Galena ps. Pyromorphite (circa mid-1800s)
Wheal Hope, Perranzabuloe, Cornwall, England, UK
Miniature, 3.9 x 3.5 x 2.5 cm
Ex. William Foulkes Lowe; Rex Cook; Tim Sherburn

One of the most rare of all classic Cornwall finds, in part simply because so few exist or were ever found and preserved, is the sharp galena replacement of pyromorphite. These are thought to have come out in the early 1800s, and prior to the 1840s, so far as we know. They only turn up out of the oldest of collections, and have few mineralogical comparables — most notably, some larger but generally not as sharp examples from old France. This piece can be traced to William Foulkes Lowe (1849-1932), a student at the Royal School of Mines in London and later a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry and an Assay Master in a mining office in Chester. It was purchased in England by dealer Cal Graeber, and brought home for the collection of our mutual friend, Tim Sherburn, who loved such old English oddities. It is aesthetic, as far as these go, and in superb condition. The crystallization is beautiful, sharp and sparkly both. This should be considered a rich and significant specimen.