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Real or fake? rare fish from the US Eocene.


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True or fake? And what species is it?
I have this rare fish from the US Eocene.
It has color and a lacquer applied. The rock is authentic and I have passed a flame over the fish and it does not melt, it is not resin.
But I still have doubts.

IMG_6629 reducida.JPG

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It does seem a bit too... staged. Let me page our a-fish-ianado @Fossildude19

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Asineops squamifrons, highlighted by paint and varnish.

Edited by oilshale
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I agree with Asineops squamifrons.

 

However, the coating/paint on this makes it look like a reproduction, to me.   :headscratch:

 

 

asineops.JPG

 

Image from "THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF WYOMINGGary B. Glass, State Geologist
BULLETIN 63
PALEONTOLOGY OF THE GREEN RIVER FORMATION, WITH A REVIEW OF THE FISH FAUNA,  SECOND EDITION by Lance Grande 1984 " 

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Thecosmilia Trichitoma

Something seemed wrong with the fish, but I couldn't quite put a finger on it. It being painted over makes sense.

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Thecosmilia Trichitoma

However, the shale color also seems a bit off. Cast would also make sense.

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2 minutes ago, Thecosmilia Trichitoma said:

However, the shale color also seems a bit off. Cast would also make sense.

The matrix looks coated as well, which could easily alter the color.

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If it is authentic, the paint and varnish are especially unfortunate as they make it look like a resin cast.

 

Don

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I bet it is a cast of a G-4 layer Asineops.  G-4 fishes are preserved as impression only, which is what I see here.  This one is also extremely painted.  If it is a genuine fossil, someone overdid an unnecessary paint job.  

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  • Fossildude19 changed the title to Real or fake? rare fish from the US Eocene.
1 hour ago, jpc said:

I bet it is a cast of a G-4 layer Asineops.  G-4 fishes are preserved as impression only, which is what I see here.  This one is also extremely painted.  If it is a genuine fossil, someone overdid an unnecessary paint job.  

G-4? At least the matrix does not look like Farson, I remember it differently. But I don't know much about that area. I was only there once many years ago.

 

@mardopa, are the spine and fin spines preserved as depressions or elevations? The image may be deceptive.

You mentioned that the rock is authentic but nevertheless, can you scrape off some material on the back? Does the color change (white?). Are there small holes on the front side (these usually appear in casts)?

What happens if you treat the fish in one place with a cotton swab with some acetone and then hold the fish (carefully!) under running water.

 

I suspect it is real, just heavily painted over.

 

Edited by oilshale
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Hello,
I also saw the holes in the matrix, normally they appear in a resin matrix, so at first it made me suspicious, but I am totally sure that the matrix is original, its specific weight is high, of a rock, not a plastic or resin. I have grated on one side and it is certainly rock, the same color tone as the one that appears in Green River, perhaps a little lighter, in the photo it appears more yellow due to the Lacquer that they have applied
Indeed, the fossil of the fish is almost entirely negative (Depression). It is something that I called attention .
I kept a flame burning for a long time both in some parts of the matrix, for example in the areas of the holes, and in areas of the fish, for example in the back of the skull. Despite maintaining the flame for a long time, there was no alteration, it only warmed slightly
I have not used acetone because I think it will smudge the paint that the fossil seems to have applied to and could be damaged.

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Casts do not have to be made of plastic or plaster (gypsum), there are also casting materials made of mixtures of magnesium oxide and magnesium chloride, which become very hard and behave like ceramics.

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I am sure that the matrix is natural.
But regardless of this, if it were false The fish would have to be plastic, but it does not burn. I think the fossil is authentic too.

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9 minutes ago, mardopa said:

From the matrix?

 

 

Yes, also are those spots that are seen on the picture round holes?

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10 hours ago, mardopa said:

True or fake? And what species is it?
I have this rare fish from the US Eocene.
It has color and a lacquer applied. The rock is authentic and I have passed a flame over the fish and it does not melt, it is not resin.
But I still have doubts.

IMG_6629 reducida.JPG

This is a reproduction. Notice all the air bubbles in the lower half of the cast. Also, very obviously painted. All bone detail is concave and scale detail passes through the bones rather than under. Paint on the stone is too glossy and too uniform to be actual green rive lagstratte.

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6 hours ago, mardopa said:

I am sure that the matrix is natural.
But regardless of this, if it were false The fish would have to be plastic, but it does not burn. I think the fossil is authentic too.

 

@mardopa, can you please take a photo from the side? Where the plate is sawn.

There you can best see if the matrix is natural.

Edited by oilshale
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9 hours ago, jpc said:

I bet it is a cast of a G-4 layer Asineops.  G-4 fishes are preserved as impression only, which is what I see here.  This one is also extremely painted.  If it is a genuine fossil, someone overdid an unnecessary paint job.  

 

After some thinking, I think jpc is right.

 

There are some layers where these pale and ghostly appearing fish are found. The fish are detailed and almost three-dimensional, but all bones are missing and not preserved. Where the bones were, only hollows remained. The matrix is relatively hard but has small holes.
I can well imagine that somebody painted the pale imprint to make it look "better".
As an example of this preservation, the picture of a Knightia from these layers.

5f82a4039a6d2_Ch217Knightiaeocaena.thumb.jpg.04269b6f5a417cade3e5c88d0d5f09c7.jpg

 

 

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5 hours ago, LabRatKing said:

This is a reproduction. Notice all the air bubbles in the lower half of the cast. Also, very obviously painted. All bone detail is concave and scale detail passes through the bones rather than under. Paint on the stone is too glossy and too uniform to be actual green rive lagstratte.

Good eye on the air bubbles.  

As for the bones being all concave, this is how the fish are preserved at the G-4 layers... ghostly impressions.  

If this is a real G-4 fish, it is an atrocious paint job.  But the bubbles suggest it is a cast of a G-4 fish.  

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4 hours ago, jpc said:

Good eye on the air bubbles.  

As for the bones being all concave, this is how the fish are preserved at the G-4 layers... ghostly impressions.  

If this is a real G-4 fish, it is an atrocious paint job.  But the bubbles suggest it is a cast of a G-4 fish.  

:DittoSign:

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Hello, the matrix is totally lacquered, so I have scraped one edge and the matrix appears clearer and with a good magnifying glass it seems to see small crystallizations of calcite. The matrix still seems to me to be authentic. I attach a photo.
I bought this fish together with others, all of them have the same characteristics and are equally worked, highly colored and lacquered to highlight the fossils. According to the seller, these fish had been in a warehouse for many years.
I send photos of another fish.

Thank you all very much for your comments and opinions.

Regards

IMG_8270 copia.JPG

IMG_8293 copia.JPG

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6 hours ago, jpc said:

Good eye on the air bubbles.  

As for the bones being all concave, this is how the fish are preserved at the G-4 layers... ghostly impressions.  

If this is a real G-4 fish, it is an atrocious paint job.  But the bubbles suggest it is a cast of a G-4 fish.  

Agreed. Even if cast from a real one, which is likely, I suspect some extra sculpt on there too:

here’s a known repop for comparison:

 

A384AA7E-BA3F-4196-ABD8-1819CD8FB3EC.jpeg

8B2D9FE7-5B5E-4685-88BF-48954063B01E.jpeg

CCED8752-C7D9-4B50-AE64-BA519C703849.jpeg
 

as you can see, same features as OP, more subtle paint. This is from a gift shop from many decades back.

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@mardopa

 

It looks like a replica to me, those are air bubbles, I'll go roughly through the process of making one:

 

You have an original (negative cast in this case), make a positive impression in silicone (soft material), then make a negative imprint (like the original) in Jesmonite or similar material(which is hard like stone).

 

Once you have the cast in Jesmonite you add colours and a varnish to finish it off

 

On a well made cast there are no air bubbles, that's why I wanted to see the back of your piece

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