Sculptural Meteorites Defy Gravity At Christie's

70-Pound Meteorite From Meteor Crater, Arizona, Fetches A Record $237,500

March 9, 2018

Science and natural history are growing categories in the marketplace. Meteorite prices skyrocketed at Christie's recent online sale, "Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites," held from Feb. 7 to 14. Of the 44 lots available, 82 percent of the lots sold, and more than a dozen sold for more than their high estimate.
The star of the sale was a meteorite from Meteor Crater, Ariz. Nearly 50,000 years ago it was part of a small asteroid that plowed into the Arizona desert with the force of more than 100 atomic bombs, creating the most famous and best-preserved meteorite crater on Earth. Evocative of a Henry Moore sculpture, this 70-pound meteorite from the Macovich collection was estimated to sell for $150,000-$250,000, and sold for $237,500.
"While the worldÂ’s fascination with meteorites is roaring, the market for sculptural iron meteorites has exploded, and rightly so. Less than two percent of all meteorites are of the iron variety, and less than five percent of those are aesthetic and deservedly regarded as natural sculpture from outer space," said Macovich curator Darryl Pitt.
Estimated to sell for $10,000-$15,000, an unusual, highly textured iron meteorite from Russia, whose appearance has more in common with a monolithic modern sculpture than a meteorite, went for $81,250. A captivating three-pound totem-like iron meteorite estimated to sell for $1,000-$1,500 sold for $10,625. A half-pound specimen of the planet Mars sold for $47,500, and, not to be outdone, a meteorite with extraterrestrial gemstones estimated at $1,200-$1,800 went for $5,250.
The future of meteorites is bright. "The meteorite market is in its nascent stage," said Pitt. "Highly aesthetic meteorites are penetrating the art market and will soon be selling for an order of magnitude more than what was seen today."
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