History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

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Exhibition Label: Crystals: Beauty, Science, Structure (07 Nov 2013 - 30 Mar 2014)

Shape and Symmetry

Crystal models were often created for teaching in universities and institutes and for display in museums. Large sets were manufactured and sold by successful firms who traded internationally. The three card models (left) show twinned crystals and form part of a set by the German firm of Dr F. Krantz. The plaster models (right) are just five of a set of hundreds supplied from Prague by V. Fric in the late 19th century.

As well as outward shape, models could be used to illustrate crystal symmetry. The two small wooden models are paired by corresponding symmetry spheres marked with their axes of rotation and mirror planes. The grey model combines both shape and symmetry into a single display.

Lent by the Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Museum of the History of Science, inv. 13524 (right)

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