Hematite on Adularia
Fibia, St. Gothard, Switzerland
Small Cabinet, 7.3 x 6.7 x 6.2 cm
Ex. Brent Lockhart

This is a special example of the famous "Iron Rose" style of Hematite, from literally THE classic and best locality going back to the years at the dawn of the appreciation of minerals in Europe (you can see how romantically we feel about it, here!). Fibia and Cavradi are both justifiably famous for different styles of this material, the Fibia roses being more thick and meaty as you see here (and also, fewer). For hundreds of years, these Hematite roses have been treasured, and they even grace the collection of the King of Spain in the Madrid Palace as well as in all the world's major Natural History museums. You can get larger clusters, bigger or on granite matrix sometimes. But I have never before seen such an elegantly placed example of a hematite rose from Fibbia sitting perfectly perched atop a cluster of crystallized adularia. While we often see nice large feldspar crystals with this shiny luster and slightly curving shape (referred to in ancient times and still today as feldspar variety adularia), you almost never see the two species in association. Not only is the hematite on a crystalline matrix, but it is on a contrasting matrix that is unique to this location - taken together, the best kind. The specimen is complete all around 360 degrees, free of damage, and to my eyes unique compared to all the rest, loose or matrix, that we have seen. It is perfectly balanced, with the hematite (4 cm across the top) in balance with the size of the adularia crystals on which it sits. When we purchased the Lockhart Swiss collection, this was one of the treasures, not because it is bigger or brighter than others, but because it has a special aesthetic for this historically significant locality, that enables it to place into all kinds of sophisticated collections. It has always been one of my favorites. He acquired it in 2006 from Siber & Siber, and they in turn had it originally from the collection of famous German Collector, Godehard Schwethelm (they had exchanged it out and sold it to a Swiss collector some years before this collection sold to US dealer Herb Obodda). Note the old label dated April 4 of 1896 (whether it was found on that date or purchased, we cannot say). The Lockhart Collection is/was certainly the largest and broadest collection of display quality Swiss minerals built in the USA, and was a rare accomplishment built over nearly 4 decades of collecting. To do so, he had to source not only from American dealers, but directly from the sources in Europe at the level of the strahlers and the sources who find material. Additionally, the old collections still turning up in Europe had unique specimens, and Brent's ticket into that deal was through working extensively with the multigenerational Swiss dealership Siber & Siber to build the collection. This is one result of such collaboration, where he was able to get a superb 1800-s era specimen from a collection they accessed there in-country, and would not have been able to see otherwise. Such unique things go from collection to collection within the community of diehard Swiss collectors in Europe, and are almost never seen in the American marketplace. This singularly special hematite was one of our favorites among 200 specimens in the collection at its maturity.