In light of all this, we are most pleased to be able to offer not only an investment level specimen that will surely appreciate over time. This is an extinct species of bowfin that lived during the Jurassic period called Amiopsis lepidota. The species is VERY rare and the preservation and detail is equally rare. The pose is also as good as you could want because the mouth is completely open and the operculum (gill cover) is fully extended as if the fish is gulping its prey. This fantastic articulation of the fossil shows all the detail of the head and even the tiny upper and lower teeth as seen above! In every possible way, the anatomy that is preserved on this specimen is TOP RATE! The caudal (tail) fin as well as all other fins are complete and impeccably detailed with the finest preservation. Even faint details of the scales can be seen. Pieces like this not only come under the demand of fossil collectors, but ALL collectors of rare items would find this a fascinating acquisition and one that can be enjoyed on display for its rare artistic assemblage as well as its rarity as a paleontological specimen.
Unlike many split rock fossils, this is NOT a negative impression which would be substantially lower in value if it were. The evidence of this being the true fossil rather than the sheet of rock that split off from it with the impression in it, is the presence of bone and armor plates in the rock protruding up and out of the surface as in the fin rays and skull bones as seen in this specimen. Some dealers sell NEGATIVE IMPRESSION SIDES of rare Solnhofen fossils that have been enhanced to appear like a positive so caution is advised when making a purchase. The value of these rarer fossils makes such practices profitable with the effort to manipulate the negative impression to look like a positive.
Famous for producing an astonishing diversity of rare and most intricately preserved fossils found anywhere in the world, the Jurassic lithographic limestone deposits of southern Germany are legendary. Quarries in the region are privately held and mostly worked by hand on a small scale. The finest grade fossils are few and far between and much rock must be split to locate them. The best fossils are most often kept by the quarry owners who themselves, are often collectors. Some quarries are operated on a large scale but these are now dug with machinery instead of manual labor. Because of this the rock is damaged and along with it, the rare fossils. What all this means today is that even fewer fine grade Solnhofen fossils are found and when they are, rarely do the best pieces make it to market. Occasionally, an old private collection surfaces and specimens are sold or traded. This is where the rare opportunity comes along to acquire a specimen on a level that truly is a prize find. Typically, the older material is often the best as it was collected when the deposits were first being worked and quality was in greater abundance.
SPECIAL NOTE: We have noticed an increasing occurrence of undisclosed work in heavily restored and modified examples in the marketplace and auctions of many Solnhofen fossils. It is becoming commonplace to take a smooth slab of Solnhofen quarry limestone and assemble, carve and/or paint parts or entire creatures where no fossil existed. Restoration is OK if it is disclosed but much of this work is not disclosed, either out of deception or ignorance of the dealer. When purchasing fossils, it is important to only deal with extremely knowledgeable sellers who have experience in fossil preparation as well as restoration and repair so they are capable of identifying what work has been performed to the fossils they offer and disclose this work to their customers. Sadly, a great deal of bad material is being sold as good to unsuspecting buyers. Our staff operates several paleontological preparation labs and is experienced in the full realm of fossil preparation, repair and restoration.