‘There is something breathtaking about the basic laws of crystal. They are in no sense a discovery of the human mind, they just ‘are – they exist quite independently of us. The most that man can do is to become aware, in a moment of clarity, that they are there, and take cognizance of them.’M.C.Escher
The regular geometries of crystal forms have always intrigued and fascinated observers, and it is easy to see how they would have acquired magical significance in the past. However it was not until the early 19th century that scientists began to speculate on the forces that gave rise to their regular appearance, and the gradual realisation that the external symmetries of crystals derived from the internal arrangements of their component molecules The Abbé Haüy, an early French philosopher of geometry, was the among first to investigate the crystalline structure in such a scientific way – and produced his masterpiece the Traité de Cristallograhie in 1822.