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Pearl Freeman Collection

  • Post War - 
Baryte, United Kingdom, Peru, Sulphides

Pearl and her husband Sid were enthusiastic mineral collectors for several decades; Pearl was also long time treasurer of the British Micromount Society.

Pearl was an incredible correspondent and ran a very large trading and swapping business from their 2 bedroom 3rd floor flat in Haverstock Hill, London, NW3.

Through this operation and trips to places like Tucson and India, they amassed a collection of some 2500+ specimens plus boxes of swaps and resale material.

Their interest was almost universal with suites from Devon/Cornwall, North of England, Derbyshire, plus Indian Zeolites, Tsumeb, South America, USA and so on.

I first visited Pearl and Sid back in 1996 and was overwhelmed by the scale and scope of their collection and in such a small living space.

Even at that time I remember Pearl and Sid saying that the collection would be offered to the Oxford University of Natural History when it was time to pass things on.

In September 2011, this time came as Sid has passed away and Pearl's declining health meant she needed to move to adapted accommodation.

These wishes were realised when their family invited the Museum to make a selection.

Around 1,200 specimens were selected, including an exceptional suite of nearly 100 baryte specimens, fine examples of zeolite group minerals from India, and superb examples from Tsumeb mine. These are now on display (when I looked) at the Museum.

The balance of the collection, some 1,400 specimens was sold and divided between Mike Brooke at Broadstone Minerals and TVM, in late September 2011.

The collection catalogue is extensive and largely complete and contains a who's who of active mineral dealers and collectors from a period spanning from the early 1970s to the early 2000's.

Even more interesting are the names within the visitors book for people who came to their home over the years.

Even back in the days before the internet, mineral collecting was a very connected network of people.

Catalogue Information: 
Medium Paper/Diary/Notebook: 
Custodian Thames Valley Minerals
Pearl & Sid Freeman