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Central Vein, Central Mine, Keweenaw Co., Michigan
It isn't often that fine older mineral specimens make it to the present day with their pedigrees intact and complete. Collectors of Michigan Coppers are lucky if they get an actual mine name to go along with their Cuprian treasure. This fine old example has provenance to burn! Richard Bree, a Cornish miner (or a "Cousin Jack" as they were called) working in the Central Mine during the period of 1850-80, acquired/mined it there. It passed to his son Lorenzo, who subsequently donated it to the Cranbrook Institute of Science in 1936. It next went to an un-identified individual who sold it to dealer Ross Lillie, then on to the Hoppel Collection.
This massive group of inter-grown Copper crystals, up to 1.25 inches (3.17 cm) across, form a three-dimensional lattice displaying hundreds of shining faces with extremely sharp detailing. The patina is the "old saddle leather" type that is most desirable in Native Copper specimens and is the result of years of exposure to the air. There is only a miniscule amount of non-copper minerals and only a few spots where the piece touched the rock walls surrounding it.
Overall measurements: 7.5 x 5.5 x 4 inches (19.1 x 14 x 10.2 cm). Offered at no reserve.
Provenance: North Star Minerals, ex. L. Bree/Cranbrook Institute with old collection label [Hoppel Catalog # D2174]
[Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]
Condition report available upon request.
*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.
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