Details
Lot Description:
This complete stone evidences wildly different characteristics. From one perspective it exhibits one of the more enigmatic shapes of a meteorite ever seen: a seeming layering and intertwining of curved conduits. On the reverse is a long edge of aerodynamic thumbprinting often seen on meteorites, here as a superlative example. In effect, its appearance is primitively biomorphic on one side and decidedly extraterrestrial on the other. A small core sample was taken from the reverse to facilitate analysis and classification. With a variegated warm-hued patina and metallic flake accents scattered across the surface enigmatic meteorite is compelling in any orientation. Modern burnishing.
110 x 237 x 188mm (4.33 x 9.33 x 7.4 in.)
6.885kg (15.1 lbs)

Among the most unusual and enigmatically shaped meteorites on-record, the stone meteorite now offered, NWA 13203, was found less than a year ago in the Sahara Desert by Berber nomads. It is the 13,203rd meteorite recovered from the North West African grid of the Sahara Desert to be analyzed and classified. The analysis was conducted by one of the world’s foremost meteorite classifiers, Dr. Anthony Irving. Originating from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, it is unclear how the meteorite acquired its fascinating shape except to suggest it’s a combination of atmospheric sculpting during its fiery plunge to Earth and the sculpting that occurs once on Earth. There are only a handful of meteorites known to have the particular presentation seen here. Evocative of what would be among the best Ken Price sculptures, the seemingly flexible contoured tube-like morphology is a counterpoint to both the extraterrestrial nature of this material as well as what is seen on the other side: highly articulated oriented regmaglypts. Unlike the overwhelming majority of meteorites, this specimen plunged to Earth without tumbling or inverting. In what is an extremely rare presentation of a meteorite that appears both primordial and organic, this a notable offering of a meteorite Ken Price would have loved.

Christie's would like to thank Dr. Alan E. Rubin at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles for his assistance in preparing this catalogue.
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