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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Thomas Pennant, 23 December 1755 n.s.
Dated 1755 d. 23 Decembr.. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Downing (Great Britain). Written in Latin.


Linnaeus confesses to Thomas PennantPennant, Thomas (1726-1798).
British. Naturalist, best known for his
works on zoology. Correspondent of
that he owes much to John WoodwardWoodward, John (1665-1728).
British. Botanist, geologist and
physician. Professor of medicine at
Gresham College in London. Collector of
, since his name is the one that put Linnaeus in touch with Pennant. Linnaeus asks Pennant how he can help him and promises to fulfil Pennantís desires.

In his letter [Pennant to Linnaeus, 21 November 1755Letter L1973] Pennant had offered to send Linnaeus a collection of rare stones, which Linnaeus eagerly awaits in the spring. Linnaeus is classifying the crystals and is busy with their illustrations. Linnaeus does not possess Selenita hexaedra. Porpita is a petrefact of a kind of Medusa, which in those days can only be found in East India from where Linnaeus has obtained it preserved in alcohol.

Linnaeus has heard that the Englishmen are classifying the fossils in particular. Linnaeus does not know from which animal they come, although he has collected innumerable specimens.

Linnaeus wonders where the so called anomalous Conchae, which are found petrified in England, live nowadays. These Conchae cannot be found in the museums among the Conchylia.

In Sweden there is a petrifact, as big as the seed of Lupinus major, called Nummus Brattenburgensis. These are frequent in Scania. Carl Gustaf TessinTessin, Carl Gustaf
(1695-1770). Swedish. Count, important
politician and patron of science and
art. He supported Swedish artists and
scientists and collected art, books and
natural history objects. He assisted
Linnaeusís career in many ways. Married
to Lovisa Ulrica Tessin. Uncle to
Fredrik Sparre. Correspondent of
has told Linnaeus that they have recently also been found in England.

The Nautilites orthocerates or rectus is so frequent on Öland that hardly one stone can be found without it. Linnaeus wonders whether it can be found in England.

Linnaeus offers to send phosphorous spar.

Linnaeus knows how pearls are made in the Conchae He has prepared lots of Conchae in which there are now pearls. He assures Pennant that he can make every Concha that he has had in his hand produce a pearl when put back in the water.


a. original holograph (UUB, G 152a).