Wulfenite ('Ed Over specimen')
Ed Over pocket, Red Cloud Mine, Silver Mining Dist., La Paz Co., Arizona, USA
Miniature, 3.5 x 3.1 x 0.9 cm
Ex. Ed Over; Wendell E. Wilson

Wulfenite from the Red Cloud Mine is legendary, not just in America, but in the larger world of all wulfenite and mineral collecting. They have a historic claim to fame, dating back 100 years or so, to famous specimens found by Ed Over in the 1930s. Ed was a legendary field collector who had seen specimens in the Smithsonian dated from the 1890s-early 1900s era of silver exploration in Arizona, and thought he could go in search of the lost location. He found them in the Red Cloud! He brought out one stupendous pocket known for more robust size, color, luster, and red tones than any other pocket before or since. The quality sets the standard, today. This particular specimen is one of those, obtained by dealer Gene Schlepp out of an older collection and sold to Wendell Wilson on October 10 of 1973. This was in Wendell's collection for a long time before selling part of his original collection to help pay for college. Wendell is now the longtime editor in chief of the Mineralogical Record and has since built a new collection of miniatures and thumbnails. Note his carefully painted mineral label on the specimen in back. For those who know what this is, it is described entirely by the photo. It is certainly one of the most significant miniature-sized examples of a true Ed Over piece, in fine condition, in private hands. I recall one selling from the Joseph Freilich Mineral Collection Auction at Sotheby's in around 2001, as I watched from the back of the room in NYC. It was larger by a bit, but not so much so; and it sold for what must be the equivalent of 6 figures in today's money (it went to a private billionaire, with whom it remains today). Suffice to say, this is what we call a generational specimen, in that they ONLY turn up for sale as the oldest and most important remaining collections are recycled. This is a full sized competition quality miniature, and it is unmatched in our opinion, in terms of both points and how it would score in competition as a miniature example of this important find by any comparable wulfenite crystal from Red Cloud from any of the modern era finds (from 1970s through today). After Wendell sold his collection, this somehow found its way to Jack Halpern of San Francisco, who had owned it since the 1990s. We obtained it from Jack. For more on Wendell and his career: