Outstanding Classic Stibnite Group
This is a huge, important, historic specimen that also meets modern aesthetic and quality criteria. A stunning, vertical group of shiny silver-gray crystals, 15x3x3 inches, that shows a beautiful iridescent patina in places. This is one of the most elegant large Japanese Stibnites, and some experts rank it among the top known specimens in private hands, preserved from the 1800s era of mining here. Formerly in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, which received it as a gift from J. P. Morgan (the original museum display label, about 5 inches long and made of a heavy board paper with curved edges for brass buttons to anchor it to the display case). Identifying numbers on the specimen are 32187 and 29/8. The American Museum of Natural History label accompanying the piece reads "Morgan Gift/Stibnite/large distinct crystals/Mt. Kosang, Japan." The error in locality probably arose from an attempt to conceal the exact source of the material around the turn of the 1900s when Morgan would have obtained the specimen. It remained in the AMNH until the trading deals of the late 1960s and early 1970s when that museum exchanged duplicates to major dealers of the day. Charlie Key and Rick Smith made the exchange for the piece, and Tom Hall purchased it from Rick Smith in July 1971 at the old Washington DC show. From the Tom Hall collection. Tom is a longtime collector, recently retired from working, who since the 1960s has specialized in colorful miniatures and small cabinet pieces of high quality, trying to obtain the best he could in this size range from major, classic finds. His collection was always small but filled with choice beauties such as this. The piece here was the largest specimen in the collection and clearly did not fit for size, but it was so good and so fun to think of the history; and so dramatic in the case despite dominating others in size, that Tom kept it since his original purchase in 1971 (through several collection culls since that time). The graded background shot is a Joe Budd photo.
Ichinokawa Mine, near Saijo, Ehime prefecture (formerly Iyo Province), Shikoku Island, Japan
37 x 9 x 7.5 cm.