THE SKY IS FALLING!
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of one of the most
The plunge of the Peekskill fireball in October 1992 is the most videotaped meteorite descent
NEW YORK, NY. OCTOBER 1, 2012 — The sky will be falling on Sunday, October 14th at the Fletcher Sinclair Mansion in New York City, when Heritage Auctions — the third largest auction house in the world — will offer 125 select meteorites. While important specimens of the Moon and Mars and featured, there will also be many meteorites offered at no reserve — and many with museum provenance — so there is something for everyone.
This sale is to occur on the 20th Anniversary of the arrival of the Peekskill fireball — the most videotaped descent of a meteorite of all time. Video cameras turned skyward when Peekskill was screaming across the sky during Friday night high school games across the East Coast. In its final act, Peekskill burnished its legacy by smashing a Chevy Malibu just fifty miles outside of Manhattan on October 9, 1992. A large portion of this renowned meteorite (one of the Science Channel's "Top Ten"), is being offered along with artifacts associated with the car.
The largest piece of the Moon ever to be auctioned is also in this sale. Split into halves, only 135 pounds of the Moon is available to the public (Apollo mission material is not), and this is a superlative example of one of the rarest naturally occurring substances on Earth. Moreover, as this specimen's surface area relative to its mass is so much greater than any of the largest Moon rocks — including Apollo material — it's unrivaled for exhibition purposes. It will also sell for as little as $228/gram — including the buyer's commission — which makes this among the least expensive offerings of the Moon on record (estimate: $340,000 - 380,000).
Another centerpiece of this offering is a large fragment of the Tissint Martian meteorite — which perfectly fits and locks into the large 2.5 pound fragment that is now a centerpiece at the Natural History Museum in London. Said Dr. Caroline Smith of the Natural History Museum, "This is a pristine sample of Mars and the most important meteorite shower in 100 years." With the best Earthly provenance imaginable, this matching segment to a museum crown jewel is estimated to sell for $230,000-260,000.
Said Darryl Pitt, Heritage meteorite consultant and Macovich Collection curator: "If you wish to experience the marvels of Earth, go to museums and travel. If you wish to begin to contemplate the marvels of the universe, touch a meteorite."
The largest slice of the most famous meteorite in the world is also for sale. While acquiring a specimen of a centerpiece exhibit at a major museum is virtually unheard of, now offered is the largest complete slice from the 15-ton Willamette meteorite, a centerpiece of the American Museum of Natural History. It is estimated to sell for $85,000-110,000. To compliment the largest slice, the smallest slice is also being offered ($11,000 - $13,000). Another noteworthy offering is the most massive slab of a meteorite ever auctioned. Originally from the Western Australian Museum in Perth, this striking extraterrestrial tabletop measures three feet across, and is estimated at $120,000-140,000.
Among the smaller historic examples, there is a partial slice of a French meteorite with British Museum of Natural History provenance that fell in 1492 and was chained up in a church so it couldn't fly back into the sky ($4,000-5,000).
On October 14th, expect this specimen, and others, to go through the roof.
Heritage Auctions - Important Meteorites
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