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    Description

    Willamette Meteorite - Partial Slice from the Crown Jewel of Meteorites
    Iron, IIIAB (medium octahedrite; shocked and recrystallized)
    Clackamas County, Oregon, USA


    This is a rare specimen of the most famous meteorite in the world-the 15.5 ton Willamette meteorite, the centerpiece exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City.

    Willamette is the second largest meteorite found in North America. As it was found atop the Earth's surface in an Oregon forest, scientists believe it landed in Canada or Montana and was deposited in Oregon by a glacier during the last ice age. In Clackamas Indian tradition, the meteorite, called "Tomanowas" was delivered from the Moon to the Clackamas from the beginning of time and carried messages from the spirit world. Following an extremely colorful period of contested ownership and lawsuits, when the meteorite was on exhibit at the World's Fair in the early 1900s, it was sold by the Oregon Iron and Steel Company to Mrs. William Dodge who donated it to The American Museum of Natural History. The Willamette meteorite was initially featured in the Hayden Planetarium when it first opened, and, according to The New York Times, an estimated 50 million people have seen or touched this meteorite during its 100+ years of museum exhibition. In 1997, the crown section was cut from the top of the main mass to reveal to the public Willamette's unique internal crystalline matrix. The partial slice now offered was removed from this same 13 kilogram crown section and features Willamette's signature recrystallized Widmanst├Ątten pattern, the latticework of its metallic grains. In an agreement between the Museum and a Native American organization, the Willamette meteorite will never again be cut.

    One cannot acquire a piece of the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum or a carat or two of the Hope Diamond from the Smithsonian, and thus this is a rare collecting opportunity: the ability to acquire a specimen of a conspicuously missing section of a centerpiece exhibit at a world renowned museum.
    Overall Measurements: 1.66 x 1 x 0.1 inches (4.21 x 2.54 x 0.25 cm), weighs 17.27 grams

    Provenance: Macovich Collection of Meteorites

    [Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]


    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
    August, 2018
    18th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,198

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