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Astronomical Table Clock by the Master Hieronymus Syx

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Johannes Kunckel‘s

Johannes Kunckel‘s Ruby Glass: The alchemist Johannes Kunckel was commissioned by Elector Frederick William to produce gold. The result, however, was ruby-red glass that was henceforth called Kunckel glass. Johannes Kunckel von Löwenstern was born in Hütten near Rendsburg (Schleswig) in 1630 as the son of a chemist. He was first instructed in the natural sciences by his father. Frederick William, also known as “the Great Elector”, hoped that the experienced chemist and alchemist would give him new impulses for the economic development of his country, because Kunckel had researched phosphorus and, with “Ars Vitraria Experimentalis or Vollkommene Glasmacher-Kunst” (The Art of Perfect Glassmaking), he had written a standard book on glassmaking. After his apprenticeship, Johannes Kunckel was hired by the Court of Saxony to produce gold for the Elector. However, the Elector owed him his salary for months. The reason: if Kunckel could really make gold, then he would not need any payment, and if he could not, then he would not be worth any payment either. In 1678 Johannes Kunckel followed the call of the Brandenburg Elector Frederick William to Berlin, where he was hired as a secret chamberlain for an annual salary of 500 thalers. 46 HAMPEL ONLINE Visit www.hampel-auctions.com for around 6,500 additional images.

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