Toadstones and snake eyes from the Cabinet of Curiosities of the Strahov Monastery in Prague and from the former Imperial Collection in ViennaArticle PDF
Toadstones and snake eyes from the Cabinet of Curiosities of the Strahov Monastery in Prague and from the former Imperial Collection in Vienna
Twelve button-like fossil teeth from the Cabinet of curiosities of Strahov Monastery in Prague and the former Imperial collection in Vienna are analysed. Teeth belong to different systematic groups of various geological ages. Some teeth are modified by grinding and polishing and they were probably used as raw material for an art object or jewellery. These teeth were thought to be so-called toadstones (crapaudine, lapis bufonis, batrachites) and snake eyes (occhi di serpe, oculis serpentum) in the pre-scientific history. The tradition of toadstones is associated above all with Western Europe (mainly England and France) and its origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Snake eyes are only associated with the island of Malta and their tradition is most widespread only from the 16th–17th century. While there are many artefacts, especially toadstone rings, tangible evidence of snake eyes is relatively scarce. Fossil teeth (toadstones and snake eyes) from the Strahov Cabinet of curiosities and Vienna Imperial collection are important relics of the historical understanding of fossils.
Růžena Gregorová, Department Geology and Palaeontology, Moravian Museum, Zelný trh 6, 659 37 Brno; e-mail: email@example.com