Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dale Rogers Ammonite

The other night I had the good fortune to be part of a behind-the-scenes tour around Dale Rogers' north London warehouse. Dale Rogers is a renowned fossil and mineral collector and dealer, operating from gallery premises at 77 Pimlico Road (website here).

It was an astonishing spectacle. 95 million year old triple spikes ammonite found in Morocco? Step right up, yours for £56k...

Wall-filling slab of Wyoming-sourced Eocene era fossilised fish? A snip at £20k+...

Collectors of this top-end, museum-quality (and then some) material range from private individuals like Sir David Attenborough to multinational corporations for some seriously swanky interior decoration. Frankly, I don't care who is buying this stuff if it's being preserved - we heard about the ongoing destruction of overwhelming numbers of specimens as material is indiscriminately mined in the phosphorus extraction industry.

Dale Rogers was a great host, generously sharing his knowledge with a group approaching the objects from the position of artistic/aesthetic value - unsurprisingly, names like Barbara Hepworth and Anish Kapoor kept coming up. These objects are clearly of scientific value, but their great beauty surely places them in the hinterland between Art and Science.

A real treat - just a shame I couldn't get out without lightening my wallet. Luckily, those triple ammonites remain for another collector...

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