Next week, Bonhams will be holding another of its natural history auctions, and space collectors will be delighted to hear that the meteorite section is especially strong this time round with something for every particular taste on offer including some truly breathtaking examples.
Few pieces fit that description better than lot 3209, a Brenham meteorite end piece - Brenham being a Pallasitic American meteorite discovered in Kansas.
Brenham meteorites have been found in Indian burial mounds as far away as Ohio, and while they appear to be the first, Native Americans were not alone in being intrigued by these beautiful stones.
In the late 19th century, a young homesteader named Eliza Kimberly began collecting what she believed to be meteorites. Her suspicions were confirmed in 1882 when scientists affirmed the meteoritic origin of several of the rocks Eliza found, and the area was dubbed "The Kansas Meteorite Farm."
In 1929, the "Father of Meteoritics," Dr. H. H. Nininger visited the farm and located numerous large specimens. This history inspired modern-day meteorite hunters to re-plot the strewnfield in 2005 and their search that resulted in a discovery of a very large meteorite, the main mass of the Brenham, in Greensburg, Kansas.
This was hailed as the most significant American meteorite discovery in decades. In addition to the main mass, several smaller stony iron masses were also found along the strewnfield.
Filled with hundreds of gleaming circular olivine crystals, characteristic of Brenham meteorites, this is a superlative example of an end piece with its gleaming polished face, and it is one of the larger Brenhams to be offered at public auction.
Meteorites with crystalline material such as that seen here are referred to as pallasites - which represent less than 1% of all known meteorites. The stunning example here (26.8kg!) is listed at $30,000-40,000 and will make someone an excellent investment.
Shallower-pocketed pallasite-hunters may also wish to take a look at an 80.5g slice of the Fukang meteorite, which is available with an estimate of $1,000-1,500 in the sale which takes place in New York on May 17.
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