Fantasmineral: collectors' dreams

The Prestige Exhibit of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, edition 2018

      

 

During the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines show, a few temporary exhibitions are organized. This year, the theme of the mineral exhibition was fantasy "FANTASMINERAL: COLLECTORS' DREAMS". Our own Mineralogy Museum participated again this year, presenting fifty minerals, in the following display cases:  "An expert's dream", "Rave party" (lamps of minors), and in "Treasures of the Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech".

 

Alan Martaud, curator of the temporary exhibition introduces the exhibit:

Moreover the Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech, other museums and private collectors showcased their specimens, in order.

The National Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Confluences in Lyon also presented some of their treasures, most of them coming from their own hidden storage. Most of the specimens were exhibited for the first time and highlighted especially for the occasion.

The Natur Museum of Luxembourg presented unusual shapped minerals that nature has concocted, from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), a country rich in copper, cobalt, uranium and other precious elements.

The mineralogical museum of Strasbourg, meanwhile, presented some German treasures.

Finally, the British Museum of Natural History in London showcased some minerals from the British Islands, as well as some English classics worldwide famous. They are a reflection of the rich mining history of the United Kingdom at the origin of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century and the very long mineralogical tradition of this country. We were also able to see some of the jewels of the French mineralogical heritage that are preserved in London, which crossed the Britisch Channel for the first time.

 

Some collectors joined the exhibition. Gilles Emringer unveiled his precious collection of crystallized gold, exhibited for the first time. Each gold specimen was compared with another mineral reminiscent of the associated gold crystal.

 

Frédéric Kuhn, collector from Sélestat, shared his combined passion for minerals and miners' lamps through a 'rave party'; these objects were often more than tools: they revealed a real craftman work. In each showcase, minerals were associated with the lamps of the same locality. Thus, one could see our stibnite from La Lucette with miner's lamps from the same locality, our fluorite from Giromany with miner's lamps from Belfort.

 

The Prestige Exhibit also displayed the crystals that inspired the designer Moebius, as well as "sweet crystalline fantasies" created by pastry chef Louis Agnellet from Annecy, who was nomimated French best worker in 2017. Minerals can even take evocative forms, which we could see in the showcase "naughty nature".

 

In the following photos, we wish to present mainly the showcases of the Prestige Exhibition that contained minerals from the Mineralogy Museum, MINES ParisTech.

 

The showcase "Hidden treasures of the Minerology Museum, MINES ParisTech". Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

Detail of the showcase "Hidden treasures of the Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech". Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

In the "Hidden Treasures" showcase, this little wonder of nature: a shell containing magnificent calcite crystals, arrived into the collection in 1845. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

In the "Hidden Treasures" showcase, this extraordinary Siberian green beryl, with its old label. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

Also in the "Hidden Treasures" showcase, this botryoidal goethite from the Ojuela Mine, Mexico. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

Another detail of the showcase "Hidden treasures": calcite from Biesmerée (Belgium), gold from Australia, and paratacamite associated with boleite (Boleo, Basse Californie, Mexico). Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou .

 

One of the showcases of the "Rave party", with French miner's lamps and minerals: siderite from the Mont Blanc, azurite  from Chessy and stibnite from La Lucette. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

Our sample of stibnite from La Lucette (Mayenne, France), in one of the "Rave Party" display cases . Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

One of the "Rave party" showcases, with miners' lamps and French samples, including our historical fluorite (1770!) from Giromany. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

Close-up of the fluorite from Giromagny. Probably the oldest specimen in the collection (1770) as it even pre-dates the official date of our collection (1794)! The photo doesn't do it justice: it was taken behind the window of the display case. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

Detail of one of the showcases "Rave party", with miners' lamps and American samples (in the broad sense of the term): our large copper from Michigan, and at the bottom left our pyrargyrite from Peru. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

"The Expert's Dreams": The minerals that Alain Martaud dreams of at night! Most specimens in this display cases came from the collection of our Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech! Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

In the showcase "The Expert's Dreams", this Brazilian aquamarine, which is absolutely incredible. A little jewel, 100% natural! Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

In the "Expert's Dreams" showcase, this rhodochrosite from N'Chwaning in Namibia. This specimen has everything: color, shape, shine. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

In the showcase "The Expert's Dreams", boleite (left) and cummengeite (right) from Boleo, Baja California, Mexico. Mineral species that are highly appreciated by collectors... and for good reasons! Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

In the showcase "The Expert's dreams", this amethyst from Traversella (Italy) that makes many of our Italian friends jalous! Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

The"naughty" showcase of the year's Prestige Exhibit "Fantasmineral". Our suggestive smithsonite is at the bottom right of the photo. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

The entrance to the Prestige exhibition, which has its dedicated room. Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

The Prestige exhibition hall constantly filled up by visitors during the show! Photo: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

A small detour from our minerals, because we found this artpiece absolutely brilliant: artwork in sugar by pastry chef Louis Agnellet from Annecy.

Each sugar needle was created individually and assembled to form the scolecite ball. The quartz crystals in sugar are limpid: a feat by pastry chef Louis Agnellet! Photos above and below: Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech / E. Gaillou.

 

Fantasmineral: collectors' dreams - MINES ParisTech
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