I am puzzled …

I was looking at some of the prices achieved at auctions where, occasionally, minerals and fossils were featured.

Some of the prices are extraordinarily high compared to mine – even more so if you consider that the purchaser would be paying buyer’s premium then VAT on top of all that!

Perhaps it is the fact, if it is a reputable auction house, that these items are perceived to have greater integrity with lots having been more thoroughly scrutinised.  However, this is not necessarily so, seeing as not all auction houses have specialists across all fields – particularly bearing in mind fossils and minerals rarely come to auction.

Fossilised Turritelliae Sea Snail Shell (Cerithium Tiarella Turritella) I am constantly surprised that man made forms, furniture and art are more valued – that is unless the fossils are in auction!

Perhaps what gives confidence is that they generally appear in auctions alongside other items, such as antiques, which are frequently purchased, not just for beauty or appeal, but because they are considered an investment.

Of course I do accept these things do not appeal to all, and not everyone sees their beauty or, indeed, wishes to have them in their home.


The Natural History Museum London photo by Cezary P pl.wikipedia

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

It is also strange that many children see such wonder and amazement in these things but somehow lose that in adulthood.

Either way we are very lucky to have two great natural history museums, one in London, and one in Oxford as per my earlier blog.


What also interests me is that it seems that particularly on the Continent and in the USA, as well as to a great extent in Australia, people have much more appreciation of these wonders, or maybe just feel they add an interesting dimension to decor.  Indeed, I have seen them used to great effect in many hotels in Germany and Switzerland, as sculptural pieces in lobbies and public areas, or simply displayed in cabinets.

I shall puzzle on…