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    Description

    UNIQUE HANDMADE FOSSIL STINGRAY BOX
    Heliobatus radians, Diplomystus dentatus
    Eocene
    Warfield Quarries, Green River Formation, Lincoln Co., Wyoming, USA

    This exquisite box combines the beauty of nature, ancient and modern, with the art of the skilled woodworker to create a unique, captivating and functional object. At the centre of the lid are the fossilized remains of a rare prehistoric stingray. The impossibly delicate structure of the ray's cartilaginous skeleton is most fascinatingly exhibited in the hundreds of tiny "bones" that make up the wing-like pectoral fins. Set into clear strong Lucite, it is bordered by pieces of crosscut Indiana walnut, the irregular bark outline retained to give an aesthetically pleasing reminder of the original tree's natural form; what is more, three of the small irregularities in the walnut have been filled with natural Arizona turquoise, and back edge of the lid is comprised of a strip of striking purple heart from Africa. The purple heart motif is repeated in a band on the base of the box, above which, on the face, is mounted another fine Green River fossil, this time a small example of the predatory Diplomystus dentatus, showing similarly fine detail and particularly delicate coloring. This is flanked by two further sections of cross-cut Indiana walnut, whilst the remainder of the box is fashioned from quarter and plain sawn sections of the same wood. The whole piece measures 16½ x 7 7/8 x 4¼ inches and is inscribed on the underside by the maker Stephen Rapp with details of the materials used, item number and date.


    Condition Report*: 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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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 Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,221

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    While I regret my inability to personally view the work, you provided an excellent substitute for my not being able to do so, and I look forward to future Heritage auctions.
    Allan Rappaport,
    Tiburon, CA
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