From the founder Sean:
"I found this piece at our annual Tucson show a couple years ago and was so clearly smitten by it that the vendor asked if this was a personal purchase, “Are you buying this one for yourself?” Evidently my expression conveyed how much I liked the sizable specimen. Quite often over the years, that is exactly how I’ve made decisions on buying, whether it’s fossils, plants or framed insects. I buy as if I’m making the purchase for myself; it just so happens that those purchases end up in the selection at Paxton Gate, rather than my home.
Collections of numerous specimens in one fossil, like this, are often referred to as “mortality plates” as they’re quite often displayed on flat segments of stone. Usually, these are the result of some mass mortality event such as a mudslide, or more complex incidents like an algae bloom in a prehistoric lake that kills the fish by depleting the oxygen. This specimen which includes ammonites, Nautilus, clams and numerous other bivalves might more accurately be called a “mortality boulder.”
This piece is from Madagascar and dates to between 100 to 133 million years ago. It falls into the category I call “mantel piece," meaning it’s striking enough to occupy an important location in one’s home décor. That said, you’d need a sizeable mantel on which to display it, since it measures roughly 11” x 19” x 7.” I think I’m so fond of it because it’s naturally arranged as if purposely laid out, with the “showstopper” ammonite at the top and other pieces mingled in, which seems almost intentional. Often with one-of-a-kind pieces like this—that I covet—I tell myself that if it doesn’t sell by a certain date, maybe I’ll take it home. Usually the universe aligns and somehow, just thinking this means the piece is out the door before the deadline.
Locale: Ambarimaninga, Madagascar. Southwest of Mahajunga.
Period: Albian, 113 to 100.5 myo
Genus: Douvilleiceras & Nautiluses.
Includes numerous small bivalves."
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