Stuart Wilensky, one of the most prominent American dealers in ultrafine specimens, began publishing a series of beautiful hardcover picture books in 2005. These books, intended for private distribution, depict specimens which he has sold in the past, so none of the pictured items are currently for sale (by him, at least). A dealer’s long-time reputation is based, to a large extent, on the specimens that have passed through his hands over the years, and Stuart decided that he wanted to preserve some record of that. Fortunately he is a decent photographer, and had recorded many of the specimens on film before selling them, so when the time came he was all set to self-publish the books.
Stuart issued the fourth volume in the series recently, and it is impressive indeed — over 200 photos of exquisite world-class mineral specimens, many of them shown from several different directions, in a graphic style unique to Stuart. There is no accompanying text other than captions and Stuart’s thought-provoking editorial, so it’s not a textbook of any kind, just a pleasurable aesthetic experience in the enjoyment of beautiful minerals that have by now disappeared into private collections around the world.