Thursday 25th October – this afternoon I am off via Heathrow to Munich.  Tickets in bag ready for tomorrow’s opening of the Munich Fossil and Mineral show. Purported  to be one of the largest exhibitions of its type in Europe with four halls of exhibits.  I have never been before and am very excited !

( This featured image is Munchen’s famous Monopterus! )

 

The Munich Fossil and Mineral Show

Arriving  at the exhibition at about noon ( a very easy journey out of town as the train took one virtually to the door) I began in the Fossil hall.

 

One of my main quests was to see how many, if any, mammoth tusks were there.  As I have previously mentioned in other scribblings I had been told by my palaeontologist friend that these had become increasingly rare over the past few years in Europe because the Chinese had been buying them directly from Russia in quantity for carving, given the scarcity of ivory. I was very concerned about this because that would mean that there would be an increasing rarity of the whole natural forms of these tusks.

Sadly this would seem to be the case.  Only one dealer, of so many, had a few sections of tusk and the only whole tusks were on a stand from Russia where there were several priced from 3,000 to 8,000 Euros all of which were of a very dark brown colour, which suggested to me that the paler ivory coloured ones may well have been the preference for the Chinese for carving.

 

Mineralientage & Fosilientage MunchenGenerally there were not many of what I would call “museum quality” pieces and the most interesting of those had mankind’s artistic talents as added value – they were sometimes inset in metal and transformed into very attractive artworks but few of the very special pieces were in pure, original, natural form.

I do appreciate that extracting a large fossil in its entirety makes for a very expensive, painstaking and difficult process.  It was nevertheless good to see artistic piecing together of broken fossils and making them whole again, albeit in some cases with the use of metal framing.

 

Mineralientage Munchen - Quartzstufe "Kaktus"Mineralientage Munchen - African Malachite

The mineral halls were vast and mixed betwixt small polished stones and truly wonderful natural formations. There were three or four stands with really fantastic minerals lit up in exquisite cabinets that could be photographed – most stands had “no photography” signs upon them as indeed did the vast majority of the previously visited fossil stands. I found that rather curious because surely it would have promoted some of these wonderful things.

Mineralientage Munchen - RhodochrositeMineralientage Munchen - Gold

 

Anyway rather weary and footsore and hungry I departed (if pretzels and sausages are not your thing then refreshments here were very limited – the wheat beer was however delicious).

Munich itself is an extraordinarily beautiful Bavarian city retaining a wonderful identity of its very own. On Saturday it was very cold and sleet and snow “rained “upon us. Awakening on Sunday to the most amazing sight when a heavy snowfall overnight had transformed the still autumnal leaves on the trees to an amazing sight – with the leaves supporting inches of snow with the white lit up by the hues of gold, orange, red and green peeping through.  I have never seen anything like it only having ever seen snow on trees bereft of leaves, lovely though that is.

Munich - Snow on Autumn Leaves

Well, off to the airport with only slight take off delay in the queue for de-icing the wings – all in all a good trip – but I do not think I will go to the show again … Munich yes!!  A very , very beautiful city.

Charlotte

© Copyright Charlotte M Bailey 2012

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