Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    NATIVE SILVER "WIRE"
    Silver Islet Mine, Silver Islet, Sibley Township, Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada

    Few mines can boast the number of superlatives that the Silver Islet Mine can. It produced some of the richest Silver ore on the planet - pure metallic Silver. Possibly the worst mine location on the planet - a tiny island in Lake Superior, barely (8 feet/2.5 meters) above the lake level. Some of the worst weather on the planet, which regularly generated surging waves that washed over the island and into the vertical shaft and workings of the mine. A late coal delivery in 1883, forced the pumps required to keep the workings accessible, to stop. By 1884, the mine had flooded and was never reopened. At the time of flooding the mine workings had descended to 384 meters - one quarter of a mile below the lake level. There is still Silver in the mine, but you'll have to dive to get it or you can think about this choice Wire Silver that was collected by a Mr. Tretheway of the Montreal Mining Syndicate between 1875 and 1880. It is actually more of a "ribbon" of Silver than a "wire", but that speaks more to the issue of origin than anything else. Without 'straightening' it, the wire stands 2.25 inches (5.75 cm) high and one tiny branch spears a colorless bit of Quartz, otherwise there is no matrix or other associated minerals.
    Overall measurements: 2.25 x 1 x .5 inches (5.7 x 2.5 x 1.3 cm).

    Provenance: Tyson's Fine Minerals [Hoppel # D1838]


    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
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,251

    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

    VIEW BENEFITS
    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
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 March 24 Urban Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    It would indeed have been much simpler to work with a local auction house, and we had local options. But we never once regretted going with Heritage.
    Virgene S.,
    Milwaukee, WI
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2019 October 15 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 October 15 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,702,373