July’s Object of the Month is a mineral tablet created by Richard Brown, a marble merchant, and John Mawe, a dealer and expert in minerals. This tablet was made between 1790 and 1810 from sections of rock cemented to each side of a slab of marble.
One side of the tablet is engraved Strata of Derbyshire. It shows the limestones, toadstones and millstone grit in the Peak District of Derbyshire, with a few rock faults and mineral veins.
The reverse side of the tablet is engraved Vein of Copper Ore. It is an engraved black marble section of Ecton Hill and its copper mine in the Manifold Valley of Staffordshire.
Originally the tablet was enclosed in a black marble frame. Only part of the frame survives. It was engraved Brown, Son & Maw, London.
You can see the mineral tablet on display in the museum until 31 July 2016. It was chosen by Sarah Kenyon, Natural Sciences Officer, because the object illustrates how people were exploring and recording the natural world over 200 years ago at the dawn of the nineteenth century in 1800.