A large end section of a Martian meteorite, packed with olivine and chromite ovoid crystals, is expected to bring $160,000+ as part of Heritage Auctions
' Nature & Science Signature® Auction June 2 in Dallas.
The auction includes a strong selection of fossils, insects preserved in amber and meteorites in addition to the landmark presentation of The Hoppel Collection, the finest and most comprehensive mineral collection to come to auction in modern times.
"The specimens in this sale represent some of the finest fossils, meteorites, and natural history items I have had the privilege to handle," said Craig Kissick, Associate Director of Nature & Science for Heritage Auctions. "This auction will appeal to everyone fascinated by natural history and truly has something for everyone even those new to this collecting genre."
Meteorites from Mars are among the most exotic substances on Earth with less than 300 pounds known to exist. The Martian specimen weighs 1.37 pounds and was jettisoned off the Red Planets surface after it was struck by an asteroid. The auction also features and polished end piece of a pallasite, formed at the dawn of the solar system and discovered in China in 2003. The specimen has the largest gem-like olivine crystals ever collected embedded in a silver nickel-ore matrix and is expected to bring $40,000+. A 16.86-pound muonionalusta iron meteorite carved and polished to create a modern work of art is expected to bring $18,000+. A similarly large-sized Chondrite meteorite weighing 19.57 pounds and discovered in Moroccos Sahara Desert is expected to bring $15,000+.
Leading the selection of artistic fossil discoveries is a rare and unusually large Gem ammonite from Alberta, Canadas famous Bearpaw Formation and prized for its iridescent colors is expected to bring $50,000+. Additional ammonite specimens include a red gem-quality Ammonite on black shale, which is expected to bring $15,000+ and a sliced ammonite pair, measuring an unusual 43 inches wide containing more than 70 distinct chambers in the shell, which is expected to bring $8,000+.
Additional fossil specimens include an elegant fossil sea lily known as a "Feather Star" and dating to the Lower Jurassic and frozen for eternity in Pyrite, is expected to bring $30,000+. Three fossilized turtle shells discovered in the U.S. Badlands represent the diversity of prehistoric life. The first is an unusually large fossil tortoise shell measuring a rare 23 inches long and expected to bring $3,500+, and the second is coloration, and expected to fetch $800+. The third discovery is a rare baby fossil tortoise shell retaining both the top (carapace) and bottom (plastron) shells and is expected to bring $400.
Additional highlights include five separate lots of prehistoric-age insects forever encased in amber, or fossilized tree sap, including a pair of midges trapped in mid-copulation, expected to bring $300, and a 16 inch long tuft of wooly mammoth wool dating to the Pleistocene, expected to fetch $400.