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Christie's presents 'Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites'
NWA 12690 —The third largest piece of Mars on Earth. Estimate: $500,000-$800,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2022.

NEW YORK, NY.- Open for bidding from 9-23 February is Christie’s Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites online-only sale. There is something for everyone with estimates ranging from $400 to $800,000 and 62 of the 66 lots offered at no reserve.

Highlights include meteorites containing the oldest matter humankind can touch and others with gemstones from outer space. The auction also features a meteorite whose pressure wave knocked a mountain climber off his feet and another that took a cow off its feet — in the only meteorite fatality on record. There are a dozen offerings from the Moon and Mars and nearly another dozen from the most famous museums in the world. Meteorites that potentially seeded life on Earth as well as several natural sculptures from outer space are also featured — along with the most beautiful extraterrestrial substance known.

Leading the sale is NWA 12690, the third largest piece of Mars on Earth, which weighs 20 pounds (9.1 kilograms). Following an analysis by a panel of scientists, this meteorite joined the official registry of scientific record, the Meteoritical Bulletin. Specimens of Mars are by far among the rarest substances on our planet with less than 600 lb­­s (275 kg) known to exist. These samples arrived here after having been blasted off Mars following an asteroid impact and are identified by their mineralogical, chemical and isotopic signatures (estimate: $500,000 – 800,000). Several other specimens of Mars are also featured in this sale. Ranging in estimates from $5,500 to $180,000, all are available at no reserve.

At 9:07 pm on April 23, 2019, a German Shepard in Costa Rica — fittingly named “Roky” — experienced a fright when a meteorite crashed through his doghouse narrowly missing him. While scientists throughout the world are currently analyzing meteorites from this event to study their extraterrestrial organic compounds, Roky’s impacted kennel will be on display in Christie’s showroom commencing February 12th (estimate $200,000 – 300,000) along with the meteorite itself (estimate $40,000 – 60,000).

James Hyslop, Head of Science and Natural History, Christie’s, commented: “This is a really exciting auction and opportunity for collectors. Meteorites are incredibly rare objects; the combined weight of all the known meteorites is less than the annual output of gold. Ever since an exhibition in Paris featured a car famously struck by a meteorite, I’ve wanted to bring an object hit by an extraterrestrial object to auction. There are not many, and I’m thrilled to be able to now offer Roky’s celebrated meteorite-impacted doghouse and its accompanying impactor.”

This sale also features the largest single specimen of Libyan Desert Glass, the result of an enormous asteroid impact 29 million years ago which melted into sand into glass. Thousands of years ago Libyan Desert Glass was used as jewelry including in a scarab found in King Tut’s tomb. That specimen, however, wasn’t as impressive as the breathtaking example now offered weighing 58 pounds (estimate: $150,000 – 250,000).

The aforementioned glass and many of the meteorites in this sale come from the Macovich Collection whose curator, Darryl Pitt, created the now exploding market for those rarest of meteorites that qualify as natural sculpture from outer space.

Darryl Pitt, Curator, Macovich Collection, stated: “Awe and wonder seem to be in short supply these days, but not when you have in your hand an object from outer space that is older than the Earth; an object that delivered the precursors of life to our planet billions of years ago — and then billions of years later ended the reign of the dinosaurs and the opening for humankind.”

An abundance of awe and wonder are in great supply in Christie’s Deep Impact auction of important art from space.

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