Lepidotes elvensis
    Holzmaden, Germany

    The Lepidotes are amongst the rarest fish fossils, and the one offered here represents one of the most spectacular examples ever seen. It is from one of the most popular collecting localities, the shale of the Posidonienschiefer formation in Holzmaden, Germany. This perfectly life-like fish has been prepared from the side that faced downwards when it was buried keeping it so well-preserved and undistorted: thus keeping the diagonal rows of diamond-shaped enameled scales fully protected. The scales took on an unusually amazing graduation of shades of brown, from almost black, through a rich chocolate color to a delicate tan. The skull and teeth preservation is also fine, with good detail to the bony forehead and the fins that have been expertly restored to produce an almost 3-dimensional presentation fossil of rare and superb quality. Lepidotes was a genus of bony, armored fish related to today's garfish and bowfins, living in freshwater lakes and shallow seas where they preyed on mollusks. With their rows of peg-like teeth they were perfect for crushing shells. As with many fossils from this locality, it has been mounted for greater stability in a new Holzmaden shale matrix and displays a naturalistic irregular contour outline and measuring 60½ x 45 inches. The matrix even includes a couple of small ammonites. Lepidotes is one of the most desirable species of fish from Holzmaden, and one of the most beautiful of all fish species in the fossil record. At approximately 33 inches in length this is one of the very biggest and best examples, superior even to those in German museums.

    Estimate: $48,000 - $55,000.

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    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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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    8th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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