NEW YORK, NY.- Christies
Deep Impact: Martian Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites, an online-only sale of rare meteorites, shattered records totaling $4,351,750, with 100% of the lots sold. 72 of the 75 lots offered sold for more than their high estimate. A record number of bbidders participated in the category from 23 countries across 5 continents, and for 73% it was the first-time.
James Hyslop, Head of Science and Natural History, Christies, commented: This record-breaking sale reached a wider audience than ever before for the category. Clients from nearly two dozen countries confirmed the universal appeal of these otherworldly works of art; and that the meteorite market is on the rise.
Meteorites cut into slices and carved into spheres provided many of the sales highlights. Leading the sale was the fourth largest slice of the Moon cut from the famed Tisserlitine 001 lunar meteorite. Estimated to sell for $250,000 - 350,000 it surpassed its high estimate and sold for $525,000. An extraterrestrial crystal ball from the shattered core of an ancient asteroid estimated to sell for $14,000 -18,0000 achieved $350,000. A sphere fashioned from the lunar meteorite NWA 12691 sold for $500,000 20 times its high estimate of $25,000. And selling for 18 times its high estimate of $18,000, a Symchan sphere containing extraterrestrial gemstones in its natural metallic matrix sold for $325,000.
The smallest object in the sale, a 1.7 gram exotic sample of the planet Mars sold for $13,750more than 100 times its weight in gold. The most massive object in this sale, a 140 kilogram (307 lb) Gibeon iron meteorite with Macovich Collection provenance sold for $437,500.
We find ourselves at a moment where we are more receptive to and hungrier for wonderment, mused Macovich Collection curator Darryl Pitt. Meteorites provide exceedingly well in that regard. At the turn of the 19th Century it was finally accepted rocks could fall out of the sky; today the sky is the limit.
To illustrate that point, a Murchison meteorite containing 7 billion year old stardust sold for $40,000 (estimate: $4,000 6,000), and an Imilac meteorite with crystals of olivine and peridot estimated at $3,500 4,500 achieved $47,500.