20 June 2006

George Berg’s Experiment Book: Supplemental Information

While Berg’s experiment book is not the only source of insight into his life and work, most of the remaining sources concern his music. One exception is the sale catalogue from the auction of Berg’s effects, held at Christie’s auction house about a year after his death.[6] Most of the auction lots consisted of sheet music or musical instruments, notably a 1667 Amati violin that sold for fourteen guineas. There were however a few lots of miscellaneous books, including some relevant volumes not mentioned in the experiment books. As a result, we know that Berg owned several encyclopedias or dictionaries of the arts and sciences, and a number of books on chemistry, mineralogy, and drawing and painting.[7] While only a few of these books sold at auction are well known or well considered now, this assessment has no bearing on Berg’s collecting habits. It would be consistent with our notion of him as someone determined to learn both glassmaking and chemistry that he might want to own many different works available about those subjects.


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