Australia

above: FJD Aussie 17.  Museum Specimen Conifer/Shipworm wood. Windalia Radiolarite fm, Lower Cretaceous, Kennedy Ranges, Western Australia, Australia. Full round, contour polished on one end and otherwise all natural. First the wood sank into salt water, next it was invaded by tunneling mollusks (i.e. teredo), then it fossilized, and who knows what else happened before it returned close enough to the earth’s surface to be dug up by a tanned, muscular Aussie with a rock hammer or more likely a backhoe. The lighter colored rock is also part of the original tree and has growth rings throughout. Much interest. No glue – no filler. 10 by 11 cm mirror-polished face; 21 cm long; eleven pounds and ten ounces. $750

above: FJD Aussie 2. Museum Specimen. Donponoxylon bennettii – a Jurassic specimen of a rare, extinct gymnosperm from Queensland, Australia. Take a look at page 145 of Petrified Wood. It looks like the mirror image of this one (although the picture in the book is too red). This is the other half. It is a museum specimen that would be comfortable in any Natural History museum. The stratigraphic layer that includes pentoxylon also holds fossil coniferous wood and fern. All of it traveled on one or more  rough journeys many millions of years ago, carried by ice, water, landslides, and whatever, resulting in a tumbled river cobble effect with a smooth and somewhat colorful exterior. 23 by 19 cm mirror-polished face; up to 58 mm thick; six pounds and eight ounces.  $5000

above: FJD Aussie 24. Museum Specimen Jurassic Queensland pentoxylon (Donponoxylon jacksonii).  Rare specimen round log end.  Flawless.  No glue – no filler. Excellent cabinet specimen. What happened here? Well, it seems as if somewhere along the 150 million-year journey of this plant, it separated, as I doubt that it had just those two lobes to start. Who knows? Cool character piece with nice cellular preservation. 9 by 12 cm mirror-polished face; 2 cm thick; twelve ounces.  $225

above: FJD Aussie 25. Museum Specimen Jurassic Queensland pentoxylon (Donponoxylon jacksonii).  Rare full round “cog” slice. Flawless.  No glue – no filler. Excellent cabinet specimen. Really a killer. Six lobes. I‘ve had it in my collection since the previous century. 9.5 by 12 cm mirror-polished face; 12 mm thick; nine ounces.  $450

above: Aussie 10. Museum specimen Pentoxylon. Queensland, Jurassic. The classic wave pattern in an oblong shape in coffee-tan with bits of gold and red spread around. Overall pleasing mineralization and pattern. The quality of the mineralization is like fine China with no fractures. Super high end. Specimen round slice. 23 by 8 cm mirror-polished face; 1 cm thick; thirteen ounces.  $100

Aussie 100. Museum Specimen Jurassic Queensland conifer – probably Araucaria.   Unusual longitudinal board-cut with a stunning pattern. Superbly agatized. There’s one nearly invisible, CA-treated hairline fracture across the short aspect of the face. 42 cm long by 9 to 13 cm wide; 1 cm thick; two pounds and fifteen ounces. $175

FJD Aussie 26. Museum specimen Shipworm Wood.  Windalaria Radiolarite Formation, Lower Cretaceous, Kennedy Range, Western Australia. Specimen round specimen of shipworm (teredo) wood, named for the mollusk that bored the holes which later filled in with varying colors and consistencies of silica. I use the term shipworm as several species of mollusk may be involved, not just teredo. Stunning specimen round that appears to include about a half full round. The eons-old break is beautifully patinated and attractive with glassy colorful agatized borer tunnels.  The pattern created by the borer tunnels is exquisite. 18 by 9 cm face; 6 cm thick; four pounds and eight ounces.  $225