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Mineral Specimens - page 21
The Folch Collection

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Carles Curto Text: Carles Curto (former Geology Museum, Barcelona curator) & Jordi Fabre
Assistance from John S. White (former Smithsonian curator) John S. White

 


The Folch Collection

The Folch Collection was known during the period 1960-1980 as one of the best private collections in the world. It was famous worldwide for its size (more than 15,000 specimens), the quality of the specimens, the large number of classic specimens which are now almost impossible to obtain, and the style of the collection, which is surprisingly 'modern'. Sr. Folch (Joaquín Folch Girona) collected during a period when the style of most collectors in Europe consisted of gathering large specimens of rare minerals, and in which esthetics and perfection were not that important. That said he actually tended to collect smaller specimens that were esthetic and, when possible, damage free. On the death of Sr. Folch, in 1984, the collection passed to his son Alberto, and when he in turn died it went to his grandson Joaquín Folch who wisely decided to keep the collection exactly as his grandfather had it (including the display cases). So the collection was kept together and its enormous historical value has not been lost.

While I was a teenager I had the luck to have been warmly invited by Sr. Folch to visit the collection. I made numerous visits, and with him beside me I obtained an enormous amount of mineralogical information which went far beyond what I would have learned anywhere else. Given this experience I have always had a strong connection with the collection.

During my ongoing contacts with the Folch family a moment arrived when they expressed their desire to update the collection so as to make it more current - since 1984 nothing new had been added so there was a significant gap in the minerals found since then. After lots of friendly and unhurried discussions the Folch family asked me to help them with this updating process. To do this we had the good fortune that the collection included many attractive duplicates. These duplicates do not add much to the Folch collection, as there are other examples of all of them, but given their unusual localities and/or high quality they still represent good commercial specimens.

So, for the first time, some of the duplicate specimens from the Folch Collection are emerging into the sunlight. Each one of them has hand written notes made by Sr. Folch himself as well as, in many cases, his personal label and number (in the case that they were part of the major collection). The duplicates will be sold during the shows that we normally attend, and also through our web site and store in Barcelona (you need to arrange a visit beforehand, which we will try to find a way of accommodating visitors)

This project will take us a long time, as the specimens available are numerous and neither the family nor I wish to make the choices too quickly. The idea is to work slowly and select the pieces in a very systematic and careful manner. We think that given the special characteristics of the specimens that will be available and their historical value this will be a great chance for many collectors to obtain pieces that would otherwise have remained pure dreams.

We hope that little by little we can satisfy all those that wish to acquire a duplicate from the Folch collection and we can assure them that this task will give us far more pleasure than simple economic benefits. Sr. Folch was my spiritual father in mineralogical terms so handling his minerals and helping to improve his collection with new purchases is a fantastic sensation for me because the profits gained from the sale of these duplicates are used to acquire more contemporary specimens, thus satisfying the family's desire to update the collection.

I cannot thank the Folch family enough for their good faith and for their wish to improve the collection. They are helped by the undeniable support and enthusiasm of Francisco Riquelme, the current conservator of the collection, and between them they have taken a step that many people have wished them to take and that will give great joy to collectors worldwide, as well as increasing interest in and knowledge of the Folch collection in Spain and the rest of the world.

 


1926: Mineralogical Society, Jubilee Celebration.
Sr. Folch is the third from the right in the first row on foot

 

 

 


Sr. Folch holding an Apatite from Panasqueira

 

 

 

 

Typical handwritten labels from the Folch Collection

 



Typical record from the Folch Collection

 

Link to sold specimens from the Folch Collection 

SPAIN


Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla
Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla. Front
Front
Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla. Rear
Rear
Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla.
Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla

RF13AE6: Leafy aggregates, some of them radial, of very well defined tabular Tyrolite crystals with an excellent silky luster and deep green color. They are on matrix with Azurite and Chrysocolla.
The sample is from the Joaquín Folch duplicates collection, whose label we’ll send to the buyer.
Mina Delfina, Hoyos de Alda, Ortiguero, Prado, Cabrales, Asturias  Spain (1960)

Specimen size: 5.7 × 3.8 × 2.4 cm = 2.2” × 1.5” × 0.9”

With handwritten note from the Folch Collection (duplicates)




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Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla
Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla

RA26AE6: Leafy aggregates, some of them radial, of very well defined tabular Tyrolite crystals with an excellent silky luster and deep green color. They are on matrix with Azurite and Chrysocolla.
The sample is from the Joaquín Folch duplicates collection, whose label we’ll send to the buyer.
Mina Delfina, Hoyos de Alda, Ortiguero, Prado, Cabrales, Asturias  Spain (1960)

Specimen size: 6 × 3.4 × 2.4 cm = 2.4” × 1.3” × 0.9”

Main crystal size: 0.8 × 0.4 cm = 0.3” × 0.2”

With handwritten note from the Folch Collection (duplicates)




Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla. Tyrolite with Azurite and Chrysocolla.
Order
Cobaltoan Calcite
Cobaltoan Calcite. Front
Front
Cobaltoan Calcite. Top
Top
Cobaltoan Calcite. Bottom
Bottom
Cobaltoan Calcite. Side
Side
Cobaltoan Calcite

RB27AE6: Banded growths of cobaltoan Calcite with a very intense color alternating with fine bands of white and yellowish Calcite. The sample, in spite its fine surface, hasn't been acid-etched, as its rough surfaces in most areas and the existence of easily altered carbonates proves.
The sample is from the Joaquín Folch duplicates collection, whose label we’ll send to the buyer.
Solita Mine, Peramea, Baix Pallars, Comarca Pallars Sobirà, Lleida/Lérida, Catalonia  Spain

Specimen size: 14.4 × 9.1 × 5.6 cm = 5.7” × 3.6” × 2.2”

Fluorescence short UV & minor fluorescence long UV

With handwritten note from the Folch Collection (duplicates)




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EUROPE (excl. Spain and Portugal)


Switzerland

Calcite (variety "papierspat") with Chlorite, Orthoclase and Quartz
Calcite (variety

VF37AE7: Floater aggregate of Calcite crystals with oriented faces forming parallel growths of extraordinarily flattened crystals (a habit that is well known as “papierspat.” The aggregate is partially coated, mainly on the back, by Chlorite, very sharp Orthoclase (adularia variety) crystals and small Quartz crystals.
The sample is from the duplicates collection of Joaquín Folch, whose label we’ll send to the buyer.
Griesseren Valley, Maderanertal, Uri  Switzerland (±1952)

Specimen size: 9.7 × 6.2 × 5 cm = 3.8” × 2.4” × 2.0”

Main crystal size: 5.8 × 3.2 cm = 2.3” × 1.3”

Minor fluorescence short UV

With handwritten note from the Folch Collection (duplicates)




Calcite (variety
Front
Calcite (variety
Rear
Order

Italy

Phosgenite with Galena
Phosgenite with Galena. Phosgenite with Galena.
Phosgenite with Galena

VT91AE5: Partially doubly terminated Phosgenite crystal with the very well defined prismatic and pinacoidal forms. It is translucent, has a pale brown color and it is on a matrix of granular Galena. A good European classic.
Monteponi Mine, Iglesias, Carbonia-Iglesias Province, Sardinia / Sardegna  Italy

Specimen size: 5.7 × 3.3 × 4.5 cm = 2.2” × 1.3” × 1.8”

Main crystal size: 2 × 1.7 cm = 0.8” × 0.7”

Fluorescent long & short UV

With handwritten note from the Folch Collection (duplicates)




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AFRICA


Tsumeb

Smithsonite
Smithsonite

RB26AE6: An aggregate, on matrix, of rhombohedral Smithsonite crystals with very well defined finely curved edges, they are between translucent and transparent, bright and have a very uniform pale salmon pink color.
The sample is from the Joaquín Folch duplicates collection, whose label we’ll send to the buyer.
Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region  Namibia

Specimen size: 6.3 × 5.6 × 1.8 cm = 2.5” × 2.2” × 0.7”

Main crystal size: 0.8 × 0.4 cm = 0.3” × 0.2”

With handwritten note from the Folch Collection (duplicates)




Smithsonite. Smithsonite.
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