22 - 23 March 2005
SAINT PETERSBURG, Academy of Science -- Jean BACMEISTER. Essai sur la bibliothèque et le cabinet de curiosités et d'histoire naturelle de l'Academie des Sciences de Saint Petersbourg. St. Petersburg: Wetbrecht & Schnoor, 1776.
8o (187 x 115 mm). Contemorary Russian red morocco, gilt leafy border round sides, small floral ornaments in the corners, later marbled slipcase. Provenance: 19th-century bookplate in Russian ("Biblioteka Herzoga Georgia Georgievicha Meklenburgskago"); Hans Furstenberg (bookplate, inscription to Bernard H. Breslauer, Château de Beaumesnil, 1980).
The St. Petersburg Academy of Science was founded in 1724 by Peter the Great, who had incorporated into it the collections of Areskinov, Pitkernova, and Binius; the majority of the books were in German or English. The present guide was written by the under-librarian Bacmeister who may have been the brother of H.L.C. Bacmeister, both German scholars in Russia. By Imperial decree, the Liderov collection of medals (from Hamburg) was added in 1738. The Kunstkammer was rich in natural history specimens (from the collections of Seba and Ruysch, acquired by Peter the Great in Holland) and globes and scientific instruments from the collection of Mikhail Lomonosov, and the czar's own private collection. In 1747 most of the original buildings were destroyed in a fire and rebuilt.
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