Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ole's objects

I have blogged before about Danish physician Ole Worm (1588-1655) and his cabinet curiosities (IMAGE ABOVE). Upon his death, the contents of his Museum Wormianum passed into the stewardship of the Zoological Museum of the University of Copenhagen (now part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark)but not all of them! NHM curator Kristian Gregersen was consulting a 1921 history of the zoological museum when he read that 90 years before the book's publication, and more than 170 years after Worm's death, a direct descendent offered further specimens to the Royal Museum, but the museum declined because they considered them to be of no particular interest. What is unknown is whether the descendant pursued further buyers or simply passed the items down to his heirs. Gregersen is doing his best to pursue the possibilities and exclaims, "It would be groundbreaking if there were more Worm specimens at large.”

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