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Natural History Auction

by I.M. Chait


358 lots with images

May 16, 2010

Live Auction

9330 Civic Center Drive

Beverly Hills, CA, 90210 USA

Phone: +1 (310) 285 0182

Fax: +1 (310) 285 9740

Email: chait@chait.com

358 Lots
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BLUE BARITE CLUSTER

Lot 1: BLUE BARITE CLUSTER

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Description: BLUE BARITE CLUSTER Possibly Baia Sprie or nearby Cavnic in Maramures Co., Romania This impressive piece is composed of blade-like flashing light blue crystal clusters of the barium sulfate mineral Barite. This uncommonly large intricate specimen is probably from the classic mines of Romania and exhibits a rare and delicate gray-blue, giving the whole piece a soft and soothing appearance, measuring 14 x 9 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches.

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STIBNITE SPRAY

Lot 2: STIBNITE SPRAY

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Description: STIBNITE SPRAY This lovely cluster perfectly exhibits the radiating habit of some stibnite specimens, with bunches of ramrod-straight crystals in distinct bunches, bursting from the host rock, shimmering with the characteristic black metallic sheen. Stibnite is a source of antimony (chemical element Sb), which is used in a number of industrial applications, including anti-friction alloys and lead-free solder, but in ancient times it was used as a mascara - Cleopatra's kohl. This is a fine collector's specimen, and measures 13 1/2 x 9 x 8 1/2 inches. This unusual Stibnite specimen may be from one of the mines in Maramures Co., Romania. Baia Mare (Nagybánya), Baia Sprie (Felsöbánya), or the Herja mine (Kisbanya).

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COPPER

Lot 3: COPPER "SKULL CAP"

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Description: COPPER "SKULL CAP" Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan Native copper can take several forms but occasionally it is found in this strange bowl, or skull cap shaped form; the cause is usually the formation of the metal around a basalt cobble. It boasts a highly textured surface both inside and out and a pleasant pale gray-green patina, with coppery brown and red and a patch on the exterior of warm burnt orange, 5 x 5 x 2 3/4 inches.

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LARGE NATIVE COPPER

Lot 4: LARGE NATIVE COPPER

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Description: LARGE NATIVE COPPER Keweenaw peninsula, Michigan Copper has done as much to advance human culture as any other mineral. Known to some of the oldest civilizations on record, it has a history of use at least 10,000 years old; evidence of smelting has been discovered at the Can Hasan site in Turkey, dated to 5,000 B.C., and the ease with which this operation could be performed using primitive equipment was instrumental in leading mankind out of the Stone Age and into the Bronze Age. This fine crystal specimen has the fascinatingly twisted form and pitted surface reminiscent of a meteorite, but is distinguished by lovely green and purple coloring. An attractive, aesthetic example it measures 14 x 6 1/2 x 3 7/8 inches.

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AZURITE AND MALACHITE AFTER GYPSUM

Lot 5: AZURITE AND MALACHITE AFTER GYPSUM

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Description: AZURITE AND MALACHITE AFTER GYPSUM Possibly Utah This fine Azurite and Malachite specimen shows the classic epimorph (Azurite growing over now non-existent Gypsum crystals) and pseudomorph growth (Azurite altering to Malachite) habits that are best known from the Apex Mine near St. George, Utah where this piece is probably from. Perfect for the collector's cabinet, it measures 6 3/4 x 3 7/8 x 2 7/8 inches.

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AZURITE SPECIMEN

Lot 6: AZURITE SPECIMEN

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Description: AZURITE SPECIMEN Possibly Utah Azurite has been known since at least the time that Pliny the Elder described it as kuanos ("deep blue", the root of the English "cyan") and its incredibly strong coloring meant it was used as a pigment for many centuries. But it is at its most beautiful in its natural form, as in this fine example: the highly-textured surface scintillates with tiny crystal points on a bed of green, blue and dramatic orange-red, one side a carpet of botryoidal forms in an unbroken, sparkling deep blue. A lovely collector's specimen, it measures 5 3/4 x 4 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches.

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AZURITE AND MALACHITE

Lot 7: AZURITE AND MALACHITE

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Description: AZURITE AND MALACHITE Possibly Utah Many minerals are found naturally paired, but few create as striking a combination as deep blue azurite and dramatic green malachite. Both copper-derived minerals, they are here arranged in layers, the softer color of the malachite dramatically offset by the vibrant shades of the azurite in a fine collector's specimen, 5 1/4 x 4 1/8 x 3 1/4 inches.

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FINE NATIVE SILVER

Lot 8: FINE NATIVE SILVER

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Description: FINE NATIVE SILVER Possibly Kongsberg, Saggrenda, Buskerud County, Norway The tendril-like form of natural silver is fascinating enough as it is, but this particular specimen has the added appeal of the presence of numerous opaque white quartz calcite growths. The slender wire-like silver curls and twists around and through a solid mass, erupting at the top into thin widening arms of metal holding perfect little crystals like some strange fantastical tree. A particularly aesthetic specimen, it stands 3 3/8 inches high and is presented on a square perspex base.

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AQUAMARINE CRYSTAL

Lot 9: AQUAMARINE CRYSTAL

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Description: AQUAMARINE CRYSTAL Pakistan This fine single crystal of aquamarine glows with the lovely soft blue-green color that provides its name: "water of the sea". A beautiful piece in itself, it is enlivened by a splay of metallic blade-like mica crystals at one side, dramatically contrasting in form, delicately complementary in tone. A good collector's piece, it stands 2 5/8 high on a perspex base.

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BLUE BARITE

Lot 10: BLUE BARITE

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Description: BLUE BARITE Possibly Cavnic, Maramures Co., Romania This lovely collector's specimen is a mass of flat hexagonal beryl crystals. The lovely pale gray-blue color shades to combs of white at the edges and a light dusting of calcite speckles and small growths provide the perfect offset to the colorful crystal cluster, 7 1/4 x 5 1/8 x 4 1/8 inches.

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SPLIT ROCK CRYSTAL GEODE

Lot 11: SPLIT ROCK CRYSTAL GEODE

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Description: SPLIT ROCK CRYSTAL GEODE The chalky white exterior of this egg-like geode offers no hint as to what is hidden on the inside. Once opened, however, it reveals itself to be lined with white quartz crystal points shading to pale amethyst at the tips. More dramatically, however, there are several large red-brown calcite crystals lining each small vug, creating a lovely contrast in one of nature's most marvelous secrets revealed, each half measuring approximately 3 3/8 x 3 x 3 inches.

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HERKIMER DIAMOND CLUSTER ON MATRIX

Lot 12: HERKIMER DIAMOND CLUSTER ON MATRIX

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Description: HERKIMER DIAMOND CLUSTER ON MATRIX Herkimer Co., New York Not actually a mound of diamonds, this specimen is in fact a cluster of double-terminated quartz crystals, so-named for the county of Herkimer in the part of New York State where they are most commonly found. In New Age and Wiccan crystallography they are considered an aid to dream recall and realization, as well as facilitating connection between the astral planes. This is a fine specimen, with a lovely pale gray translucence, offset by the orange, red and gray-green of the Cambrian dolostone matrix, 5 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches.

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BLACK QUARTZ CLUSTER

Lot 13: BLACK QUARTZ CLUSTER

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Description: BLACK QUARTZ CLUSTER Quartz is usually white or clear, but occasionally a "smoky" variety is found, with a dark cloudiness to the crystal. This specimen is an extreme example, with deep black crystals; sprouting from a smoky gray base each shades to a completely dark colorless point, lightly covered with aesthetically contrasting tiny white crystals as though delicately snow-dusted. A dramatic and unusual specimen, it measures 7 1/4 inches wide on a perspex base.

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Lot 14: "DOGTOOTH" CALCITE

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Description: "DOGTOOTH" CALCITE Santa Eulalia, Mun. de Aquiles Serdán, Chihuahua, Mexico This Calcite shows the classic "dog's tooth" habit of the Santa Eulalia, Mun. de Aquiles Serdán, Chihuahua, Mexico specimens. The brown color comes from micro hematite inclusions. The tiny white to colorless crystals are probably second generation Calcites indicating that it may be an older piece as this type has not been common in recent finds. A dramatic collector's piece, it measures 6 x 5 1/4 x 4 inches.

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BARITE

Lot 15: BARITE

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Description: BARITE Lane Co., Oregon Sometimes referred to as "Bologna Stone" barite (or baryte) was prized by 17th-century alchemists for the fluorescing properties of specimens found near Bologna. This attractive specimen boasts the flat hexagonal crystal habit, clustered together with a soft gray-blue coloring dramatically offset by strong orange patches. A fine collector's piece, it measures 5 x 4 5/8 x 2 1/2 inches.

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Lot 16: "RAINBOW" STONE

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Description: "RAINBOW" STONE Possibly Spain This unusual specimen of Iridescent Hematite is a riot of color. It is actually Turgite, which is a name given to a Goethite that has a surface alteration of Hematite and causes the iridescence. Some of the best examples come from La Union mine in Spain and from Graves Mountain, Georgia, USA. The pitted and heavily textured surface of this specimen is predominantly a dark gray shade, but is interspersed with simmering metallic areas and remarkable patches and streaks of dark and light green, red, pink, yellow, orange-green and pale blue - iron impurities that create a veritable rainbow indeed, 8 1/2 x 6 3/8 x 3 1/2 inches.

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SMALL AMETHYST CLUSTER

Lot 17: SMALL AMETHYST CLUSTER

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Description: SMALL AMETHYST CLUSTER Mexico This lovely little specimen is a clustered mass of delicate violet amethyst points, launching from a mass of tiny clear quartz rods. A fine desktop or collector's piece, it measures 4 1/2 x 4 x 4 inches.

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AGATE GEODE

Lot 18: AGATE GEODE

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Description: AGATE GEODE The sliced face of this unassuming rock reveals the wondrous warm dark colors of the agate banding that lines the interior, in shades of dark blue, orange and red. The lining of the vug itself has an attractively undulating appearance, pleasantly highlighted with patches of pink and green, and measures 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches overall.

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LARGE MANGANOCALCITE CRYSTAL

Lot 19: LARGE MANGANOCALCITE CRYSTAL

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Description: LARGE MANGANOCALCITE CRYSTAL Possibly Peru This is an outstanding, very large Manganocalcite crystal. Crystals of this size and habit are very rare. This fine specimen demonstrates the distinctive crystal habit in the crisscross lattice pattern that covers its surface; but best of all are the two fine points in which it terminates. An excellent collector's piece or simply a highly unusual object for the interior designer, it measures 13 1/2 inches long.

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HOWLITE NODULE

Lot 20: HOWLITE NODULE

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Description: HOWLITE NODULE Tick Canyon, California The exterior of this gray and white speckled rock gives little indication of what's to be found on its sliced interior face. The polished inside surface reveals an almost spotless snow-white expanse; gray veins and brown patches intrude around the edge but the sea of whiteness is broken only by a small soft orange sunburst near the center. An unusual and intriguing piece, it measures 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 x 3 3/8 inches.

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HEMATITE ORE

Lot 21: HEMATITE ORE

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Description: HEMATITE ORE Montreal, Wisconsin, USA Possibly from the famous Iron County Mine in Wisconsin, this unusual form of Hematite is sometimes referred to as "needle ore" or "kidney ore". The present specimen of hematite has abandoned its normal botryoidal growth habit, creating the clearly faceted surfaces visible here, shimmering with a metallic gray-black color and enlivened by shades of ferric red at one end, 6 1/4 x 4 7/8 x 2 1/4 inches.

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HALITE

Lot 22: HALITE

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Description: HALITE The best water clear Halites like this one come from the Wieliczka Mine in Wieliczka, Malopolskie, Poland. This mine is one of the oldest salt mines in the world and was mined from the 13th century until the end of the 20th. The mine is famous for the carvings the miners made on the walls, saline lakes and for the cathedral and chapels carved out of salt deep underground. Completely translucent, a slight texture to the outer surface softens the passage of light through the stone and the absence of color emphasizes the uncannily regular cuboid form of the interlocking crystals to create a lovely and fascinating display piece, 8 1/2 x 5 x 4 1/4 inches.

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TAN QUARTZ CLUSTER

Lot 23: TAN QUARTZ CLUSTER

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Description: TAN QUARTZ CLUSTER This excellent specimen has the look of some extraterrestrial landscape, with mounds of botryoidal growths finely textured, undulating and sparkling and colored a gentle pale orange-brown. An unusual and attractive specimen, it measures 16 1/2 inches wide.

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CALCITE

Lot 24: CALCITE

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Description: CALCITE Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto Region, Namibia A fine example of large Calcite rhombohedral crystals. The size and habit of this specimen and it's color indicate that it is probably from the famous Tsumeb Mine in the Otjikoto Region of Namibia. The Tsumeb mine may have produced more sought after collector pieces than any other mine in the world. Most major collections include at least a one or a few fine Tsumeb specimens but they are much harder to find now because the mine has been closed for many years. A fine and unusual example, it measures 6 1/8 x 4 1/2 x 3 inches.

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LARGE ENGLISH MAHOGANY MINERAL COLLECTOR'S CABINET

Lot 25: LARGE ENGLISH MAHOGANY MINERAL COLLECTOR'S CABINET

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Description: LARGE ENGLISH MAHOGANY MINERAL COLLECTOR'S CABINET This fine piece of furniture is perfect for the collector of small specimens. Topped by two sloped and glazed lifting covers over a large display area, the main cabinet houses 24 specimen drawers with modern glass pulls, behind two pairs of front-opening doors. The various locks are stamped for Hobbs & Co., London 1880 and it measures 92 x 28 1/2 x 44 inches overall.

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LARGE BEETLE SPECIMEN

Lot 26: LARGE BEETLE SPECIMEN

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Description: LARGE BEETLE SPECIMEN This formidable insect is preserved and presented as it would have been found in life, perched on a tree section with every detail of its long black articulated legs and antennae visible, contrasting with the attractive warm woody brown of the wing covers. The mode of presentation allows for a full view of the creature's underside and protected by a glass dome on a gravel-covered wooden base it makes for a striking display piece, 11 inches high overall.

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LARGE SNAKE SKELETON

Lot 27: LARGE SNAKE SKELETON

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Description: LARGE SNAKE SKELETON This dramatic display case contains the expertly prepared and presented skeleton of an unidentified snake species. The endless ranks of fine rib bones are exquisitely perfect, as are the delicate bones of the small skull; curled back on itself several times, it indicates an overall length much greater than the 45 1/2 x 19 1/2 inch wood and perspex case in which it is presented.

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NAUTILUS DISPLAY

Lot 28: NAUTILUS DISPLAY

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Description: NAUTILUS DISPLAY The nautilus is the marine cephalopod in which we see the closest remnant of the familiar ammonite fossil shape. This specimen has been carefully sliced in half to display its inner structure: from the large opening and living chambers, buoyancy chambers of gradually diminishing size spiral towards the central whorl, lined with the gently-shimmering mother-of-pearl nacre. A gorgeous display of nature's artistry, it is presented in a glazed and fabric-lined box frame measuring 16 x 13 inches.

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STUFFED SHARK

Lot 29: STUFFED SHARK

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Description: STUFFED SHARK This is a real skin mount of small unidentified shark species, probably a ground shark. Presented with an open mouth, it proudly displays serried rows of tiny vicious teeth. Some age distress is present, but overall it makes for an impressive marine display piece 47 inches long.

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OLIGOCENE PREDATOR SKULL

Lot 30: OLIGOCENE PREDATOR SKULL

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Description: OLIGOCENE PREDATOR SKULL Hyaenodon cruentus Oligocene Brule Formation, White River Badlands, South Dakota The Hyaenodonts lasted on Earth for over 25 million years, some species being the largest carnivorous mammals of their time, almost the size of a modern day Black Bear, others being about the size of a marten. That they resemble a modern hyena is implied by the name, although they are no relation and were named merely for similarity in their teeth. This skull is from a large dog-sized creature. It is complete, with lovely bone texture and patination and speckles of pinkish blush. It boasts fine teeth, with good enamel coverage colored a strong dark brown, and measures 8 1/4 x 3 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches on a burnt pine display base.

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PLATYBELODON TOOTH

Lot 31: PLATYBELODON TOOTH

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Description: PLATYBELODON TOOTH Platybelodon Miocene Central Asia Massive elephantine creatures that roamed across North America, Africa, Europe and Asia until the onset of the last Ice Age, Platybelodon sare members of the order Proboscidea, large heavy creatures with distinctive tusks and long flexible trunks, but they have no living relatives today. Unlike the flat, ridged teeth of the contemporaneous Mammoth, the molars of the Platybelodon terminate in a distinctive cone-like cusp.This is a fine example, with attractive bi-coloring to the cusps and good enamel coverage in shades of soft gray and blue. Only the largest protrusion is worn, but reveals a fascinating glimpse of the concentric inner structure of the tooth, and the whole piece measures 9 1/8 x 6 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches.

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FOSSIL RODENT SKELETON

Lot 32: FOSSIL RODENT SKELETON

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Description: FOSSIL RODENT SKELETON This unidentified specimen, probably a beaver or muskrat, perfectly demonstrates the attraction of these fossils, with lovely patina and bone texture; positioned on its side in the matrix, exposed are the left hind leg, spine, ribs, shoulders and forelegs, whilst the perfect little skull has been prepared free from the host rock and is complete with excellent dark-colored cheek teeth and larger, curving incisors. A fine specimen, the sun-bleached white of the bones sitting in attractive contrast to the pale gray matrix, it measures 9 1/4 inches wide.

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FOSSIL REPTILE

Lot 33: FOSSIL REPTILE

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Description: FOSSIL REPTILE Keichosaurus hui Triassic Central Asia One of the most popular and emblematic species from the central Asian Triassic fossil beds, this is a superb example of the Keichosaurus. Member of a group of extinct primitive reptiles, they are usually found in this "swimming" pose, but the osteology of their forearms and shoulders suggest that they may also have been capable of subaerial locomotion. The present specimen exhibits exceptional three-dimensionality and definition to the spine, ribs, limbs and tail; the neck was snapped and lies double-backed so that the head rests beneath the front right limb. It sports a lovely black patina on a pale gray oval matrix and is presented in a fabric-lined gold-painted glazed frame 19 1/4 x 14 1/4 inches.

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MOROCCAN PHOSPHATE MARINE FOSSIL DISPLAY

Lot 34: MOROCCAN PHOSPHATE MARINE FOSSIL DISPLAY

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Description: MOROCCAN PHOSPHATE MARINE FOSSIL DISPLAY Various species Cretaceous, Maastrichtian stage Ouled-Abdoun Basin, Khouribga, Chaouia-Ouardigha region, Morocco This mounted and labeled collection of teeth and bones are from Cretaceous creatures found in the abundant phosphate beds of Morocco. Comprising specimens from 21 separate species, the collection is entitled "Paleotologie du gisement des Ouled Abdoun, Khouribga-Maroc" and is presented in a glazed wooden case 19 7/8 x 11 3/8 inches.

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PAIR OF MEGA-SHARK TEETH

Lot 35: PAIR OF MEGA-SHARK TEETH

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Description: PAIR OF MEGA-SHARK TEETH Carcharocles megalodon Miocene Beaufort, South Carolina, USA The teeth of the giant shark-like Megalodon are amongst the most prized specimens for the prehistoric collector. They are similar to those of today's Great White, but considerably larger; no surprise since the Megalodon was the largest carnivorous fish ever to have swum the oceans of our planet, and at over 50 feet in length, its mouth bristling with rows of this monstrous tearing and rending tools, a terrifying beast to encounter in the murky depths. This is a pair of fine examples, the larger with a coal black root and dark gray enamel; the smaller has a gray root and warm blue-gray enamel. Both retain fine serrations and enamel coverage and bear old collector's inventory numbers, 5 1/2 and 5 inches long.

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FOSSIL SHARK

Lot 36: FOSSIL SHARK

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Description: FOSSIL SHARK Xenacanthus sp. Permian Germany A finely preserved fossil, this creature appears to be a fish, but close inspection of the finger-like paddle bones indicate that it may have lived an amphibious existence. It boasts a mass of slender ribs and a large bony head, near which lies what appears to be a barb, possibly the cause of the ancient creature's demise. With good three-dimensionality, excellent bone texture and a terrific black patina, it is dramatically presented on a 14 3/4 x 34 inch dark gray-brown matrix, in a fabric-backed wooden frame 21 5/8 x 41 1/2 inches.

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FOSSIL FISH PAIR PLAQUE

Lot 37: FOSSIL FISH PAIR PLAQUE

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Description: FOSSIL FISH PAIR PLAQUE Diplomystus dentatus Eocene Green River Formation, Lincoln Co., Wyoming The Fossil Butte member of Green River, Wyoming is justly famed for the quality and abundance of its fish fossils. 50 million years ago a network of subtropical lakes covered the area, home to over 19 genera of fish. The Diplomystus, with its upturned jaw and bristling little teeth, was one of the main predators in these waters, and here are two fine examples. Exhibiting the typically fine detail of fossils from this locale, they have a lovely deep brown coloring that contrasts beautifully with the pale limestone matrix, presented in a glazed wooden frame 25 1/4 x 25 3/8 inches.

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RARE FOSSIL SQUID

Lot 38: RARE FOSSIL SQUID

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Description: RARE FOSSIL SQUID This rare primitive squid boasts superb three-dimensionality and a lovely warm brown patina on a flat gray matrix. The specimen measures approximately 6 1/4 inches long on a 10 1/4 x 8 1/2-inch matrix and is presented in a wooden box frame 15 3/8 x 16 3/8 inches.

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RARE AMMONITE PYRITE NODULE

Lot 39: RARE AMMONITE PYRITE NODULE

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Description: RARE AMMONITE PYRITE NODULE Eleganticeras elegans Jurassic, Toarcian stage Whitby, North Yorkshire, England This lovely specimen is from a locality that yields barely two specimens per year and they are becoming increasingly scarce on the market. It looks like a shining metallic cannonball, the outer surface of the pyrite nodule polished to a silvery gun-metal sheen. But the real interest lies inside, split open to reveal the beautifully preserved remains of a Jurassic ammonite in both positive and negative, its dark coloring harmonizing beautifully with the dark slate gray stone. Measuring 2 5/8 inches wide, it is accompanied by two smaller specimens and each half of the nodule measures 6 1/8 inches wide.

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RARE AND COMPLETE TITANOSAUR EGG

Lot 40: RARE AND COMPLETE TITANOSAUR EGG

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Description: RARE AND COMPLETE TITANOSAUR EGG Titanosauroidea Upper Cretaceous South America The Titanosaurs were a group of enormous sauropods, including the Saltasaurus and Argentinosaurus, that succeeded and surpassed the diplodocids and brachiosaurids in the final age of the dinosaurs, during the late Cretaceous 90-65 million years ago. They could reach an incredible 110 tons in weight, and in the case of the poorly described Bruhathkayosaurus, possibly even double that. Remarkable not only for their size, the Titanosaurs also laid some of the most uncanny and collectible eggs in all the dinosaur kingdom. With a perfectly regular spherical appearance, the finely-textured surface bears a muted mottled brown-gray patination and it looks for all the world like an ancient stone missile. This is a good large example, 7 1/4 inches in diameter.

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MULTIPLE DINOSAUR TRACKWAYS

Lot 41: MULTIPLE DINOSAUR TRACKWAYS

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Description: MULTIPLE DINOSAUR TRACKWAYS Anchisauripus sillimani, Graliator cursorius Lower Jurassic, Hentangian Stage This large gray stone matrix contains the footprint tracks of three Anchisauripus, an under-examined genus described as a lion-sized prosauropod that roamed across North America at the beginning of the Jurassic Period. It is an ichnogenus, meaning that it has been identified only from trace fossils, such as these footprints. Also present on the plaque is a set of smaller prints from the mysterious Graliator and the whole piece measures 22 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches presented in a fabric-lined wooden frame 26 1/2 x 31 3/4 inches.

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DINOSAUR MANDIBLE

Lot 42: DINOSAUR MANDIBLE

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Description: DINOSAUR MANDIBLE Psittacosaurs sp. Early Cretaceous Central Asia This fine fossil jaw section is the lower half from a Psittacosaurs With a well-defined "beak" section it boasts great texture and a warm brownish-pink patination. One side boasts almost all of the flattened grinding teeth (the other side retains only one) and the inside face of the mandible shows the foramina, a line of small holes that carried the nerves and blood supply to the mouth and lip tissue. A good clean specimen, it measures 9 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

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APOLLO 13 TOWING BILL

Lot 43: APOLLO 13 TOWING BILL

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Description: APOLLO 13 TOWING BILL One of the great historical oddities of all time emerged during the final hours of the Apollo 13 crisis, as the LM was being powered up and reheated for final injection into Earth trajectory on April 17, 1970 - at which point it finally became possible for Grumman's engineers to believe that the crew would survive. John Hussey and his men, "slap-happy from relief and from days without sleep," prepared a "Towing Bill" for Rockwell (builders of the crippled CSM). After having hauled Rockwell's capsule and its service module back to Earth with the Lunar Module's engines, the engineers decided to charge four dollars for the first mile, one dollar each additional mile, with (among other additional surcharges) an invoice for use of the LM's jumper cable to recharge the Command Module's batteries. The Towing Bill was typed, photocopied, passed around and recopied until, inevitably, one of the copies ended up on newscaster Walter Cronkite's desk. Grumman and NASA management - to say nothing of Rockwell management - "were not laughing," according to Hussey. For many months afterward, concerned citizens who took the joke seriously sent Grumman envelopes containing money, to help Rockwell pay the 400,000 mile Towing Bill. This is one of the original Grumman copies, and it is also the actual copy published in Chariots for Apollo (included with this item, signed). The bill bears the original inscription - written during a time (1982) in which few recognized ("only" twelve years after Apollo 13, ten years after Cernan and Schmitt's Apollo 17 mission) that the item was so rare and significant that a future generation might consider it improper to have written notes directly on it, identifying what the Apollo item was and whence it came. Pellegrino wrote: "One of the old, original (amazing multiplying) copies of Grumman's Apollo 13 towing bill to Rockwell - Charles R. Pellegrino."

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APOLLO LUNAR MODULE PROPELLANT COUPLING

Lot 44: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE PROPELLANT COUPLING

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Description: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE PROPELLANT COUPLING This fascinating artifact is a perfect example of the frustrations expressed by Grumman's machine parts and tool-making crews with NASA's Super Weight Improvement Program (SWIP) - which required the Apollo engineers to invent ways of shaving off every possible gram of mass to save fuel, and which produced odd, twisted shapes that were seemingly impossible to manufacture. This artifact is a spare rocket part that passed quality control (with red numbers stamped on the metal), but which was never assigned to a specific Lunar Module. A thin metal disk at the fuel terminal is engraved extensively with "on" and "off" positions for manual control, including "Lift First" and "Lift Second" for final mounting, and the initials "GAEC" (Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp.).

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APOLLO LUNAR MODULE CABIN RELIEF AND DUMP VALVE PLUG

Lot 45: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE CABIN RELIEF AND DUMP VALVE PLUG

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Description: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE CABIN RELIEF AND DUMP VALVE PLUG This object's disk frame, cut from a solid block of titanium, was to be located forward of the starboard pilot's left leg. Once the astronauts were suited up for a moon walk, the cabin would be depressurized by opening the dump valve and letting the air out. Though the disk never flew, its history is only scarcely less interesting than if it had. This particular artifact is a construction method test article, never assigned to a specific LM. Dump valve disks, flight-assigned titanium rock hammers, and other simple shapes were the first objects ever to be cut by machine using what was then affectionately named "rudimentary transporter technology." The phrase referred to experiments demonstrating that 3-D computerized instructions for replicating an object in a room located on another part of the continent was a feasible, albeit expensive concept (though the computers involved were Neanderthal-esque by comparison to today's simplest Game Boy software, the cost of the equipment worked out to about $700 dollars [1967] to manufacture one dump valve disk or moon rock hammer). To cut these objects, 3-D blueprints were transmitted by phone line from as far away as White Sands to the Grumman machine shop in Bethpage New York, where computer controlled machines duplicated the shapes remotely. Though the process worked (and is now common throughout the world), after 1967 it was decided that no critical space-flight items should be allowed to go from "the replicator" onto the spacecraft. In those days, an object not manufactured by human hands and not under the direct control of human eyes was not to be trusted. (However, all solid titanium geological tools that went to the moon - including the rod to which Alan Shepard attached his golf club-head - were manufactured by replicator programs).

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APOLLO LUNAR MODULE GEOLOGICAL TOOL HANDLE

Lot 46: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE GEOLOGICAL TOOL HANDLE

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Description: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE GEOLOGICAL TOOL HANDLE This object, like the titanium dump valve disk, was cut using experimental technology, testing the concept of cutting objects by transmitting instructions for replicating an original, via phone, to computer-controlled cutters. Unlike the disk, which could not be assigned to Lunar Module cabin flight readiness, no matter how successful the experiment, geological tools were considered safe and could be assigned as flight hardware. This rod was a flight-ready item, and is available only because missions beyond Apollo 17 were canceled and because it was not loaded into a LM descent stage equipment bay and sent to the moon (all geological tools were left on the moon with the descent stages). The shaft held interchangeable tool-heads, and is identical to the tool on which astronaut Alan Shepard attached his custom-fitted golf club head, and fired off two golf balls carried to the moon in his personal pouch. According to Shepard, the golf balls flew "for miles and miles" in the 1/6th Earth gravity - and, on a surface whose every square foot was a field of mini-craters, "each scored a hole-in-one."

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APOLLO LUNAR MODULE RING BRACKET

Lot 47: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE RING BRACKET

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Description: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE RING BRACKET Cut from a solid block of Titanium (but not as a replicator test item), this ring with threaded interior groove and bracket mounts was to have cradled parts for the LM's sixteen Reaction Control Rockets. It passed quality control with a bold red ink stamp numbered LDW320M10729-1, and was tagged with a Grumman card (still attached) designating it as a "SPARE," available for selection for launch to the moon. It is among the spare parts listed in the LM-5 CARR Reports for LM-5 (Eagle). Had the Eagle's installed mounting been dented or otherwise damaged, this could have gone to the moon (where it would now still be orbiting as part of Eagle's ascent stage).

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APOLLO LUNAR MODULE LEG DEPLOYMENT SPRING

Lot 48: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE LEG DEPLOYMENT SPRING

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Description: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE LEG DEPLOYMENT SPRING This is one of several springs designed to unfurl the LM's landing legs, using small explosive bolts to release the spring assembly. This, like other major functional pieces of the Lunar Module, was never flown because all springs actually assigned to spaceflight were either jettisoned with the LMs into the Earth's atmosphere (Apollo 5, 9, 13), impacted the moon (Apollo 10), or were left on the moon with their descent stages (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17).

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APOLLO LUNAR MODULE # 15 LANDING LEG BOLT

Lot 49: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE # 15 LANDING LEG BOLT

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Description: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE # 15 LANDING LEG BOLT Much as the bolts on the descent stage engine transferred force from the rocket to the LM structure, the leg bolts dissipated whatever force was left over from contact with the moon's surface (after crushable honeycomb and other one-time use crumple zones in the landing leg had done their work). This bolt, still covered in dry lubricant (to protect it against the high humidity of Florida's Vehicle Assembly Building) was rescued from the partly assembled Apollo 20 Lunar Module, before it was assigned in 1983 to be dismantled and dumped in Long Island's Oceanside Landfill.

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APOLLO LUNAR MODULE LEG SECTION

Lot 50: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE LEG SECTION

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Description: APOLLO LUNAR MODULE LEG SECTION A triangular three-piece support section (comprising the lock roller truss, which deploys the landing leg and holds it in place). Remarkably lightweight, mostly titanium construction. Red-stamped part numbers and quality control inspection numbers are prominently displayed along all segments. This section, flight-ready and about to be either assigned to a LM or shelved as a back-up spare, was withdrawn from flight readiness and assigned to stress testing of leg assemblies prior to the Apollo 11 mission. Sensor pads and wires (all numbered) are still attached, in the original historical context of pre-mission testing of leg assembly during varying degrees of thermal stress and crash-testing. Original written instructions on the side of the leg make specific mention of "Drop Test."

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