THE SCALES Büttner considered his collection a foundation for his scientific work. He wanted to set himself apart from traditional chambers of art and curiosities, which primarily served the purpose of representation at European princely courts. The scales, and also the other instruments in the picture such as the ruler, filter and compass serve to indicate the objective observation of nature. The collected objects should not only be admired but also weighed, measured and their results should be recorded. Function and presentation went hand in hand in Büttner’s collection.

HORN SHELL SCALE, above date, horn, metal, textile fibre, Chemistry Museum of Göttingen, University of Göttingen

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