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    Description

    CANYON DIABLO - NATURAL, PRIMITIVE TABLETOP SCULPTURE FROM THE BEST PRESERVED METEORITE CRATER ON EARTH
    Iron, coarse octahedrite
    Meteor Crater, Coconino County, Arizona

    Like most meteorites, the present specimen originated in the asteroid belt, but approximately 45,000 years ago this specimen was part of an errant asteroid that plowed into the Arizona desert with the force of more than 100 atomic bombs. While fragments were ejected more than 11 miles away from the point of impact, the main mass vaporized, creating the most famous and best-preserved meteorite crater in the world, the renowned "Meteor Crater" near Winslow, Arizona, nearly one mile across and 600 feet deep. Canyon Diablo ("Canyon of the Devil") is the quintessential American meteorite, prized by museums and private collectors everywhere, and this is a superb tabletop example. Blanketed in a platinum to smoky patina and seemingly bowed to the right with radiating soft ridges, a deep socket is seen in the lower left, undoubtedly where a graphite nodule had been ejected from the nickel-iron mass during impact.
    It was in 1903 that businessman Daniel M. Barringer reasoned that the suspicious crater in the desert floor had to have been created by an enormous mass weighing millions of tons and he believed this mass, worth a fortune in iron and nickel, lay under the crater's base. Barringer filed a mining claim on the site that later became known as "Barringer's Crater." A small fortune was spent on drilling that went on for decades and no large mass was ever found. Unfortunately for Barringer, an asteroid far smaller than what he imagined would possess sufficient energy to blow such a huge hole in the desert floor... and it would generate enough heat to vaporize much of its mass. In effect, the mass that Barringer spent the last thirty years of his life searching for didn't exist. But this select example of extraterrestrial Americana does, and Meteor Crater, which is still owned by the Barringer family, is still a sight to behold. 179 x 144 x 89 mm (7 x 5½ x 3½ inches) and 5999 grams (13.2 pounds).




    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    6th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,670

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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