Fossil Easter Eggs

I thought I’d have a seasonal theme the my last post before the Easter holidays with these fossilised eggs and nest.

We’re not sure where they came from or how old they are, but they are probably Victorian.

They either formed when a nest and eggs fell from a low branch into a calcium carbonate rich stream or they were placed in calcium rich waters as a curiosity.

If water is super concentrated in calcium carbonate, it can form deposits on anything it touches. I know this sounds strange, but people throughout time have been fascinated by turning things into stone and are still doing it. One of the best examples in the north is Mother Shipton’s Cave, in Knaresborough.

All sorts of things from hats to teddy bears, are placed in the water and gradually turn to stone in just a few years. Worth a visit of you are in that direction over Easter.

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2 Responses

  1. The main source for these birds nests were the Derbyshire petrifaction industry. I think there was a real centre around Matlock (people went for the “regenerative” qualities of the waters, such as the Darwins and the Wedgwoods, and the locals fleeced them with the petrifactions).

    With the booming trade in “natural curios” from the late 1700s onwards, there were people who actually gave their job title as “Petrifactor” or “Petrifactioner” and produced quite a few of these. As you say, this is almost certainly one from the mid-late 1800s.

  2. Thanks David,

    I guess there are a few of these in museum up and down the country.

    David

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