Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Two of Galileo's fingers, cut from his hand 300 years ago, were just rediscovered when the sealed glass jar they were stored in sold at auction. Three fingers were cut from Galileo's hand in 1737, when his body was moved to its final resting place (Galileo died in 1642). It was not uncommon at the time to cut body parts from saints to keep as relics--and Galileo was considered a sort of secular saint. At some point two of the fingers and one of Galileo's teeth were stored in the jar, which disappeared in about 1905. The person who bought the jar at auction took it to experts at the Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy. Experts there confirmed the authenticity of the jar and its contents. The fingers will be displayed at the museum with the third finger, which the museum already possessed.


Andy said...

I'd love to know how that one original finger was being displayed... ("This exhibit reflects Galileo's disagreement with the Spanish Inquisition..." :-)

Anonymous said...

I have to ask... at what auction, on what date and what price? This is based on a CNN report. Very interesting, but way too vague for a "market value" analysis?.
But great for getting attention.

What did ever happen to that last "uncovered" treasure. With all that fancy equipment and profound-sounding specialists?

You can just name the piece that comes first to mind. There have been many, but the story always seem to fade...!