Lot 5
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DRONINO METEORITE — NATURAL TABLETOP SCULPTURE FROM OUTER SPACE

Iron, ataxite (ungrouped)
Ryazan district, Russia
Price Realised: USD 9375.00
Estimate : USD 6,000 - 10,000
Description

Dronino evidences what is perhaps the most richly hewn surface texture of a meteorite known to exist. The face of this meteorite is defined by three sloping trapezoidal surfaces; a slight concavity punctuates the largest surface area and provides a faint zoomorphic echo to this abstract form. A pewter to platinum patina wraps this meteorite’s surface. With a reverse that is equally as engaging, this singularly evocative tabletop meteorite is accompanied by a custom armature.
152 x 137 x 71mm. (6 x 5⅓ x 2¾in.)

3.18kg. (7lbs.)

Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.

The condition of lots can vary widely and the nature of the lots sold means that they are unlikely to be in a perfect condition. Lots are sold in the condition they are in at the time of sale.


Overall in excellent condition. Please note that weights and dimensions are approximate only and that the appearance and surfaces of meteorites might change if not appropriately cared for. Proper handling and humidity control are easy to accommodate and will ensure condition is maintained, please contact the department if you would like further advice on how to live with meteorites in your collection.

Lot Essay

This is a highly aesthetic complete Dronino meteorite. The unique crenelated surface texture that is specific to this ungrouped iron is a result of Dronino’s unique chemical composition, as well as alkalinity of the soil onto which it fell and the amount of water to which it was exposed for more than 1000 years. First discovered by a mushroom hunter in 2000, specimens of the Dronino meteorite shower belong to the exclusive “ungrouped” population of iron meteorites. While 90% of iron meteorites are members of established chemical groups, the other 10% are chemically unrelated to other specimens. Dronino is one of these unusual, ungrouped irons. It was discovered outside an ancient town founded in 1152. As nothing was ever written about what would have been an exceedingly memorable event of a fireball accompanied by smoke trails and sonic booms, it’s likely that the Dronino’s arrival occurred when the area was unpopulated. Given the high degree of terrestrial weathering (which is chiefly responsible for the unusual shapes of Dronino specimens), a descent to Earth more than a millennium ago can be confidently inferred. Hewn by forces both on and off Earth, the result is this natural sculpture from outer space.

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.

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