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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Kammarkollegium, 5 February 1751 n.s.
Dated 25 Jan. 1751. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Stockholm (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Linnaeus writes to the Swedish Judicial Board for Public Lands and Funds [KammarkollegiumKammarkollegium, Swedish. The
Swedish Judicial Board for Public Lands
and Funds.
, more specifically to Carl Fredrik PiperPiper, Carl Fredrik
(1700-1770). Swedish. President of the
Swedish Judicial Board for Public Lands
and Funds. Son of Carl Piper, father of
Carl Gustaf and Fredrik Thure
] that he has been requested to review an application from Friedrich HedenbergHedenberg, Friedrich Swedish.
Inspector, Åbo.
for permission for pearl-fishery in Åbo and in the county of Björneborg. Hedenberg had studied pearl-fishery in China [this application has not come down to us].

Linnaeus refers to earlier discussion about the mechanisms behind the production of pearls within the mussel and how he himself in 1732 in the Luhleå nomadic Laplanderís territory had observed how the pearls were generated inside the musselís shell. Linnaeus had then speculated about how this natural procedure might be manipulated. He had later made experiments and had been astonished over how easy this was and had wondered why it had not already been exploited, considering the high price on pearls.

Linnaeus thinks that pearl-fishery in Sweden, using the large pearl-mussels living in rivers, could be successful.

Linnaeus has read about pearl-fishery in China and finds it possible that Hedenberg has learned enough about it in China.

Linnaeus says that he wonders why Hedenberg wishes to keep the technique secret when it is so simple and already well described.

Linnaeus describes the technique used in China which involves the use of tutanego and Cheta kong-lao.

Having understood the technique, Linnaeus has kept it secret although he has considered describing it to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
]. If, however, pearl-fishery became too common the value of pearls would diminish and pearl-fishery would lose its value.

Linnaeus wishes to receive from Hedenberg answers to six specific questions before he can formulate a statement.

Linnaeus underlines that he avoids discussing the political issues.

He concludes his letter by, again, discussing possible negative effects if pearl-fishery should become too common in Sweden.

Should the Swedish Judicial Board for Public Lands and Funds decide to arrange pearl-fishery farming, then Hedenberg might be suitable as an instructor.


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1907), vol. I:1, p. 18-22   p.18  p.19  p.20  p.21  p.22.