Ken Mannion
   Fossil Preparation Tools     
Since 1996
Archive Gallery. British Fossils. Some examples of Fossil Preparation

This archive gallery was one of our earliest web pages and has been on this web site for almost 20 years...... A time when digital imaging and download times were not what they are now ...The fossils have long since gone to new homes .....We keep it here not only for nostalgia but also because many of the comments are still relevant today.

Images not to scale

Ichthyosaur. Lower jurassic. Lower lias. Somerset. This 5 feet long complete ichthyosaur was sent to us several years ago. It was not particularly well prepared and poorly presented and had done the rounds for some time. We reprepared it and presented it in a style to suit the status it deserved, with a hardwood frame and brass plaque.

There is a lot of very healthy activity in the repreparation of old time collected specimens. The new generation of tools and their availibility means that many old fossils can be redone to higher standards

Dactylioceras Jurassic. Upper lias. Whitby Yorks. Ever popular. Relatively simple preparation can make even this common fossil stand apart from the crowd.

With the right equipment this Ammonite can be done in minutes rather than hours

Teleosaurus chapmanni. Jurassic. Upper lias. Whitby Yorks. The famous Whitby marine crocodile. Found around fifteen years ago this extremely busy piece is almost 2 feet across and packed full with verts, scutes, ribs and limb bones of this distinct species. Practically impossible to prepare with simple hand tools this very hard pyrite rich nodule escaped the indignity of being smashed up into smaller pieces, a fate that befell many of its type at that time and sadly can still happen today.

A sympathetic collector brought it to us knowing the then new generation of airscribes could take these in their stride. He was right and benefited enormously from the fact

Lepidotus. Lower jurassic. Upper lias. Whitby. These large 3D fish exquisitely preserved with beautiful thick jet black enamel are very rare. Rarer even than the marine reptiles. It came off the beach requiring only minor preparation. It does not usually work that way but good when it does. Nonetheless 'minor' preparation probably tripled its value, and of course its appeal

Arnioceras. Lower jurassic. Lower lias. Yorkshire Coast. Ammonite multi blocks are not particularly rare from Britain. They are very popular with preparing collectors because they display very well when prepared but can look very ordinary when found. Countless different species means a collection can always be formed and with preparation can be shown off to its best.

Aegocrioceras quadratum. Speeton clay. Cretaceous. Yorks. A distinct ammonite from a very famous site. The nature of this clay deposit means that these pieces are always shattered. We restored this 6 inches diameter example from 9 pieces.

A rare find that could easily have remained in pieces and dispersed

Dinosaur footprint stood on smashed wood. Jurassic. Yorks. Dino footprints are well recorded from this coastline but an almost insignificant occurrence has made this one of the most evocative we have seen. Revealed in our workshop while we were taking the back off a large block . A very lucky find as the carbonised wood is very delicate and would not have lasted long exposed to the elements. It was a pleasure to consolidate it for posterity.

Fossil preparation really can spring those surprises sometimes

Hirudocidaris uniformis. Cretaceous. Chalk. Sussex. Collecting in the chalk is enjoying something of a revival here in the UK. As pressure on other sites and possibly, more importantly, the advance in fossil preparation, means that beautiful specimens like this 2 inches diameter echinoid can be produced extremely swiftly and effectively with airbrasive units

Asteroceras obtusum. Lower jurassic. Frodingham ironstone. North Lincs. We have prepared countless numbers of "Scunies"., and they have to be prepared, as they usually look awful when recovered. Hardly seen until relatively recently modern fast cutting efficient preparation tools allow them a rightful place as a modern British classic. They tax even professional preparers but the results can be fabulous. This 15 inch diameter example was one of our favourites with exceptionally thick bold sutures and subtle hues of blue, red, green and purple.

Lewisiceras. Cretaceous. Chalk. Sussex. A whopping big ammonite 21 inches diameter and 50 kgs prepared in our workshop. We took it outside to photograph and it drew the attention of a curious local cat who was suitably impressed, at least for a few moments.

Despite their size large ammonites are nowadays considerably easier to do with our effective fossil preparation tools and many sites formerly ignored can now 'reveal' stunning fossils

CuttleFish. Lower Jurassic. Lower Lias. Lyme Regis Dorset. A relatively unassuming beach nodule revealed during extremely careful preparation this rare fossil Cuttlefish with the tenticle hooks and ink sac still in position.

Only the finest preparation done under magnification could reveal those hooks and project what was an interesting fossil into an important and evocative one.

Ichthyosaur Paddle. Lower Jurassic. Lower Lias. Lyme Regis Dorset. A totally complete and anatomically correst paddle from this marine reptile. Collected scattered and disarticulated in a bulky and heavy block of shale, it was collected well and patiently reconstructed in our workshop with relative ease

   

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