Manganite (Circa 1880S)
Small Cabinet, 7.0 x 6.5 x 6.0 cm
Ilfeld, Harz Mountains, Germany
Ex. Richard Kosnar; Wally Mann
This specimen has the ULTIMATE luster for a manganite, just shockingly bright and shiny. For me, this is the prime criteria to start taking a Manganite specimen to the next level of quality, to the top tier. Next comes size'the crystals reach 4.3 cm in height. They are unusually isolated, perched above smaller crystals and dominant. Normally, they tend to be jumbled together. The piece is undamaged, elegant, and displays them with dominance. The luster is so bright, and the piece 3-dimensional, that it is hard to photograph. This find of the mid-1880s set the standard and still does, for the species. To date, nothing of near this quality has come from any other mine, for the species. I would say 130 years of modern mining is pretty good insurance on non-replication. This specimen has a long history. It was in the Budapest Museum, prior to WWII. An American collector named Hal Miller ended up with the piece, as part of a mineral collection gift from his Uncle (who was a mineral collector himself, and a soldier stationed there at the time). Miller kept the piece and other classics for decades before selling them to Colorado collector Richard Kosnar in the late 1980s. Kosnar, who specialized in the European classics himself, then kept the piece for over 20 years until he passed away a few years ago. At that time, this was sold by his family, through me, to Dallas collector Wally Mann. I have recently exchanged it back, and am happy now to offer it on the public market for the first time (ever!). This is a superlative example of one of the ultimate classics of mineral science and lore, and it happens to be a piece that runs in line with modern aesthetics and taste in beauty. The specimen is "black" only in the sense of a flat word that means nothing towards impact. It has to the eye, a color and a brilliance and a sparkle that transcends most every other example of this species I have seen (even ones that are much more expensive) .Joe Budd Photos