Bournonite with Quartz ps. Barite
Miniature, 5.4 x 4.1 x 2.5 cm
Herodsfoot Mine, Cornwall, England, UK
A Herodsfoot mine Bournonite from the era of the heyday of English mining in the mid-1800s, is one of those iconic specimens of any collection of the classics. They are immediately recognizable from contemporary examples of this species from any other locality. This remarkable display quality piece has an association with sparkling quartz, which has replaced sharp "triangular" barite crystals, and contrasts dramatically to the bournonite. The bournonites have that special gunmetal-gray color and luster that set them apart from other gray sulfides and give them an almost velvety texture. This specimen is perfectly balanced, aesthetic, and just a beautiful miniature sized specimen of a find that is over 150 years old and impossible to find on the market today. The contrast and association just make this a steller specimen. It is pristine on the display face, though contacted on the backside. Most of these supposedly came out with the famous British dealer Richard Talling, though it is unclear today what "most" means. Certainly, the specimen is a century and a half old, and yet mets modern criteria for a display collection of worldwide species, and that says a lot about how much care was taken to preserve it over time.