Details
Dazzling crystals of olivine and peridot (birthstone of August) are seen to great effect in this three-dimensional presentation that has been lightly etched to reveal the robust Widmanstätten pattern in the metal. The crystals drape across one hemisphere of on an otherwordly globe — reminiscent of its parent asteroid having been adrift in the void of interplanetary space. This specimen originates from a meteorite that underwent a number of stages of cutting, grinding and polishing.

414in. (10.9cm.) diameter

Please note this lot is the property of a consumer. See H1 of the Conditions of Sale.
Special notice
Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm
These lots have been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Brought to you by

Lot Essay

The most beautiful extraterrestrial substances known are pallasites. They formed at the boundary of the stony mantle and molten core of an asteroid. Upon shattering following an impact with another asteroid, this “borderline” material became liberated, and a bit has landed on Earth. As one would then expect, pallasites are extremely rare and, indeed, they represent less than 0.2% of all known meteorites. The first Seymchan meteorites were found near a streambed in the Magadan district of Siberia — the location of Stalin’s infamous gulags. Most Seymchan meteorites are non-descript, prosaic masses until they are cut to reveal their splendor.

Given the amount of material lost during the grinding and polishing processes, to make a sphere of this size requires a mass nearly three times that of the sphere. A sphere provides a view of aspects of structure impossible to see in a flat surface, and now offered is a wondrous three-dimensional presentation of a pallasite — a specimen that can rightfully be considered an otherworldly crystal ball.
More from
Science and Natural History
Place your bid Condition report

A Christie's specialist may contact you to discuss this lot or to notify you if the condition changes prior to the sale.

I confirm that I have read this Important Notice regarding Condition Reports and agree to its terms. View Condition Report