Metallurgical analysis equipment for assaying, 19th century.


One mahogany cabinet of blowpipe apparatus for Qualtitative and Quantitative Metallurgical Analysis by Plattner's method, contains portable balance.

This very comprehensive, portable laboratory was first described by Karl Friedrich Plattner (1800-1858) in his treatise on mineralogical analysis of 1835.

Assaying is the scientific determination of the quantity of precious metal in an ore, alloy, bullion or coin. Plattner developed a method in the 19th century involving the use of a blowpipe. Today there are numerous physical methods of analysis including spectroscopic techniques, mass spectroscopy and polarography.

This kit was constructed by W F Lingke (described as 'Bergmechanicus') of Freiberg. It contains blowpipe and spirit stove, a delicate balance and various borers and grinders to prepare samples. The instruments all fit into a small mahogany box.


Experimental Chemistry
Object Number:
blowpipe apparatus
National Maritime Museum

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