• mobile Raman-microprobe;
  • minerals;
  • provenance;
  • fluid inclusions;
  • anhydrite inclusions


Questions of identity and provenance of minerals that are parts of masterpieces in museums have become increasingly important in mineralogical and historical studies. Detailed investigations of valuable and unique objects require on-site, nondestructive and noninvasive methods because touching or removing them may cause irreparable damage. A mobile Raman-microprobe has been used to meet these demands for truly in situ mineralogical studies of the large collection of minerals and rocks of the Prussian kings in the Grotto Hall (Grottensaal) of the New Palace (Neues Palais), Park Sanssouci in Potsdam. Minerals on the walls of the Grotto Hall were analyzed to identify them and thereby to complete the data bank of the collection. Fluid and solid inclusions in the interior of a large quartz crystal have been studied to provide evidence of the provenance of the crystal. The fluid inclusions contain aqueous saline solutions, whereas the solid inclusions are needles of anhydrite with a length of about 1.5 mm. The quartz probably originated from an area in the eastern Alps, from the surroundings of Bad Gastein, Austria. This is the first on-site and in situ study of inclusions below the surface of a mineral with a mobile Raman-microprobe outside a laboratory. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.