It’s always a treat to visit a large auction, and the catalogue at Bonhams has to be seen to be believed. Oddly some of the items we chose remained unsold but now you can bid online you don’t have to trek far afield, if you’ve never considered ‘attending’ a mineral & gem auction maybe its time!
The images here are from the Bonhams New York lapidary works of art, gemstones and minerals auction from October 2015.
Mentioned in our news article this stunning life-size model of a male skull and the world’s largest known meteorite carving, artist Lee Downey acid-etched the carving to uncover the Gibeon meteorite’s singular, lattice-like “Widmanstätten” pattern.
“Beneath the triangular geometry on the skull’s surface, ‘thumbprints’ of crystallization, graphite spots and ‘light threads’ refracted by the iron nickel layers can be seen for the first time,” Painstaking measurements were taken from an actual skull of a male to ensure
realism and accuracy. Named “Yorick”, the carving draws reference to the dead court jester whose skull triggers Hamlet’s monolog on
mortality in Act 5, Scene I of William Shakespeare’s play.
“Yorick” is also remarkable because it is flawless; polished meteorite typically features pits and cracks. The tridymite on the skull’s forehead – a silica polymorph and an exceptionally rare component in IVA irons – was a part of the Gibeon rock; its location was completely fortuitous.
The cover picture of this issue is courtesey of Bonhams Auctions, a particularly lovely smokey quartz formation named ‘Clouds on a Mountain’ originating from Minas Gerais, Brazil. A large combination specimen. The doubly-terminated smoky quartz is large and
lustrous and displays good transparency. At a single point of attachment a secondary growth crystal of quartz is evident. The combination
presents a poetic landscape reminiscent of a rugged mountain peak and low-lying clouds.
Such an imposing specimen, when properly displayed and illuminated would create a dramatic focal point in any display. Measuring
12 x 11 x 4 ½ in.