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How to save a partially crushed ammonite


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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.

 

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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.

Fissi_2a.thumb.jpg.152178bfa6608f6fb44f24898acd99f9.jpg

Fissi_2b.thumb.jpg.686261669577ae6a0a98e4a509902bd9.jpg

 

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.

Fissi.3.thumb.jpg.6cf04756817dcc1aa20f6d214663f5b2.jpg

 

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.

Fissilobiceras.thumb.jpg.3a66552c5890afa8eeaf5162ac212437.jpg

 

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9 minutes ago, ntrusc said:

Turned out great, nice work

Regards

Neil.

Thanks :)

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Fossildude19

Amazing work, Roger!  :wub: :b_wdremel:

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Wrangellian

As always, quite the transformation between start and finish. I'll bet the owner is proud to have that one in their collection.

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3 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

Amazing work, Roger!  :wub: :b_wdremel:

Thanks Tim.

 

49 minutes ago, Wrangellian said:

As always, quite the transformation between start and finish. I'll bet the owner is proud to have that one in their collection.

He wasn't figuring that it would end up in the display case, but now it will :D

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Wrangellian
36 minutes ago, Ludwigia said:

He wasn't figuring that it would end up in the display case, but now it will :D

I probably would do the same, the sutures are showy.

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Great job Roger! You are the ammonite master! :ammonite01: :b_wdremel::hammer01:

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7 hours ago, FossilNerd said:

Great job Roger! You are the ammonite master! :ammonite01: :b_wdremel::hammer01:

Thanks :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

  I would say you did a fantastic job on an ammonite that was a bugger to prep!!!  

 

RB

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Can’t be prepped any better. Great work mate.   :thumbsu:

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2 hours ago, RJB said:

  I would say you did a fantastic job on an ammonite that was a bugger to prep!!!  

 

RB

 

2 hours ago, Bobby Rico said:

Can’t be prepped any better. Great work mate.   :thumbsu:

Thanks guys :fistbump:

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