Rufibach Cleft, Vorderer Zinngenstock,Zinngenstöcke, Oberaar Lake area, Grimsel area, Hasli Valley, Bern, Switzerland

    The Swiss strahlers who extracted this bristling, glistening smoky gem were the Rufibach Brothers, who achieved fame and immortality in local lore by attempting to transport a giant Smoky Quartz crystal from its cliff-face cavity home, down to the valley floor, using a rope trolley system referred to by climbers as a Tyrolean Traverse. A "Tyrolean" puts enormous stress on the climbing rope and the anchor points used to support it. The brothers anchored one end to the cliff face behind the ledge they were standing on. When the giant crystal loaded the rope, the portion of the face they had anchored to, pulled loose and took the three brothers with it. The specimen seen here was recovered from the same area some time before that tragic event. It displays the unique character common to the finest of Swiss "Smokies." To start with, the transparency of the Quartz is virtually all facet-grade, with almost no inclusions. Color is the unusual "coppery Swiss version" of brown, with none of the yellow overtones common to Smoky Quartz from other areas. Last on the list of superlative assets is the absolute perfection of form and brilliance of luster that elevate this matrix specimen to world-class heights. It doesn't hurt that the dark crystals are growing from an almost white granitic matrix, either. Inasmuch as the group has but two minor nicks, one of which is microscopic; one would have to accord it near-perfect status. Tag on bottom "330", which has no apparent relevance to the documentation. [A final point: It is easy to forget that the recovery of fine minerals is serious business, with sometimes, very serious consequences. Fortunately, this was not - the specimen to die for.]
    Overall measurements: 6.25 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches (15.9 x 14 x 14 cm).

    Provenance: Keith Proctor, Extracted by the Rufibach Brothers [Hoppel # D1778]

    Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000.

    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: Other (TBD) (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 600

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 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 25 Photographs - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I have to say I am very pleased with the final results and Heritage Auctions service.
    Philip M.,
    Truckee, CA
    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