This specimen offers the finest attributes of preservation, articulation and color of the fish species Tharsis dubius. It is NOT a negative impression but is the positive side of the split slab, in other words, it is the actual fossilized and mineralized fish. While lesser priced specimens can be found in the market (especially negative side examples where the impression is IN the rock), few if any will ever approach the state of preservation and detail that this beautiful example possesses. Like most of the best Solnhofen fossils, it was found long ago and from a private collection. This specimen far exceeds what is usually offered. It is important to first emphasize that ALL the detail you see across the entire fish IS GENUINE unlike the plethora of fish fossils from the United States (Green River) and Lebanon where much of the "fossil" is painted on the rock by skilled artisans. The slab shows 100% NATURAL dark yellow coloration patterns. The lighter yellow bands are a result of prehistoric fissures in the rock taking on a different coloration in the limestone to contrast to the unusually dark golden plate of rock. The light bands are NOT from repair.
Examine the close-up images. Every anatomical feature is very heavily mineralized and preserves with outward, 3D relief. The close-up images show the finest possible state with zero fabrication to any part. As a matter of fact, this specimen is without any painting or fabrication of any kind.
Some of the largest dinosaurs that ever walked the earth were in existence when Tharsis swam in the ancient seas alongside massive plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs! This extremely aesthetic prehistoric fish fossil comes with our highest recommendation and will surely prove to be a specimen that will be treasured and enjoyed for years to come. Numerous features make this a prize display fossil, worthy of any discriminating collection, either public or private.
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 a large paleontological preparation lab and are experienced in all aspects of fossil preparation, repair and restoration giving us the tools and experience to detect forgeries and artificial alterations to 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.