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Found 124 results

  1. Shirbuirnia gingensis (Waagen 1867)

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    ø35cm. laeviuscula zone, Early Bajocian, Wedelsandstein Formation Found in the Wutach area With a Chlamys textoria perched at the edge of the living chamber in the photo below.
  2. ?Prionorhynchia sp. (Buckman 1917)

    From the album Brachiopoda

    3.5cm. wide Arietiten Schichten Sinemurian Early Jurassic Found in the Wutach area of southern Germany
  3. From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    3.5cm. koenigi zone Callovian From the Wutach area.
  4. I just couldn't resist revisiting the Callovian site again which I recently reported about here. I was figuring on removing some more overburden to get back in at the productive layer. To this purpose I brought along my heavy pickaxe this time. That saved a lot of wear and tear on the wrist, although my elbows were beginning to ache a bit later on in the day, but that was no worse than playing a couple of sets of tennis As usual, my first finds were little stuff. But then the hope-for big one appeared. It also wasn't quite complete in the end, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to restore the missing parts once I get down to it. I had already begun to hear thunder in the distance as I began working on this and it was starting to get closer. So at this point I figured that my collecting day was soon to come to an end and started packing things away. But as luck would have it, it was just a bunch of noise and nary a drop of rain fell for the rest of the day. I managed to dig out another large ammonite which looked quite promising even after I had removed most of the overburden.
  5. I guess as you get older, you get a little more crazy. I had sworn to slow down a bit, particularly after my exhausting hike down the mountain recently, so I'd been visiting easy-to-work sites like the ditch and the shark tooth exposure the last few weeks. But then my colleague told me that he'd opened up another section at the Callovian site in the Wutach Valley and that I should have a look at it. Maybe you can make some good finds. Well, why not? So off I went today. At this site you have to remove a lot of overburden to get at the good horizons and then you're whacking away at a hard concretionary sandy limestone in search of fossils. I use a pick hammer and club hammer for those purposes, which makes for a bit of wear and tear on the old tendons. The first 3 hours were not all that productive for my liking. Here's what my efforts had produced up to that point. But then I finally stumbled on something interesting and quite large to boot. The photos above were taken after about an hour of overburden removal. I needed yet another hour to remove the rest, which was absolutely necessary, since the ammonite was resting in the middle of an extremely hard concretionary lager and the chances of breakage were high. I was also already pretty sure at this point that the outer whorls would not survive the treatment, since they appeared to be unstable. Here's how things looked towards the end. You can see where the outer whorls have broken off and after I was able to pry out the inner whorls, I could see that the outer whorls didn't continue around to the back, since those parts were already eroded away. So that wasn't too bad after all and the inner whorls appear to be well-preserved as you may be able to discern below. ø is 16cm. So after this action, my heart was happy, but my wrist was aching like crazy and my legs were about to collapse because of crouching and bending the whole time. So I took a break, emptied my water bottle, and packed the things up for the return trek to the car, which in this case is happily only about 500 meters. I stopped in for roast beef with onions and french fries on the way home, so that pepped me up a bit I've also just discovered that Kytta ointment is good for aching wrists.
  6. From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    30cm. ovale zone Early Bajocian Wedelsandstein Formation From the Wutach area
  7. My customer/friend, let's just call him X. for now, brought me another large ammonite which he had recently pryed up for prep. He got this one out in 3 pieces, 2 of which he glued back together. The ammonite itself has a diameter of 30cm. Here's what I was faced with to begin with (Well almost. I took the pics after I had started in with the stylus.) The 1st pic shows them side by side, the 2nd in original position and the 3rd the reverse side. S. first had the wish that I remove it completely from the matrix, but I wasn't so sure about the chances of success there. For one thing, there were a lot of cavities in the phragmocone, and due to the hardness of the matrix, there was a good chance of breakage under way. There was also a heckuva lot of matrix above and below the fossil, so I knew that this was going to take a loooong time, even with the strong jack stylus. I decided to get started with the larger block and set aside the smaller one for the time being. After a few hours of plugging away with the air pen, it also became obvious that there was no proper separating layer between matrix and fossil, which made for even more time consumption and finesse. Here's how both sides looked at that point. I then decided that it was time to swap over to the air abrader, since I wasn't quite certain how the lay of the land was. There were a lot of oysters and tube worms clinging to the shell which made it difficult in some places to make a judgement as to where the ammonite shell actually started. As you can see in the next two photos, I continued on with the stylus after the abrading was done. 2nd pic in next post.
  8. I recieved a large (32cm. in diameter) ammonite on commission recently which turned out to be rather complicated to prepare. It's a Fissilobiceras sp. from the ovale zone in the Early Bajocian from the Wutach valley. Most of it was imbedded in matrix, so it wasn't possible to judge at first in what kind of condition the inner whorls were and it was too fragile to just have a quick go at it with hammer and chisel in order to find out, so I had to take the slower route peeling off layer after layer with the stylus. Here's how both sides looked to begin with. After a good number of hours work with the stylus it became obvious for one thing, that the whorls were beginning to dip deeply down radically on their way to the center and there was less and less separation layer to the steinkern available until it practically completely disappeared, so I figured I'd have to stop at this point with the pen work. I also inadvertently dug out a bit too much due to the deformation. On the positive side, however, the inner whorls turned out to be intact. So I changed over to the abrader to remove the remaining thin matrix layer to get a proper view of the lay of things and to help decide how to continue. The circles and arrows on the last 2 photos were used during the exchange between the owner and myself in order to decide how I should proceed with the work, since these ammonites are not easy to find, particularly at this size, and so we decided in the end to make a matrix display out of it. I then removed the rest of the matrix from above the living chamber until its end and abraded that as well. The last step was to fill the gaps with Apoxie modelling compound and to round things off a bit. Once that was hardened, I balanced the colors with waterpaint and then applied a coat of Rember beeswax finish and the job was done. One interesting thing about this piece is that the border between phragmocone and somewhat flattened living chamber is easy to differentiate. The living chamber would certainly have been larger, but that was all I was able to save, and the whorls at the bottom were practically nonexistent, so I figure I got the best out of this one that I could.
  9. Marcel @Everhardus and his wife Josette are spending their holidays in the area right now. I had agreed to show them around and so we spent the day together visiting a couple of sites in the Wutach area. Here they are enjoying keeping their balance on a slope at the Scheffheu. I was happy that they were able to make a few nice finds and Marcel emailed me today to tell me that they'd had more success at the Callovian site. I unfortunately didn't make any more photos, but maybe they can post something here if he checks in. Meanwhile, I can at least show you the ammonites from the south of France which Marcel graciously gifted me as a thank you and which I managed to get prepped today. They are from the iron-rich Late Toarcian aalensis zone and all belong to the genus Pleydellia sp.
  10. Cenoceras sp. (Hyatt 1884)

    From the album Nautiloidea

    18cm in diameter trigonalis zone Early Bajocian Middle Jurassic Wedelsandstein Formation
  11. Hyperlioceras subdiscoidea (Buckman 1889)

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    24cm. discites zone Early Bajocian Wedelsandstein Formation Found in the Wutach area I had to do some modelling on this one. Here's how it looked beforehand:
  12. Fissilobiceras ovale (Quenstedt 1886)

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    Fissilobiceras ovale. 40cm. ovale zone Wedelsandstein Formation Early Bajocian Middle Jurassic From the Wutach area.
  13. Another big one

    I have a very proficient and capable customer (actually he's become more of a friend and colleague with time) when it comes to seeking and finding good fossils, and he struck again last week, bringing me quite a large ammonite with a diameter of ca. 40cm. for preparation. He sent me a photo of it which he took during the extraction procedure. The matrix was pretty tough, so he ended up having to extricate it in several pieces, most of which he glued back together before he brought it to me. I did some stylus work on it to begin with and then we were faced with the decision of whether we should retain the last piece at the end of the living chamber. Either like this: Or like this: We finally decided on the second alternative, since the first would have meant a little too much additional modelling work, so we chucked the piece. We also decided to stick to working on just the one side for two reasons, the first being that it was chock-a-block with oysters and concretions, and the second being that he would have had to pay for a lot more hours of work which probably wouldn't have made all that much difference in the end. Here's a photo of the other side. I then spent a good number of hours with the air abrader on it, alternating back to the fine stylus when necessary in order to remove larger chunks of matrix once I was sure of their position. The abrading was slow going due to the hardness of the matrix, but it was worth having the necessary patience for it as can be seen below. There is a huge tube worm on it and the transition from phragmocone to living chamber can be distinctly seen. The shell is somewhat dented in places, particularly by the inner whorls, but I find that doesn't necessarily detract from the whole picture. I then filled in the gaps with my trusty Apoxie sculpt, painted it and applied the beeswax finish. I also cleaned up the back side a bit. The whole procedure took roughly 10 hours. Here's the final result. Fissilobiceras ovale. 40cm. ovale zone Wedelsandstein Formation Early Bajocian Middle Jurassic From the Wutach area.
  14. Fissilobiceras sp. (Buckman 1919)

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    I prepped this ammonite with a diameter of 50cm. for a customer who allowed me to show it here. I had to glue the living chamber back on which was in 2 pieces and also fill a lot of gaps with modelling clay. His wife did a great job at balancing the colors with water paints. This is quite a rare find, particularly at this size. ovale zone Wedelsandstein Formation Early Bajocian From the Wutach Valley
  15. Macrocephalites sp. (Zittel 1884)

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    8cm. herveyi zone Rotes Erzlager Early Callovian From the Wutach Valley
  16. One of my customers is keeping me quite busy lately. Last week he brought me among other things a relatively large, 22cm. diameter Callovian Choffatia ammonite from the Wutach Valley with another few smaller ones plus a belemnite attached. He asked me to send him play-by-play photos, which I did, so I figured I might just as well show them to you guys as well. Here are pics of both sides in the raw. As you can probably tell, it was extracted in 3 pieces which he glued back together. You can barely see the belemnite on the right in the middle of the first photo and the smaller ammos are at the bottom right in the second one. First step was to remove as much matrix as possible with the stylus, but soon after I started, the bit with the ammonites and the end of the living chamber popped off at a hairline crack, so I set them aside for reglueing at a later point. Here's how both sides looked after a few hours with the stylus and also after glueing the above mentioned pieces back on.
  17. Peek-a-Boo

    Yesterday I posted something here from my recent trip to the Callovian and now I've just finished prepping something else worth showing. It's a somewhat compressed Macrocephalites jacquoti ammonite with a diameter of 12cm. You may have noticed, particularly in the second photo, that there's a crack running through it. And this is what happens when you open it up. It had already broken into these two pieces as I was extracting it at the outcrop. Instead of glueing them back together as I usually do, however, I decided to leave it as is after I'd abraded the shell, since the view of the crystallized chambers is quite pretty. It makes a nice sort of "surprise egg", don't you think?
  18. Multiblock 13

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    Containing 4 Choffatia sp. ammonites and a piece of belemnite rostrum. 12x12x6cm. The 4th ammonite is hidden on the back side and can only be seen in profile in the last photo. herveyi zone Early Callovian From the Wutach Valley area.
  19. Another Multiblock

    We're still allowed to move about freely here in good old Baden-Wuerttemberg, so I figured as long as this is still the case, I'll mosey along to my spot in the Callovian in the Wutach Valley. A friend of mine has been working there recently, so I was hoping for some more fresh exposure and sure enough, he'd opened up some new possibilities for me. Spent the good part of the day prying and hammering and came up with a few nice things. Here's the first and probably the best which I just finished prepping this evening. A multiblock measuring 12x12x6cm with 4 x Choffatia sp. and a bit of belemnite. The 4th small ammonite can't be seen in the photos since it's tucked away tightly on the back.
  20. Prepping a BIG Procerites

    I'm almost done with prepping this huge Procerites on commission and I figured I'd just show this as an example of how long it sometimes takes to get one of these whoppers finished. It has a diameter of 35cm. (14 inches). I've already been working almost 17 hours on it and still have some filling and modelling to do. This came to me in 2 pieces which had been removed from 2 neighboring blocks with a thin layer of calcite which had seeped into the tectonic spalt between the two. There was also a small piece of the puzzle missing which couldn't be extracted, which is why I still have some modelling ahead of me. I had worked almost 4 hours removing matrix from the larger piece with the rough stylus before I took the first photo. Then I started abrading. The matrix was pretty tough, so I was blowing up to 80psi. And to make things more complicated, it was covered with tightly sitting epizoans, particularly oysters, which loved to colonize these things after they had hit the dust, so I had to spend some extra time blasting the parts away which I couldn't remove with the stylus, otherwise the ammonite shell would have been damaged. Next photo after another 2 hours or so. Another hour and a half with the abrader: And yet another hour and a half. I had to do some more stylus work around the back here as well. And finally another 2 hours to get it more or less done. So now we're already up to 11 hours.
  21. Oxycerites orbis (Giebel 1852)

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    19cm. diameter. Index fossil for the orbis zone. Phragmocone. Late Bathonian. Found in the Wutach Valley
  22. Brasilia bradfordensis (Buckman 1881)

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    21cm. Practically complete with shell. bradfordensis zone Late Aalenian Achdorf Formation From the Wutach area
  23. Staufenia staufensis Twins

    From the album Middle Jurassic Ammonites from Southern Germany

    Not quite identical twins measuring 16 & 18cm. bradfordensis zone, staufensis bank Late Aalenian From the Wutach Valley