Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kunz had rare photos of the Russian Crown Jewels

This week, the U.S. Geological Survey announced the discovery of a rare collection of photographs that had been a part of Mr. Kunz' personal library which is now a part of their collections. The album has a hand-painted frontpiece that is labeled as being from Moscow in 1922. The photographs document the Russian Crown Jewels and many of the images appeared in a 1925 official catalog of the Russian Crown Jewels. The USGS researchers identified 4 pieces of jewelry that are not included in the 1925 catalog and appear to have disappeared from the collection of jewels between their photography in 1922 and the publication of the official catalog in 1925.

The announcement includes a photo gallery as well as a 6:40 minute video podcast hosted on YouTube.

The librarians at the U.S. Geological Survey spent several months researching the album and its contents before making the announcement. They compared every one of the 81 photographs in Mr. Kunz' 1922 album to the published record about the Russian Crown Jewels. They found a record of one of the pieces in a publication from the year 2000 called "Selling Russia's Treasures" but the other 3 pieces have not been documented since this 1922 album.

This discovery supports the presumption that Dr. Kunz was an important figure in the scientific world of mineralogy and gemology.

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