[meteorite-list] Elbogen

From: Bernd Pauli HD <bernd.pauli_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:46:22 2004
Message-ID: <3AF85A92.AC82EF84_at_lehrer1.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de>

Matteo Chinellato wrote:

> I search the complete history of the
> Elbogen meteorite. Thanks for the help.

Hello Matteo and List,

Here is an excerpt from Buchwald:

BUCHWALD V.F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites, Volume 2, pp. 557-560:

Elbogen, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia
Medium octabedrite, Om.
Group IID
10.25% Ni, 0.64% Co, about 0.3% P, 74 ppm Ga, 87 ppm Ge, 14 ppm Ir.

The whole mass has apparently been reheated to about 950°C in medieval
blast furnace.


A mass of 191 Pfund (probably Viennese, equal to 107 kg) and in the
shape of a horsehead, was preserved for centuries in Elbogen before it
was recognized as meteoritic by Professor K.A. Neumann of Prague (1812).
He collected some important historical data, and Chladni added some
observations, but in essential respects our knowledge is limited by the
fact that war and accidental fires have repeatedly destroyed the
archives of Elbogen, the present day Loket, 10 km west-southwest of
Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad). A summary of Neumann's information follows.
The population of Elbogen recalled several stories in connection with
the iron. It was supposed to date back to a time when Elbogen Castle was
the seat of the deputy of the Emperor (Burggraf); if this is correct, it
must date back to about 1350-1430, since this was the only period when
the castle was so used. On one occasion the hated Burggraf, upon
summoning his serfs to service, was transformed to a piece of iron, or,
as some thought, a bell-bronze. This piece of iron is the meteorite
Elbogen which, since that time, has also been called "Der verwünschte
Burggraf" or "The bewitched burgrave." The mass was preserved in the
basement of the castle, and it was believed that if by some misfortune
it was removed, it had the power to come back again. To disprove this
tale, and to annoy the Bohemians, the French occupation army in 1742
threw the mass into the 22 klafter (= 40 m) deep well of the castle. It
remained here until 1776 when the well had dried out, making the mass
comparatively easy to get hold of. It was then transferred to the town
hall (Rathaus), in the basement of which Neumann found it among other
antiquities. In a casual but important remark, Neumann stated that it
was believed the mass could not be melted; attempts in the blast furnace
(Hochofen) had at any rate been unsuccessful.
Various early analyses showed from 2.5% (Klaproth, about 1810) to 8.5%
Ni (Berzelius 1834), sufficient to remove any doubt as to its meteoritic
origin. Widmanstätten showed the octahedral structure to be present, and
this is the first published mention of these etching figures (Neumann
1812). The first application of the term "Widmanstätten figures" was
made a year later by Schweigger (1813) in a note based on information
supplied by Neumann. Schreibers (1820) published a "nature print," made
using an expensive and time consuming technique. A finger-ring and two
cubes of Elbogen material were cut and polished and used as a
title-vignette by Schreibers (1820). As pointed out by C.S. Smith
(1962), the Widmanstätten structure of Elbogen was also observed and
discussed by Laumont (1815) who had acquired material and some
information from Schreibers. Chladni (1819), in discussing the
structure, mentions that he forged a small knife with a beautiful damask
from Elbogen material. This knife, a scalpel 8.5 x 0.8 x 0.3 cm (5 g),
is still preserved in the Berlin museum (Humboldt University).
The mass was divided in 1812; 140 or 150 Pfund came to Vienna, while the
thinner "muzzle of the horse-head" weighing 40 Pfund remained in Elbogen
(Schreibers 1813). This piece was further divided at a later date. Today
the remaining sample in the Elbogen Rathaus only weighs 14.3 kg.
Received on Tue 08 May 2001 04:44:02 PM PDT

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