Details
Two steep grooves animate this totem-like, fetish-shaped meteorite. A flattened flange near the base indicates where this meteorite naturally split along a crystalline plane after hitting Earth’s atmosphere. The reverse is slightly rounded. All ridges are smooth and the surface texture is finely stippled in a light charcoal patina with pewter accents. Accompanied by a custom armature.
134 x 72 x 41mm. (5¼ x 2¾ x 1⅔in.)

1205g. (2⅔lbs)
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Lot Essay

Thousands of years after having collided with Earth, Campo del Cielo (“Valley of the Sky”) meteorites were first written about in 1576 by Spanish explorers in Argentina when their unearthly origins were not yet understood. It was a “Campo” that was the first large meteorite displayed at the British Museum of Natural History, and several large Campo del Cielo masses can be found today in the finest museums in the world.

Campo del Cielo meteorites formed as a result of two asteroids colliding at cosmic velocity in interplanetary space. When a large fragment from one of these asteroids hit Earth’s upper atmosphere 6,000 years ago, the pressure created caused it to explode and break into thousands of pieces. The larger meteorites struck the ground at such a high velocity that an array of at least 26 impact craters formed, the largest measuring a football field in diameter.

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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