater part of the Museum was then taken to St. Petersburg, where it was absorbed into the imperial collections.

The first few plates are of ethnographic interest relating to the East and also Lapland, plate 5 shows a representation of the seasons by an arrangement of fruits and plants, and the others show animals, minerals, fossils, etc. The book is completed by a Holstein Chronicle of the same author following after the work here described. ([1]-72, [1]-148 p.).

Bibliographical references: BL [446.c.23.(7.)]. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 258. Murray, Museums, 1904: 1, 96, 145 & 3, 64. NUC: 429, 333-6 [NO 0069297]. Schröter's Journal für die Literatur: 5 (1777), 110. VD17: 39:123900C. Zeitschrift für Museologie: 1800, no. 20 [from Murray].