St. Andreasberg, Harz Mtns, Germany
Large Cabinet, 17.3 x 13.1 x 2.3 cm
Ex. Dr. Ed David; Sir Robert Ferguson
There are classic old mineral specimens that predate the 20th century. Then there are the true oldtimers that predate the 19th century, like this pyrargyrite from the Ferguson Collection, circa 1800 (he had stopped collecting by 1810, it is thought). Dendritic crystals of lustrous, black pyrargyrite to 5.0 cm in length are emplaced the length of a flat gray limestone matrix. Even the back side is interesting with a mass of spongy, dark gray silver and ore. When historically important specimens, like this from St. Andreasberg in the Harz Mountains, are also visually important, a pretty specimen becomes significant beyond its eye appeal. This is a piece that is MUCH better in person, and impresses even those who do not collect the silver species. The crystals have a slight red overtone, and definite luster to them. I have known the piece since 1998 when this collection came to light in London, when it resurfaced from the family's estate after being passed through the generations largely untouched. It has never been on the market since 1800! Still carries the $15000 tag on it, price Ed Paid originally, from Herb Obodda when Herb got back with specimens from this collection. For more on Robert Ferguson, click here