A superb boxed collection of Minerals and Geological Specimens, By James Tennant of London

Price: £3250

An excellent quality boxed collection of Minerals and Geological specimens by the famous supplier of such collections James Tennant (1808-1881), mineralogist to Queen Victoria, 149 The Strand, London.

Boxed in a plain mahogany case the collection is neatly laid out and displayed. The collection comprises FIVE trays within the case, each divided into sections and hand labelled with, in total, 200 specimens. Ranging from rare and exotic minerals to geological specimens including many rocks and fossils. Under the bottom tray are two original stickers detailing the contents of this collection, originally priced at FIVE GUINEAS. Each tray is themed:

  1. Minerals
  2. Metallic Ores
  3. Shells and Fossils
  4. Fossils and Rocks
  5. Rocks

Accompanying the collection is a hand-written catalogue with each and every specimen named, numbered and described. It remains in good original condition.

Dimensions:   Width: 14.5ins   Depth: 10ins   Height: 8ins  (37 x 25.5 x 20.5 cms)

James Tennant was a Professor of Geological Mineralogy and Geology at King’s College London. He was also a lecturer on Geology and Mineralogy at The Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. From 1824 he was apprenticed to John Mawe (a dealer in minerals at 149 The Strand, London). After Mawe’s death in 1829, Tennant managed the Business with Mawe’s widow. He had agents in France, Italy and Germany who supplied him with every novelty connected with the business. He purchased Sarah Mawe’s shares upon her retirement in 1840.

Tennant had an excellent practical knowledge of minerals, and when diamonds were first found in South Africa, it was Tennant that verified they were indeed genuine. When the Koh-i-Noor diamond was recut in 1840, Tennant was the Superintendant overseeing the work. He became Mineralogist to Queen Victoria also in 1840.  Elected Fellow of the Geological Society (1838) and President of the Geologist’s Association (1862-3). Tennant died in February 1881. He never married.

Dated:  c.1840-1850 (post to the purchase of the shares of Sarah Mawe in 1840, as can be seen by the label inside the base of the box “Successor to S. Mawe, 149 Strand, London”).


Stock No.   1000/2021/QSA

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