40th Munich fair (Oct. 31st-Nov. 2nd, 2003) : a cultural occasion not only minerals !
We are very pleased to write some short notes about this so important mineralogical appointment which always generates a huge interest not only for collectors but in general it represents a "cultural occasion" for opening new windows in the wonderful Earth Science world .
There are so many stimulating approaches in this fair that at the end the beautiful samples of crystals and gems appear even obvious : in one word we can say that here the best of everything is available and so its very easy to see hundreds of diamond or a squared meter of desk covered by emeralds, gold nuggets or tourmalines !
If the interest is limited just to specimens our experience suggested that in order to optimize time and energies in such a big fair it is very important to follow a type of "visiting methodology" :1) getting a general flying overview; 2) selecting the interesting stands by taking note of them on the map; 3) coming back to them after having created a priority sequence ; 4) afterwards if extra time remains, walking randomly in a total free mind just for de-breathing !
In adopting such a criterion we estimated that 2 full days could be enough for really getting a complete and satisfactory result. Nevertheless we strongly believe that a fair like this offers a wonderful opportunity for enlarging the mineralogical horizon to many other aspects of our mineralogical hobby.
The list of opportunities which generates a wider cultural interest could be really very long but we would like to mention just some examples of the varieties of them that the Munich fair can provide.
The crystal models are something charming not only crystallographers but in general who is sensible to the instinctive concept of symmetry : a German dealer was showing a huge number (more than 200) wood crystal models manufactured by Kranz in Bonn around 1900 while another one had available a complete set of 20 plaster models made in France around 1930.
Talking about books there were not so many dealers but each of them getting something interesting and rare : for example a couple of treatise on stones of 17th century, original copies of unique books in Swedish, Russian and Tcheck for not talking about the beautiful selection of very famous German books of mineralogy and crystallography whose main characteristic are wonderful hand colored plates.
Special mention is needed to the stands offering all types of tools and equipments for whatever collecting purpose
from searching to exhibiting : particular interesting was the choice among all the different shape and size types of dentist tools for "cleaning purpose" of specimens
Another interesting window is that one of stamps of mineralogical subject coming from everywhere and very often more rare than the mineral species represented ! It is interesting to remark that countries like Italy who represents a quite important worldwide mineralogical reality never printed any stamp of Earth Science subject.
Coming to a more artistic subject we were really impressed by an exhibition of miniatures which were representing domestic ambient dedicated to mineralogical collecting like laboratory, mineral showroom or simply living room equipped for minerals each of us could mirror ourselves in these toys in hoping that it can be reality one day !
There were also nice paints, draws and pictures of crystals and rocks whose artistic value cant be estimated but certainly the aesthetical attraction is very strong.
Last remark is dedicated to the old scientifical instruments and particularly microscopes : a couple of them coming from the University of Jena in Germany were completely equipped with the whole set of optical facilities and tools for observing crystals in different lights and geometry.
These are only some of the fields in the mineralogical world that we like to emphasize for furtherly demonstrating how deeply interesting and stimulating can be our wonderful hobby : a fair like Munich must be considered for sure the top of European fairs also for the simple reason that offers a great and unique opportunity of showing a so large cultural spectrum of interests.
(Massimo & Yumi)
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