Small Cabinet, 9.0 x 7.4 x 3.5 cm
Tincroft Mine, Redruth, Cornwall, England
Ex. Clarence Bement
A very, very rare item from the mid-1800s, in high demand even at the time they came out! These fancy siderite crystals were valued more than gold, with ads in old journals touting their acquisition and sale as "treasures" priced as if they were horses at the time. This large "geode" pocket-piece has crrystals to 1/4 inch, and they are both sharp and nicely colored. The label matches the hand painted number on back of the specimen; AND there is a black arrow underneath, on the piece, still. This arrow was put on by curator Louis Gratacap after 1910, at the American Museum of Natural History when they put out specimens from the famous Bement collection on display. The collection had been bought and donated to the museum by financier JP Morgan, and was the greatest collection of its day. Bement was well kown for his fine English classics, in particular. Accompaying information from the AMNH archives provides photocopies of the original label for the specimen, dated to 1884 to 1887 as per the Min Record Archive: Label Archives. The piece was acquired from famous British dealer Francis Butler following the death of his partner Richard Talling. Bements accession card notes that the price was $4.50, paid in 1886. That was a LOT of money then, for little brown crystals! However, they put a huge premium on siderite and on owning these rare examples. With a rich history, well documented from all owners, this piece has a bonus beyond its quality and size.