Georg Gassers Kontakte zu anderen Sammlern

Alexander Wagensommer

To build up his collections, Gasser needed contact to dealers and other collectors from whom he could obtain new specimens. The archives of the Museum of Nature South Tyrol contain five booklets with the addresses of different categories of persons who potentially could have provided Gasser with these specimens. 85 % of these contact persons lived within the borders of either Germany or the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Only less than half of the reported contacts can still be linked to a specific field of interest. Among these, 77% are linked to the world of minerals (mineral collectors and/or dealers, mineralogists, staff of mining companies etc.), confirming Gasser’s primary interest in minerals. About 17 % are relevant for paleontology. Among these, there are a few professional geologists and/or paleontologists, but most of Gasser’s contacts were passionate private collectors, some of whom founded private local museums – much as Gasser himself. Only very few fossil specimens, among those preserved today in the Gasser collection housed in the Museum of Nature South Tyrol, can be traced back to an actual donor. The best documented specimen is a Miocene cetacean vertebra donated to Gasser by prince Leopold zu Salm Salm. Only a handful of specimens were discovered by Gasser himself

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