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Stefan Ansermet's Photo Gallery


Bad Bleiberg, Bleiberg District, Gailtaler Alpen & Karnische Alpen, Carinthia, Austria

Dimensions: 100 mm x 30 mm x 25 mm
Largest Crystal Size: 14 mm

« Wulfenite loves…shoes »

This specimen, preserved now in the State Geological Museum of Lausanne, Switzerland (n°073119), was a part of the former Eduard Bally (1847-1926) private collection and was bought in 1924 to Arthur Kusche in München.

Eduard Bally was the director and founder of the famous Bally Swiss luxury fashion shoes. He was a great minerals lover and collector too, and created his own museum in 1910. During his life, Eduard Bally kept acquiring specimens from alpine “Strahlers” or from world class mineral dealers (e.g. Foote in Philadelphia, Pohndorf in Denver, Krantz in Bonn, Bondy and Kürschner in Vienna, Böhm in Görlitz, Boubée in Paris, etc.). Its financial wealth obviously facilitates its acquisitions and Bally was a serious competitor of other collectors and State museums of the time. When the Bally private museum was closed in 2003, most of the systematic mineralogical specimens and gemstones collections (about 4’000 samples including 800 mineral species with historical or remote localities) was acquired by the State Geological Museum of Lausanne.

In Bleiberg District, historical wulfenite samples are generally constituted of admixed aggregates of tabular crystals or distinct crystals on dolostone or altered galena. This specimen is specially photogenic because the crystals are developed on a tiny withe crust of hydrozincite, which is affording a better contrast. Largest crystal size is 1.4 cm, on a 10 x 3 cm matrix.

The historical mining district of Bleiberg in Carinthia is the type locality for hydrozincite and wulfenite, named after the Austrian naturalist Franz Xavier von Wulfen in 1845. Eastern Alps hosted some famous localities (e.g. Bad Bleiberg & Mežica) with rich and large wulfenite samples related to Mississippi-type deposits embedded in Triassic dolostones. Central and Western parts of the Alps hosted also numerous wulfenite-bearing localities, including not only base-metals ore deposits but also classical Alpine veins, but always with less than 1 cm sized crystals. This fact is probably related to the powerful glacial erosion of these parts of the Alps during the last 400’000 years which preclude the formation and the preservation of large gossans and the crystallization of large supergene mineral species crystals
Copyright: © stefan ansermet@Geological State Museum of Lausann      Photo ID: 936495     Uploaded by: Stefan Ansermet   View Count: 37   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 4034 x 5165 pixels (20.8 Mpix)
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