1757, include antique and modern pastes, but the forgeries,
says King, which have been added to the genuine works, have
brought the whole group into discredit. The University of
Berlin contains some fine gems.
The Herz Collection is a miscellaneous assemblage of precious stones gathered in imitation of the Stosch cabinet, and
embraces every variety of subject without regard to the
material or the excellence of workmanship. More than half
of this "heterogeneous store" consists of pastes.
The Dresden Collection. — This " Historical Museum " enumerates among its treasures a very extensive miscellaneous
accumulation of articles in precious stones, which are the
progeny of a period extending from the close of the sixteenth
to the beginning of the eighteenth centuries. It was begun in
the reign of Duke George, about 1539, but the Elector
Augustus, 1553-1586, was the first to deposit this accumulating
wealth of art treasures in the apartments of the Saxon royal
palace called the "Green Vaults." These rooms, eight in
number, preserve one of the most unique collections of precious
things found in Europe. The gems are numerous, and many of
them are valuable for their historical reputation as well as
intrinsic worth ; but the lavish use of them to decorate ordinary
and ignoble objects, is open to criticism ; it is degrading to art
and offensive to a cultivated taste.
These ornamented things comprise military weapons and
defensive armor belonging to the Saxon kings, cups, vases,
goblets, snuff-boxes, spoons, knives, cane-heads, drinking-horns,
fruits, musicians, harlequins, dancers, peddlers, dwarfs, animals,
and various other objects, all more or less decorated with
precious stones and pearls.
From this bewildering mass, one can select specimens
which afford interesting and curious studies illustrating the