Brass Balls Claim, State Bridge, Eagle County, Colorado

    Bridging the gap between minerals and fossils is this combination piece featuring a couple of different varieties of Iron Sulfide together in a shale matrix. A number of minerals are known to deposit or crystallize from water solutions, Iron and Uranium among others. There is no Uranium to speak of in this specimen, but there is an abundance of Iron, either as Marcasite or Pyrite - the dividing line between them is somewhat fuzzy. In fact, this is clearly demonstrated by the transition from one to the other visible in the change from the smooth "Marcasite" replacement of the Baculite fossil to the irregularly crystallized "Pyrite" knob on the end of the fossil. In both cases the Iron was provided by anoxic seawater (because Baculites are marine animals related to squid) permeating low-oxygen muds on the ocean floor, where decaying organic matter (the Baculite) provided the Sulfur and the reducing conditions necessary to cause Iron Sulfides to precipitate. Once the process of precipitation is started by the presence of organic matter, then it usually chugs right along until the Iron becomes depleted. It is not immediately apparent but all of the Pyrite crystals are associated with a fossil Baculite - one can be seen deep inside the Pyrite group on the right-hand edge. The collector of this fossil chemistry demonstration is the well-known amateur paleontologist: Bill Hawes, who excavated it in the summer of 1996. The Baculite measures ~ 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) long, while the largest Pyrite group measures 3.75 inches (9.7 cm) across. There is a note that the specimen is repaired, probably where there is a small amount of missing material at the tip of the Baculite. This unusual mineral/fossil specimen is a fine and showy display piece, that comes with a custom acrylic base.
    Overall measurements: 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm). Offered at no reserve.

    Provenance: Collector's Edge (CE #97-45), ex. Bill Hawes [Hoppel Catalog # D1678]

    [Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]

    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. 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.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Requires 3rd Party Shipping (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    2nd Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,611

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 May 22 Modern & Contemporary Art - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    In my estimation Taylor exemplified professionalism and in that respect clearly added value to Heritage Auctions as their representative.
    Robert B.,
    Philadelphia, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,098,328