The Fossil as Art

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The fossil as art

Natural masterpieces created by the patient hand of time, fossils are the world’s oldest antiques, with even the youngest claiming a 10,000-year pedigree. While fossil collecting remains a popular scientific endeavor, the parallel trade in one-off statement pieces is gathering pace, as these exquisite natural objects catch the eye of fine-art collectors. Dale Rogers, the man behind Dale Rogers Ammonite, has spent his life hunting down rare specimens, but finds are becoming increasingly scarce. The closure of mines and quarries in former hunting grounds and a pronounced illegal trade makes fossil-hunting difficult. Rogers regularly visits countries such as Morocco, Madagascar and the US and has braved Afghan warlords and the frozen wastes of Siberia. The company offers a wide range of wonders, from the astonishing Atlas Medusa, a 1.75-ton amalgamation of 25 species of ammonite, to pieces of 4,000-year-old meteorite from Argentina. Rogers has a reputation around the world that is bolstered by exhibitions in the U.S., U.K., Dubai and Japan. Pieces similar to this Madagascan ammonite come in at around $1,000 – not bad for a 180-million-year-old slice of history.