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Boxed Mineral Specimens

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A mahogany boxed collection of minerals over three lift-out trays, mostly numbered, together with a hand written ‘Catalogue of a Small Collection of Minerals and Geological Specimens arranged and sold by James Tennant, No.149 Strand, London. April 1844’.

There is a further typed list taken from the original catalogue. The collection no longer adheres entirely to the catalogue.

Box dimensions:11 ¾ in x 7 7/8 in x 3 ¾ in 

Born in Nottinghamshire in 1808, by 1824 James Tennant was resident in London, apprenticed to John Mawe, a dealer in minerals at the catalogue address. Mawe died in 1829, the business passing to his widow Sarah and managed by our Mr. James Tennant. Sarah became known as ‘Mineralogist to Her Majesty’. She retired in 1840, the business being bought by Tennant with the title passing to him. 

Amongst other positions, Tennant was lecturer on geology and mineralogy at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He had an excellent practical knowledge of minerals and when diamonds were first discovered in South Africa was able to verify their genuineness. It was Tennant who oversaw the re-cutting of the Koh-i-Noor diamond in the same year that he became ‘Mineralogist to Her Majesty’. 

Tennant was elected  fellow of the Geological Society in 1838 and president of the Geologists’ Association 1862-1863.


Item Code: 5045

£ 1600

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