Niccolo Gualtieri ( 1688 - 1744)

Italian doctor and malacologist who established a fabulous private natural history collection, and catalogued its contents, the best known being of the molluscs. Gualtieri was born in Florence and moved to Pisa at the age of 20, where he studied philosophy and medicine under Giuseppe Zambeccari (1665–1728). He returned to Florence to practice medicine, while also becoming personal physician to Grand Princess Violante di Baviera. He later became physician to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

He had a wide range of interests and participated in learned societies, founding the Societa Botanica Florentina along with other associates. He wrote a pamphlet in 1725 suggesting that perennial springs were fed by sea waters through underground channels. He received enough criticism that the Princess Violante forbade him to write on the topic. Gualtieri became a professor at the University of Pisa. He was amongst the first to depict the argonaut. His collections were acquired by Stefano Lorena and are now deposited at the Museo storia naturale di Pisa.

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