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Mineral Kingdom

One of the central organizing tropes of Wunderkammern in the sixteenth-and seventeenth-century was the division of artifacts into animal, vegetable, and mineral—the three kingdoms of nature. Included in the mineral category were substances such as marble, clay, and metal ores. Originating from the earth these materials were used in the production of art works, which at the time were believed to provide links between humans and nature.

Image: Frontispiece of Michele Mercati, Metallotheca (1717), courtesy of Archive.org

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