Description

    LIROCONITE
    Wheal Gorland, St Day United Mines (Poldice Mines), Gwennap, Camborne-Redruth-St Day District, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom

    The mines of Cornwall have furnished the raw materials of industry since before the Romans made their push to colonize what is now the U.K. Mining traditions run deep there and many wonderful things discovered during this long period were saved because of their uniquely aesthetic nature. A prime example of that is how the striking turquoise hue of Liroconite immediately captures the eye in a fashion difficult to forget. Cornwall produced the greater portion of this rare Copper mineral during the heyday of the district, with Wheal Gorland accounting for the lion's share of that. Wheal Gorland, the "type locality" for this mineral (and 3 others), closed for good in 1976 and the last working mine in Cornwall was shuttered just a few years back - leaving only memories and the stone ruins of the "engine houses", as the buildings housing the hoisting and pumping equipment were known. This particular specimen was most likely mined in the early 1800's since that is when the district was going full blast and interest in the rare minerals encountered reached a peak. As a matrix specimen of Liroconite it is larger than most, with a groundmass of brecciated Quartz serving as the host for an irregular vein of Liroconite bearing several open spaces where freestanding, tabular crystals up to approximately 6 mm reside. Luster is the glassy in accordance with similar specimens of this mineral. In true British fashion, it is accompanied by two labels, the first indicating that it was part of the collection of Col. G.T.G. Williams (Harumph, stiff upper lip and all that) of Bodmin (listed in the Domesday Book of the late 11th century and home of three Cornish rebellions against the Crown among other things). This specimen is positively drenched in history. The Colonel assigned it number 223 in his collection and when that was broken up it was sold by Dealer Paul Lowe of Truro, Cornwall. Condition of the Liroconite varies from good where the vein meets the edges of the piece to excellent in the depths of the open cavities. It bears the Colonel's accession number 223 on one side of the piece.
    Overall measurements: 4 x 3 x 2 inches (10.2 x 7.6 x 5.1 cm).

    Provenance: Attard Minerals, ex. Paul A. Lowe, ex. Colonel G. T. G. Williams [Hoppel # D0795 ]


    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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