On the evening of October 15, 1972 farmhands in Trujillo, Venezuela were startled by an inexplicable sonic boom. The next day a strange rock was found alongside a cow’s carcass whose neck and clavicle had been pulverized. It was obvious to the farm’s owner, physician Dr. Argimiro Gonzalez, what had occurred, but he didn’t give it a second thought since mayhem from meteorites seemed intuitive. An unplanned steak dinner was enjoyed that night and the celestial boulder was used as a doorstop. More than a decade later scientists confirmed what Dr. Gonzalez had long presumed. However, what Dr. Gonzalez did not know was that this was the first and still the only documented fatal meteorite impact. When Dr. Ignacio Ferrin, an astronomer at the University of the Andes, learned of the act of bovicide that had occurred at Valera, he visited the Gonzalez estate and left with an affidavit affirming the aforementioned events as well as the meteorite itself. A facsimile of the affidavit accompanies the lot.

Two cut and polished faces intersect at a right angle on this fragment. Sparkling metallic grains are seen suspended throughout the matrix with one particularly large 7-mm metallic inclusion in evidence. The reverse has a slightly rough texture and the milk-chocolate hued mottling seen on the polished surface is more muted.

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

45 x 45 x 43mm (1.75 x 1.75 x 1.66 in.) and 95.1g
Collection of Dr. Ignacio Ferrin, Mérida, Venezuela
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