Cinnabar on Quartz & Calcite ex. Romero Coll.

Tongren, Guizhou Province, Southwest Region, China
Small Cabinet, 7.8 x 4.6 x 4.2 cm
Start Time: 11/11/2009 7:30:00 pm (CST)
End Time: 11/24/2009 7:33:03 pm (CST)
Auction Closed

Item Description

This translucent, elongated cinnabar crystal is just a hair under 3 cm tall. It is pristine, sharp as can be dreamed of, and has a rare non-pitted face for a crystal of such size. The crystal is firmly emplaced on a SPARKLING matrix of quartz, and anchored in with calcite that attaches to both the cinnabar and the quartz (i.e. there is NO question of possible fakery, as with some chinese cinnabars in recent years). It glows cherry red when backlit, and is metallic dark red in minimal lighting. So, overall, this small cab sized specimen is one of the most elegant and aesthetic I have had in a long time, for the classic style of cinnabar from China that redefined, in the 90s, what collectors could expect. This piece is from the Dr. Miguel Romero collection (see his bio on the Mineralogical Record site, purchased in the late 1980s or early 1990s when these first came out (and probably for a good premium too, as they were quite the new novelty then). Although Dr. Romero collected Mexican minerals primarily, he did assemble a small collection of aesthetic worldwide specimens of different species he found interesting. This piece then went with his collection on loan, and on exhibit, at the University of Arizona where it remained for a decade, until the family sold his collection to me. This piece was valued at $3500 in that deal. Even amongst thousands of cinnabars mined in later years, this is a stunning piece of high quality that stands above the crowd. UA Museum label is included.

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