This is the Middle Jurassic ammonite Macrocephalites – from the Early Callovian of Lincolnshire and collected at the end of the 19th century. I was given the specimen by a friend of mine, Maria, who was given a private collection from a client of hers (Maria is a hair stylist).
The clients’ mother had recently died and, during the house clearance, there was a coal scuttle that was filled with fossils and minerals. Knowing that Maria had a liking for curios, she gave the collection to her and Maria asked me to pop around one evening and help identify some of the pieces.
The collection is delightful – somebody’s very personal accumulation of finds over the years and, although there was not too much that was either very well preserved or of any significance, there were some interesting pieces.
There were ammonites, belemnites, brachiopods, sponges, corals, echinoids and some plant fossils, as well as few bits that were, although organic, hard to identify. The minerals I couldn’t particularly help with (not my field I’m afraid). There was also a couple of deer antlers, probably Pleistocene in origin, and the most unusual piece was a section of swordfish rostrum, but this was not fossilised and was obviously contemporary.
Maria gave me the ammonite as a thank you, which was nice of her, and said that the collection would be donated to a local school or museum which is just great. The label in the second picture is delightfully written and says, if you can’t make it out, “Ammonite, from Swinstead, Lincolnshire, July 1897”. It’ll take a little prep work to clean it up but it is a really nice example and, considering the collection date, a historical piece. Thanks Maria!