Small Cabinet, 6.6 x 3.6 x 3.0 cm
Joplin, Jasper Co., Missouri (Tri State District)
Ex. George Feist
I was not sure this was legit, to be honest, and had to look it up! I grew up in the midwest, and still had never seen nor heard of one of these rarities from the region. But it is real, and its a very good specimen of urtzite from any location, though it happens to be a turn-of-the-1900s example from the USA! I cannot think of another wurtzite locale worth mentioning in the US, either. There are 2 mines known in this district, according to MinDat archives, that produced wurtzite, both in the Joplin area and working prior to 1900 and up to WWII. However, most of the really rare TriState minerals were found in the upper oxidizzed zones around 1900 or just before. In any case, the specimen was sold by Dr AE Foote when he was in Philadelphia in the years 1880-1895, judging by his label (see Min Record Archive here). The piece then passed to the (long defunct) St. Ignatius College Museum in Chicago. From there, it went to dealer Hugh Ford, who sold it to collector Robert Fitton. Judging by his catalogue number, it passed on to midwest collector George Feist in the 1980s (and comes with his display mount). A solid specimen for size, display, and history, I feel this is one of the more important items I obtained in the Feist Collection last year and yet its lovably-ugly enough it won't break the bank to own something with this significance.