Argentinian meteorite strikes the auction block at Bonhams, today

As we've reported, Bonhams' annual Gentleman's Library Sale is offering one of Churchill's cigars, a 35 million years old fossilised giant pig, a silver wheelbarrow presented to W E Gladstone, historic butterfly cabinets from the Natural History Museum and Christmas presents from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The auction, which always specialises in an eclectic, yet valuable mix of unique items from silverware through primitive art and early science to remarkable expressions of nature, has previously included the towering skeleton of an Ice Age bear.

However, we shouldn't miss out an opportunity specifically for space collectors nestled in amongst the other eye-popping lots. Hidden away in the Natural History section is a meteorite.

Specifically, it is a piece of a familiar iron meteorite: the octahedrite which fell on Campo del Cielo, Argentina. It weighs 13.5kg and measures 20x12x18cm.

Campo del Cielo meteorite pieces are highly variable in consistency, with specimens ranging from quite rusty to crumbly and unstable. But they are consistently valuable: a vast 850lb piece sold for $26,840 at Bonhams in December 2010, whilst a whopping 161kg piece sold for $91,375 at the auction house in 2006.

The piece going under the hammer today is a relatively modest example, but still a good investment, and carries a £1,200-1,600 ($1,900-2,500) estimate in the auction which is starting now in London and online (the meteorite is likely to sell in the early afternoon).


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