The Curious Lore of Precious Stones Being a description of their sentiments and folk lore etc. etc.
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The Curious Lore of Precious Stones
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The Curious Lore of
BEING A DESCRIPTION OF THEIR SENTIMENTSAND FOLK LORE, SUPERSTITIONS,SYMBOLISM, MYSTICISM, USE IN MEDICINE,PROTECTION, PREVENTION, RELIGION, ANDDIVINATION. CRYSTAL GAZING, BIRTH-STONES,LUCKY STONES AND TALISMANS,ASTRAL, ZODIACAL, AND PLANETARY
GEORGE FREDERICK KUNZ
A.M., Ph.D., D.Sc.
WITH 86 ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOR, DOUBLETONE AND LINE
PHILADELPHIA & LONDON
J. B. Lippincott Company
COPYRIGHT, 1913, BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
PRINTED IN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WITH HEARTFELT APPRECIATION OF THE NOBLE SPIRIT THAT CONCEIVEDAND FOUNDED THE MORGAN-TIFFANY COLLECTION OF GEMSAND THE MORGAN-BEMENT COLLECTIONS OF MINERALS AND METEORITESOF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, AND THEMORGAN COLLECTION OF THE MUSÉE D’HISTOIRE NATURELLE OFPARIS, AND WHOSE KINDLY ADVICE AND ENCOURAGEMENT HAVEDONE SO MUCH FOR THE PRECIOUS STONE ART, THIS VOLUMEIS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE
J. PIERPONT MORGAN
THE love of precious stones is deeply implanted inthe human heart, and the cause of this must besought not only in their coloring and brilliancy but alsoin their durability. All the fair colors of flowers andfoliage, and even the blue of the sky and the glory of thesunset clouds, only last for a short time, and are subjectto continual change, but the sheen and coloration ofprecious stones are the same to-day as they were thousandsof years ago and will be for thousands of yearsto come. In a world of change, this permanence has acharm of its own that was early appreciated.
The object of this book is to indicate and illustratethe various ways in which precious stones have beenused at different times and among different peoples, andmore especially to explain some of the curious ideas andfancies that have gathered around them. Many of theseideas may seem strange enough to us now, and yet whenwe analyze them we find that they have their roots eitherin some intrinsic quality of the stones or else in an instinctiveappreciation of their symbolical significance.Through manifold transformations this symbolism haspersisted to the present day.
The same thing may be said in regard to the varioussuperstitions connected with gems. Our scientific knowledgeof cause and effect may prevent us from acceptingany of the fanciful notions of the physicians and astrologersof the olden time; nevertheless, the possessionof a necklace or a ring adorned with brilliant diamonds,fair pearls, warm, glowing rubies, or celestial-huedsapphires will to-day make a woman’s heart beat fasterviand bring a blush of pleasure to her cheek. Life willseem better worth living to her; and, indeed, this is nodelusion, for life is what our thought makes it, and joyis born of gratified desire. Hence nothing that contributesto increasing the sum of innocent pleasuresshould be disdained; and surely no pleasure can be moreinnocent and justifiable than that inspired by the possessionof beautiful natural objects.
The author, who possesses what is believed to be themost comprehensive private library on this subject, hasobtained many references from material which he hasbeen gathering during the past twenty-five years. Manyof the types exist in the collection of folk-lore preciousstones exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in1893, and now in the Field Museum of Natural Historyin Chicago. Other types are drawn from the Morgan Collectionexhibited at the Paris Expositions of 1889 and1900, which, with additions, is now in Morgan Hall, in theAmerican Museum of Natural History, New York City.
Other prominent references are the collection of preciousstones in the California Midwinter MemorialMuseum, in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; theTiffany collection of precious stones, exhibited at theAtlanta Exposition of 1894, now in the National Museumin Washington; the collection exhibited at the Pan-AmericanExposition, and presented to the Muséed’Histoire Naturelle, in Paris, by the late J. PierpontMorgan; the collection exhibited at the exposition heldin Portland, Oregon, in 1905; and the collection of gemsand precious stones exhibited at the Jamestown Exposition,1907. All of these collections, either entirelyor very largely, have been formed by the author.
Some references to sentiment connected with preciousstones are embodied in the little work, now in its 21stviiedition, entitled: “Natal Stones, Sentiments and SuperstitionsAssociated with Precious Stones,” compiled bythe writer, who has examined nearly all the principal collectionsin the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, andAsiatic Russia.
For courtesies, information and illustrations, I am indebtedto the following, to whom my thanks are due:
Prof. Taw Sein Ko, Superintendent of the ArchæologicalSurvey, of Burma; Dr. T. Wada, of Tokyo, Japan;Dr. G. O. Clerc, President of the Société Ouralienne desAmis des Sciences Naturelles, Ekaterinebourg, Russia;Dr. Charles Braddock, late Medical Inspector to the Kingof Siam; Sir Charles Hercules Reed, Curator of Archæology,and Dr. Ernest A. Wallis Budge, Egyptologist,British Museum, London; A. W. Feavearyear, Esq., London;Dr. Salomon Reinach, Director of the ArchaælogicalMuseum of St. Germain-en-Laye, France; Prof. GiuseppeBelucci, of the University of Perugia; Dr. Peter Jessen,Librarian of the Kunstgewerbe Museum, of Berlin; MissBelle DaCosta Green; Dr. Frederick Hirth, Chinese Professor,Columbia University, New York; Dr. ClarkWissler, Curator of Archæology, Dr. L. P. Gratacap,Curator of Mineralogy, American Museum of NaturalHistory; Dr. Berthold Laufer, Oriental Archæologist,and Dr. Oliver C. Farrington, Curator of Geology andMineralogy, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago;Hereward Carrington, Esq., Psychist, New York; Dr. W.Hayes Ward, Archæologist and Babylonian Scholar; Mrs.Henry Draper, New York; H. W. Kent, Esq., MetropolitanMuseum of Art, New York City; Consul GeneralMoser, Colombo, Ceylon; W. W. Blake, Mexico City, whohas done so much to encourage Mexican archæologicalinvestigation; the late A. Damour, of Paris, the greatpioneer of mineralogical archæology; the late Dr.viii A. B.
Meyer, of Dresden, who, more than anyone else, provedthat the Nephritfrage or the jade question was to besolved by chemical and mineralogical investigation; thelate Rajah Sir Sourindro Mohun Tagore, of Calcutta;and Dr. A. M. Lythgoe, Egyptologist, MetropolitanMuseum of Art.
G. F. K.
|I.||Superstitions and their Sources||1|
|II.||On the Use of Precious and Semi-precious Stones asTalismans and Amulets||19|
|III.||On the Talismanic Use of Special Stones||51|
|IV.||On the Use of Engraved and Carved Gems as Talismans||115|
|V.||On Ominous and Luminous Stones||143|
|VI.||On Crystal Balls and Crystal Gazing||176|
|VII.||Religious Uses of Precious Stones, Pagan, Hebrew, andChristian||225|
|VIII.||On the High-priest’s Breastplate||275|
|X.||Planetary and Astral Influences of Precious Stones||338|
|XI.||On the Therapeutic Use of Precious and Semi-preciousStones||367|
|Phenomenal Gems (Gems Exhibiting Phenomena)||Frontispiece.|
|Maharaja Runjit Singh, with Pearls and Gems||42|
|Cardinal Farley’s Ring,—Sapphire with Diamonds||104|
|Gems from the Morgan-Tiffany Collection||107|
|Self-prints of Diamonds, Showing Phosphorescence||170|
|Cross, Attached as Pendant to the Crown of the Gothic KingReccesvinthus (649-672 A.D.)||293|
|Rock-crystal Amulet set in Silver||10|
|Rock-crystal Placque, Ancient Mexican||10|
|Necklaces from Egypt. First Century||20|
|Mosaics of Turquoise and Enamelled Carnelian Beads||26|
|Necklaces from Egypt||37|
|African Agate Charms||54|
|Chalcedony Votive Charm from Mexico||65|
|Curious Altar of Powalawa Indians of Arizona||65|
|Piece of Natural Loadstone for Medicinal Purposes||93|
|Obsidian Mask, from the Fayoum, Egypt||99|
|Turquoise Necklace, Thibet||110|
|Phœnician Scarab, with Engraved Scorpion||123|
|Ancient Babylonian Cylinder Impression, Bearing Figures of theGod Nebo and a Worshipper, and Symbols of Sun and Moon||123|
|A Small Jade Celt Engraved with Gnostic Inscriptions in theFourth Century||123|
|Moss Agate Mocha Stones, Hindoostan||132|
|Agates Used as Votive Charms and Set in Rings||149|
|Rock-crystal Ball Penetrated by Crystals of Rutile||176|
|Glass Ball, Perforated and Mounted in Metal||183|
|Ball of Jet, Perforated and Mounted in Metal||183|
|Eye Agate, Showing a Number of Circular Markings||183|
|Dr. Dee’s Shew Stone||190xii|
|Obsidian Mirror, with Native Textile String||190|
|Rock-crystal Spheres and Natural Cross||196|
|Babylonian Cylinders and Persian Beads||204|
|Rock-crystal Spheres with Japanese Mountings||209|
|Crystal Ball, Supported by Bronze Dragon||217|
|Method of Grinding Crystal Balls and Other Hard Stone Objectsin Germany and France||219|
|Japanese Method of Chipping, Grinding and Polishing Rock-crystalBalls||219|
|Rock-crystal Sphere with Three-figure Mounting||221|