Kongsberg Mine, Buskerud, Norway
15.3 cm tall x 12.8 cm wide
The silver mines of Norway are among the most significant in European history. The Kongsberg mining district has always been the most revered mine for silver in the world. Officially opened in 1623, although silver was known from the region since at least the 12th century.
King Christian IV pronounced; “through the merciful blessing of almighty God, the silver belongs to the Crown.” Both the town and the main mine were named for him, "The Kings Mine" (Kongens Grube, His Majesty's Mine.)
The strength, grace and form of this thick ropey wire silver are unparalleled. The natural patina is as fine as it can be. And, the history and provenance are enthralling.
In the world of mineral collecting there are few comparables to this silver.
It is equivalent to Van Gogh's "Starry Night", Klimt's "The Kiss", Rembrandt's "Night Watch" - the undisputed unrivaled masterpieces. It stands among the world's finest and most significant mineral specimens.
Ragnvald Støren (1877-1953), smeltery master 1915-1947, Director 1944-45, Kongsberg Silver Mines.