Since our humble beginnings first mounting Ammonites they have found fine homes literally across the globe. In luxurious Dubai hotels, from Australasia to North America. They have been sold in great British stores, Harrods of London, sold in Sotheby’s and Christies Auction rooms and many others. Displayed at the Olympia fine art and antique shows, London and overseas. We are proud of our standard mark.
It is coming up to the 25th anniversary of our statement line, when we first introduced the Mantelliceras ammonites on limsestone bases, Devonian marble and bronze bases. From the very first edition, we have evolved to these fine piece which we shall discuss here. We feel if you haven’t seen these in person, an explanation of how unique and wonderful these statements are is well deserved. It is not always easy investing in a product online so we would like to present you with our thoughts, facts and more information on these designs.
Our unique swivel pin is an ingenious device which enables the heavy Ammonites to be safely seated and also enjoy normally a 360-degree accent. This technical design gave us a standard of mounting above anything previously created.
Our limestone bases are hewn from Portland, mostly, a British Jurassic sedimentary stone. The limestone quarries on Portland have been producing stone and fossils since the Roman occupation of Britain. The cream colour compliments the limestone ammonites of North Africa perfectly. Ammonites date back to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods from the Atlas Mountain range which is found on the western coastline of North Africa.
The black fossil marble with inclusions of many other fossils is from the western Sahara desert, once the desert floor was an ocean bed, the crustacea that swam in the oceans eventually died and their shells were fossilised in the soft silts, this hardened over aeons and became the marble we use today. These marbles are limestones. Limestones are sedimentary rocks.
The beauty of the Ammonite form is easily apparent. The Greeks first termed the Egyptian god Ammon, named for his rams horned ears, this a similar form as the Archimedean spiral whorls of the ammonites. Our most decorative ammonites have been cleaned, eradicating the usual iron brown staining, typical of a fossil bed in that region. This cleaning process highlights the creamy tone of the limestone beneath. The surface of the once mineralised shell has a strong ribbing structure. Under the outer shell, the ammonite cephalopod would have lived forming the internal chambers as it grew through its life cycle. Its is suggested the life cycle of the ammonites could have been similar to the modern-day nautili, around 13 chambers a year are added to the internal shell of nautili, it is easily possible to find fossilised ammonite shells commonly attaining around 100 chambers, however it is thought the ammonites could have lived much longer than 20 years.
The flagship base is the bronze finished model. With the help of Olga Polizzi, Forte group, a then client of William Yeoward, London. Olga kindly pointed us in the direction of Peter Camden Woodley whom at the time carried much work out for museum exhibits and purveyors of fine art and antiquities. We were delighted to have Peter create our bases in those early days. Since our ammonites have featured in Olga Polizzi’s flagship hotel the Tresanton, St.Mawes, Cornwall.