A SYLACAUGA METEORITE
Talladega County, Alabama (33°14’ N, 86°17’ W)
This fresh partial slice has two edges of fusion crust delimiting its grey matrix with a rich profusion of iron-nickel flakes suspended throughout. Modern cutting.
39 x 32 x 2 mm (½ x ¼ x ⅛in.)
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Dr. James Schwade Meteorite Collection, Kankakee, IL
Swindel, G. W. and Jones, W. B. (1954). "The Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama, Aerolite: A Recent Meteoritic Fall That Injured A Human Being." Meteoritics, 1(2), 125–132.
Nobel, J. (2013). “The True Story of History's Only Known Meteorite Victim.” National Geographic. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
Please note that this lot is the property of a private collector.
Second image: Photo by Jay Leviton/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images.
AN IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING NEW YORK SALES TAX
Christie's is required to collect New York sales tax for any property purchased in this sale if (a) either you or your agent (including a contract carrier) collect the property in New York (even if New York is not the final destination) or (b) Christie's arranges shipment of the property into New York State. The amount of New York sales tax varies depending on the location of the shipment within New York State. We recommend that you obtain your own independent tax advice if you have further questions.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
Need Help? Email our Specialists or call +1 212 636 2002 with questions.
The only documented instance of a meteorite injuring a person occurred on November 30, 1954 at 2:46 pm in Sylacauga, Alabama. The fireball from which the meteorite originated was seen in broad daylight across three states and its descent was accompanied by sonic booms. Some eyewitnesses thought a plane had crashed; others felt this extraordinary event was the nefarious doings of the Soviets — the result of rampant Cold War paranoia. Two meteorites were recovered. One crashed through the roof of Ann and Eugene Hodge’s home, where it bounced off a radio and struck Ann Hodges while she napped. While Hodges and her landlord fought over the meteorite’s ownership, the U.S. Air Force took custody. While the law favored the landlord, public sentiment was solidly behind Hodges, who exclaimed, “God intended it to hit me. After all, it hit me!” The second meteorite was found by a local farmer, Julius McKinney, who quickly sold his specimen to the Smithsonian. The proceeds from this sale enabled McKinney to purchase a new car and home. The Hodges finally owned the meteorite that punctured their roof (and almost Ann herself) after a year of legal wrangling and a payout to their landlord. However, interest had waned during the course of the year and when the Hodges couldn’t find a buyer, they donated the rock to the Alabama Museum of Natural History. Never having recovered from the emotional distress associated with these events, Ann Hodges suffered a nervous breakdown and died at the age of 52.
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 note.
Additional charges, including buyer’s premium, value added, sales or compensating use or equivalent tax, any and all shipping expenses, including costs, packing and handling, any loss/damage liability fees, customs duty, import tax, any local clearance fees applicable for your country, and all other applicable charges will apply.
In addition to the hammer price, the buyer agrees to pay to us the buyer’s premium together with any applicable VAT, sales, compensating use or equivalent tax in the place of sale. Please refer to our Conditions of Sale for further details on buyer's premium.
VAT: All lots shall be sold as part of the Margin Scheme unless stated with the Dagger symbol (†) or the words “Dagger Lot”, the Omega symbol (Ω) or the words “Omega Lot”, the Star symbol (*) or the words “Starred Lot” or with the Theta symbol (θ) or the words "Zero-rated Lot." Please refer to our Conditions of Sale for further information on VAT symbols.
You are responsible for any VAT (including any Import VAT) payable as a result of the sale of the lot. VAT charges and refunds depend on the particular circumstances of the buyer. In all circumstances EU and UK law takes precedence. For the purposes of this online-only auction, the VAT amount in the buyer’s premium for EU private buyers cannot be refunded. For buyers outside the EU, VAT may be refunded if certain conditions are met including showing proof of a ‘controlled’ export outside the EU within 30 days of shipment (for lots marked with the Star symbol (*) or the words “Starred Lot”, or with the Omega symbol (Ω) or the words “Omega Lot”, on Temporary Admission) and for all other lots proof of export within 3 months of shipping. For buyers outside the EU where items are shipped outside the EU through Christie’s Art Transport, you will not be required to pay the VAT at settlement. Please contact Christie’s Client Services on +44 (0) 207 839 9060 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
For details on private and company bidding registration, tax information (including refunds and exemptions), and CITES lots, please see our FAQs and Conditions of Sale or contact us by email at email@example.com or by telephone on +44 (0) 20 7839 9060.
You must pay the full amount due (comprising the hammer price, buyer’s premium, any applicable value added, sales, compensating use or equivalent tax, any and all shipping expenses, including costs, packing and handling, any loss/damage liability fees and all other applicable charges) no later than 23:59 (GMT) on Monday 15 May 2017. This applies even if you wish to export the lot and an export license is, or may be, required. You will not acquire title and own the lot until all amounts due to Christie’s have been received by Christie’s in full and funds cleared.
Provided that your purchased lots are paid for in full and funds cleared by the payment deadline, Christie’s will store your purchased lots free of charge until the relevant deadline for shipment, at which time purchases will be shipped to you at your expense and pursuant to the instructions you provided at the time of payment. You must indicate if you wish to have your purchases shipped domestically or internationally at the time of checkout. Payment for your purchase, including any applicable charges for shipping, and a provision of your final shipping destination, must be returned to Christie’s by the payment deadline to qualify for this extended free-of-charge storage. If shipping arrangements have not been confirmed for any items sold or such items have not been paid for in full, and funds cleared by the payment deadline, administration and handling fees may be charged at Christie’s full discretion. If such shipments can be facilitated, purchases will be shipped to the address you provide at checkout. Purchases cannot be delivered to P.O. boxes. Please ask for details from your customs agent, applicable government entity or other organization.
If you opt to collect your purchase(s) at Christie's, 85 Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3LD, UK, please kindly email Christie’s Client Service centre at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your collection at least 48 hours in advance and to secure any relevant forms. Payment must be made online prior to collection.
If you do not collect your purchase(s) within two weeks after sale close Christie’s reserves the right ship them to you at your expense.
Should you send someone to collect your purchase(s) on your behalf, please complete a Letter of Authorization and send it to us at email@example.com prior to collection. Your representative must present a valid picture ID at the time of collection, such as a driver’s license or passport.