This is a fossil of the Jurassic fish Aspidorhynchus acutirostris. It displays a very large fish at the upper maximum of its typical size. The fish appears as if it is jumping out of the water in its natural bent pose on the limestone plate. The slab is large and shows beautiful natural color and patterns in the stone. The fish is situated at an interesting, three-dimensional perspective. Excellent scale, fin and bone detail throughout with restoration limited to the areas damaged due to excavation breaks. Excavation damage limited to hairline fractures which are repaired (barely perceptible). Such damage is virtually unavoidable on large plates this size.
The limestone slab is heavy with an approximate average thickness of 1". Perfect for any interior setting and substantially lower than normal for this species and size. A SUPERB interior accent fossil for any application.
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. We operate our own paleontological preparation lab and are fully experienced in fossil preparation, repair and restoration, giving us the tools, experience and ability to detect artificial enhancements on fossils and artifacts.
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.