A gogotte is a millions-of-years old naturally shaped mineral rarity consisting of tiny quartz fragments held together by calcium carbonate. As an underground water stream slowly filters through sand, these tears of stone are frozen upside down in eternal flight. The most prized examples of gogottes are found in Fontainebleau, France, the site of the Imperial Palace of Napoleon I, where they have been protected in a sandy basin for over 30 million years. Louis XIV of France, known as the Sun King, commissioned similar gogottes to be excavated for his gardens. The ornately rounded, scrolling formations—somewhat Baroque in design—have been restored to their original state surrounding the mysterious Grove of the Three Fountains designed by Le Nôtre in 1677. Known to have inspired artists from the Surrealist Art movement, including Jean Arp, these wonderful forms can compare to the most beautiful modern sculpture. A particularly well-preserved example of a sandstone concretion is on display at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.. See also three other gogotte formations in this sale, lots 3010, 3023 and 3057.