[Amsterdam]: [Joseph Asscher & Cie], . Oblong Folio, , 15 leaves of plates; VG; bound in publisher's maroon cloth, gilt lettering to front cover; all edges gilt; patterned endpapers; mild shelfwear and rubbing; two loose tissue-guards present;
inscribed on the verso of the ffep: 'To Mr. H. Hirsche with compliments from Joseph Asscher Cie 1.12.1908.';
With a fitted case containing replicas of the nine faceted stones cut from the Cullinan diamond. A space is made for a replica of the rough, but it is not present. A replica of Koh-i-Noor is also separate within the box. There is a second simple paper box labeled 'Model & puzzle of Cullinan Diamond, which may be the missing rough. Half is intact with a solid base, while half are sliced pieces.
EH consignment; shelved case 4.
Shelved Dupont Bookstore
The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106 carats. Nine large stones were cut from it, the largest being the Cullinan I at 530.20 carats (106.040 g), currently mounted in the head of the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross. The second-largest is Cullinan II at 317.4 carats (63.48 g), currently mounted in the Imperial State Crown. Both are part of the British Crown Jewels.
Hermann Hirsche was born in Hamburg and went to Kimberley, Northern Cape in the early 1880s. From 1896-1899 he was a resident director of De Beers Consolidated Mines as an alternate to Sir Alfred Beit. He was also a director of the Jagersfontein Co, where he handled the Excelsior Diamond, and the Koffiefontein Estates.
Sothebys cites a copy they sold in 2009 as 'no. 1 of 12', although there is nothing in our copy to verify that. OCLC lists two known copies, being at the Gemological Institute of America and at Indiana University.
"Published for presentation only...The photographs, often reproduced in other gemological books...This is the sole authentic photographic record of the cutting of the Cullinan. Rare" - Gemology by J. Sinkankas, entry no. 228. Sinkankas lists "The index leaf, considerably smaller than the others...", possibly referencing the GIA copy. This copy has a full-sized sheet matching the plates.