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    Czar Mine, Bisbee, Warren District, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA

    Copper made the frontier town of Bisbee, Arizona what it is today: a sunny winter home for snowbird retirees and rustic artists. Previously, the lure of rich ore and easy money once encouraged herds of miners to strip the walls of Azurite lined caves to feed the primitive copper smelters of the 1800's. Now the locals strip-mine tourists passing through: some things don't change. A few period pictures record that were splendid "jeweled chambers," first encountered when the deposit was originally opened. Very little of that splendor remains today, only the occasional re-appearance of a specimen saved by a miner from destruction and liberated from a box under a bed or the back of a closet.

    Of the previous owners, the one most likely to have searched out this specimen was Richard "Dick" Graeme: a mineral collector of considerable sagacity and fame. For years, Mr. Graeme was employed by Phelps-Dodge, the chief mining company of the area, in an executive capacity. A fringe benefit of his employment in Bisbee was a free hand in exploring the old workings in his spare time: something any red-blooded field collector would give assorted parts of their anatomy for. Dick being a red-blooded field collector took full advantage of this opportunity for after-hours pillaging. In fact, there is a notation on the back of his collection card that accompanies the specimen that states "D Graeme - Collected 1953 - 200 Level." This is very much the type of massive Azurite that lined the caves encountered in the mine. Both sides are liberally festooned with grape-sized clusters of deep blue, bladed Azurite crystals. With the exception of a few small patches of green Malachite, the piece seems to be made of solid Azurite. Luster varies from fine to brilliant depending on which side is being looked at. There are a few 'dings' but the extreme number of shining faces simply overwhelms the brain.
    Overall measurements: 7 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches (17.8 x 14 x 6.4 cm). Offered at no reserve.

    Provenance: Keith Williams, ex. Richard Graeme Collection with "Graeme 408" on one edge. [Hoppel Catalog # D0302]

    [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. 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    2nd Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,422

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