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The mine as a subterranean Kunstkammer

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Similar to how the princely gardens and its collections should be seen as an outdoor extension of the Kunstkammer, so could also the princely mines be interpreted. They all formed part of the over-all concept of an early modern elite setting where the mines were central in its association to the display of power, knowledge and rulership. This paper will present the connection between collecting and mining represented in the Kunstkammer from the perspective of the learned male ruler as well as his learned consort. Material wealth provided not only the possibility to create a Kunstkammer it directly influenced how the mineral resources were reflected in the patronage, hence it played a crucial role as an economic platform. As such, the idea of the mines as a subterranean Kunstkammer opens up different areas of collecting and sources of knowledge not the least in reference to the early modern F├╝rstin as a patron and collector.

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