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Historical Records of Australian Science
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  The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia and the southwest Pacific
 
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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 24(1)

Specimens and the Currency of Honour: the Museum Trade of Ferdinand von Mueller

A. M. Lucas

Historical Records of Australian Science 24(1) 15 - 39
Published: 07 May 2013

Abstract

As Royal Cabinets were converted to modern museums of natural history during the nineteenth century, European States used appointments to Orders of chivalry to encourage the supply of specimens. The Melbourne botanist Ferdinand von Mueller developed as a middleman a private trade in zoological specimens to accumulate an exceptional number of such memberships. He supplied museums in many countries but, in exchange for ennoblement by the King of W├╝rttemberg, concentrated his supply on the museum in Stuttgart. Mueller managed his botanical collecting network by recognizing his suppliers in the scientific literature and also supplied international herbaria, to his own scientific benefit by receiving specimens in exchange.

Keywords: Frederick McCoy, Joseph Hooker, reward systems, Royal Cabinets, Stuttgart Museum of Natural History, Wilhelm Sonder, zoology.



Full text doi:10.1071/HR12016

© Australian Academy of Science 2013

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