This meteorite is delimited by a giant hollow extending for most of its length. A second, more shallow concavity extends to its apex. The raised edges of the vertical margins attenuate to a lipped rim. The obverse is convex and exhibits the more typical undulating character of a Gibeon meteorite. This unusually-scooped meteorite is sheathed in a gunmetal patina with charcoal accents. While it can be likened to an undulating post-modern triangular form, it’s one which originated from the asteroid belt and was shaped by forces both extraterrestrial and terrestrial.
140 x 73 x 77mm (5.5 x 2.75 x 3 in.)
1.411kg (3 lbs)
Evolking the sculpture of Lyn Chadwick. The best Gibeon specimens are among the most aesthetic iron meteorites known (see lot 17) and this is an intriguing example. Like most iron meteorites, Gibeon formed 4.5 billion years ago within the molten core of an asteroid whose shattered remains resided in the asteroid belt. After wandering through interplanetary space, the Gibeon mass slammed into Earth’s atmosphere where it exploded and rained down over what is now the Kalahari Desert in Namibia. In previous generations, indigenous tribesmen recovered small meteorite fragments at or near the surface and fashioned them into spear points and other tools. This specimen was recovered with the aid of a metal detector. Its final shape is the product of numerous variables: its composition, the soil chemistry where it landed, its orientation in the ground, the amount of groundwater to which it was exposed and the amount of time that passed before it was unearthed. In effect, this meteorite was hewn by monumental forces encountered in space, frictional heating as it plunged through the Earth’s atmosphere, and weathering effects at the Earth’s surface. While most iron meteorites are prosaically shaped, that is not the case for this unusual otherworldly conversation piece, reminiscent of “Cloaked Figure VI” by the British sculptor Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003).
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.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
Need Help? Email our Specialists or call +1 212 636 2000 with questions.