With a profusion of scoops, ridges and crests, the character of this meteorite was enhanced by the natural sculpting that occurred during its residency on Earth. A flange extends at the upper right. The smooth flat surface at the lower right indicates where this meteorite had split apart along one of its crystalline planes. The reverse exhibits a different character with shallow thumbprint accents throughout. A superior, intriguing example.
253 x 148 x 87mm. (10 x 5¾ x 3½in.)
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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Gibeon meteorites originated 4.5 billion years ago from the core of a planetary-like body located between Mars and Jupiter whose shattered remains are part of the asteroid belt. A cataclysmic impact event ejected what was to become the Gibeon mass into interplanetary space, and Gibeon meteorites are the bounty of the meteorite shower that occurred thousands of years ago when the wandering iron mass slammed into Earth’s upper atmosphere before exploding and raining down in an elliptical strewn field in what is now the Kalahari Desert in Namibia. In previous generations, indigenous tribesmen discovered small metallic shards on Earth’s surface and fashioned them into spear points and other tools. Its final shape is the product of a fortuitous combination of variables including its composition, the soil chemistry where it landed, its orientation in the ground and the amount of groundwater to which it was exposed—all of which slowly reshaped this mass as it sat near the Earth’s surface as the seasons turned over thousands of years. In effect, this meteorite was hewn by monumental forces encountered in space, superheating upon encountering Earth’s atmosphere and exposure to the elements on Earth’s surface. Gibeon meteorites have a relatively high nickel content and if this meteorite were cut it would reveal the gleaming octahedral crystalline pattern identical to that seen in lot 10. However, this meteorite should never be cut. While the vast majority of iron meteorites are prosaically shaped, that is not the case as it regards this engaging 4.5 billion year old otherworldly form.
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 catalog note.