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Teylers Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands
  
  Index -> Worlwide Museums & Visits to Museums and private collections
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PostPosted: May 24, 2014 17:14    Post subject: Teylers Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands  

Every once in a while you stumble onto a completely unexpected marvel...and such was the case last month when Allison convinced me to go to Haarlem for the day to see the annual Flower Concourse. Since the concourse would not reach Haarlem until nightfall we needed something to do and a perusal of options turned up Teylers Musuem right on the canal in central Haarlem. (Not clear why, but they do not use an apostrophe in Teylers).

Turns out Teylors is the oldest museum in the Netherlands...and one of the first ever perpetually endowed museums. Pieter Teyler van der Hulst was a wealthy banker and textile manufacturer who was deeply interested in the arts and sciences. He bequeathed his fortune and extensive collections to a foundation for construction of a public museum; the focal "Oval Room" was opened to the public in 1784. The museum has been added onto several times, but the central exhibit rooms are pretty much unchanged...this includes the bulk of the fossil and mineral collection which have been left unchanged (albeit dusted) since the 19th century. The exhibit halls are lined with old wood and glass exhibit cases...all lit by natural daylight...a real glimpse into the past. Flashless photography is permitted...which explains the poor quality of most of my shots...and the curved windows also make it virtually impossible to eliminate reflections

Teyler was a true polymath...the collections include fossils, minerals, scientific instruments, spiritualist contraptions, coins, paintings, drawings, manuscripts, and an extensive library of rare books. The cases are packed with intriguing items...and only a fraction of the collection is on exhibit.

The fossils exhibits are particularly engaging since they date to the earliest days of paleontology and stratigraphic position was just becoming understood...hence Paleozoic fish are next to Tertiary mammals and mosasaurs mix with trilobites.

The most important "fossils" are original Beringer "Lugensteine" (lying stones)...carved fake fossils created by Beringer's colleagues to fool him. [6 out of 20 in the collection are on display]. Every geology student learns the Beringer story, which dates to before fossils were well understood...so these are true "touchstones". The crude carvings include obvious chisel marks and the name of God is written on many...which convinced Beringer that they were divinely created. Beringer published on them before twigging to the hoax. He then took the hoaxters to court...ruining all of their reputations! Beringer spent much of his fortune trying to buy back all copies of his pamphlets, but on his death his wife not only sold them again but authorized a second printing!

The scientific instrument collection is outstanding and includes the (then) world's largest electrostatic generator, and several of Farraday's and Volta's apparati.

The mineral collection is enjoyable for two main reasons...the mid-18th century displays and a few outstanding specimens. The best specimens are a 60cm group of Japanese stibnites, a handful of Kongsberg silvers, German proustite and native antimony and two delightful fluorite "follies" ...pyramidal cabinets lined with fluorite specimens. The best fluorites are actually in the primitive fluorescent exhibit. The collection also includes a suite of original Hauy pearwood crystal models...and what was the tip of Mont Blanc (lowered about 8 cm by the sampler!).


Teylors is well worth the trip if/when you find yourself in Amsterdam. Netherlands public transportation being what it is, Haarlem is a 15 minute train ride (about $5 round-trip) from Amsterdam's Central Station, with Teylers being a 10 minute stroll from Haarlem station. Haarlem overall is a delightful period city, justly proud of its merchant heritage. It is also a welcome respite from Amsterdam where the fantastic museums tend to get somewhat overshadowed by the Coffee Shops.



Teylors 1810 painting.jpg
 Description:
1810 Painting of the Oval Room in Teylors Museum by Wybrand Hendricks
 Viewed:  7143 Time(s)

Teylors 1810 painting.jpg



Teylors Minerals.jpg
 Description:
Modern view of the Oval Room. Note the central mineral exhibit and the pyramidal fluorite cases have not been moved
 Viewed:  7135 Time(s)

Teylors Minerals.jpg



fluorite cases.JPG
 Description:
Fluorite "follies" in Oval Room
 Viewed:  7156 Time(s)

fluorite cases.JPG



fossil gallery.jpg
 Description:
Fossil Gallery...note dome with stibnite on the side
 Viewed:  7157 Time(s)

fossil gallery.jpg



Teylors stibnite.jpg
 Description:
large stibnite group from Japan in classic glass dome exhibit
 Viewed:  7150 Time(s)

Teylors stibnite.jpg



Lugensteine (3) 2.jpg
 Description:
Beringer's "Lugensteine"
 Viewed:  7165 Time(s)

Lugensteine (3) 2.jpg



Instrument room.jpg
 Description:
18-19th century Scientific Instruments room
 Viewed:  7157 Time(s)

Instrument room.jpg



Farraday.jpg
 Description:
Volta's first battery
 Viewed:  7145 Time(s)

Farraday.jpg



Kongsberg 2a.jpg
 Description:
Silver
Kongsberg, Norway
10 cm
Kongsberg silver in calcite in the Oval Room
 Viewed:  7148 Time(s)

Kongsberg 2a.jpg



Kongsberg 2b.jpg
 Description:
Silver
Kongsberg, Norway
14 cm
very nice silver wires in Oval room
 Viewed:  7145 Time(s)

Kongsberg 2b.jpg



Antimony b.jpg
 Description:
Antimony
Germany?
10 cm
nice native antimony crystals
 Viewed:  7145 Time(s)

Antimony b.jpg



Proustite 2.jpg
 Description:
Proustite
Germany (?)
6 x 8 cm
very nice but blackened proustite crystals
 Viewed:  7147 Time(s)

Proustite 2.jpg



crocoite b.jpg
 Description:
crocoite
Siberia, Russia
15 x 15 cm
Classic Siberian crocoite specimen...xals to 1.5 cm
 Viewed:  7197 Time(s)

crocoite b.jpg



Fluorite normal a.jpg
 Description:
Fluorite
Derbyshire, England
20 cm
Plate of large classic Derbyshire/Pennines fluorites in the early fluorescent exhibit
 Viewed:  7145 Time(s)

Fluorite normal a.jpg



fluorite UV a.jpg
 Description:
Fluorite
Derbyshire, England
20 cm
Under SWUV
 Viewed:  7158 Time(s)

fluorite UV a.jpg



Chalcophyllite b.jpg
 Description:
Chalcophyllite
Cornwall, UK
10 cm
Nice .5 cm platy crystals of chalophyllite...mislabeled malachite
 Viewed:  7146 Time(s)

Chalcophyllite b.jpg



Hauy (1) b.jpg
 Description:
Original Hauy pearwood crystal models
 Viewed:  7154 Time(s)

Hauy (1) b.jpg



Hauy (2) a.jpg
 Description:
Overall Hauy exhibit
 Viewed:  7134 Time(s)

Hauy (2) a.jpg



Teylers.JPG
 Description:
View of Teylers Museum from the canal
 Viewed:  7140 Time(s)

Teylers.JPG



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Maxilos




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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2014 15:31    Post subject: Re: Teylers Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands  

Wow, I never knew that that museum was there! I don't live that far from Haarlem, so I think there is a field trip coming up for me.

Cheers,

Mark

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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2014 12:14    Post subject: Re: Teylers Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands  

Wonderful and fascinating report. Have never heard of the museum before this thread.
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