Amber in Early Modern Prussia: Cultural Context of the Collecting Networks

The main research task of my project involves the cross-disciplinary study of the phenomenon of amber collecting in early modern Prussia. Its purpose is to reconstruct cultural and historical context of the contemporary collecting practices of amber, including Prussian diplomatic contacts, the activities of science communities, wanderings, and development of European art-market. The information of the majority of Prussian amber collections can be obtained, primarily, from historical manuscripts, inventories, records by travelers, transactions of different academic societies, which I am going to examine during my two months work in the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. I hope, the interpretation of materials which never before were considered in the light of cultural history of amber will be conceptually new.