Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    WOLD COTTAGE - THE SKY IS FALLING
    L5
    Wold Cottage, England
    Wold Cottage played a crucial role in the scientific community's acceptance that rocks could indeed fall from the sky. In 1795, Wold Cottage crashed to Earth yards from farmworker John Shipley, the only witness to the event, which proved insufficient to convince almost anyone as to what occurred. Fortunately, Shipley's boss and owner of the Wold Cottage estate was well-known bon vivant Edward Topham. Although he'd been a scandal sheet publisher and playwright, Topham had a reputation as an honest man, which proved vital in swaying public opinion in favor of accepting his workman's claim. Certain that the stone was of great import, Topham arranged to have Wold Cottage placed on public exhibition in London. The scientific community took note, especially after it compared favorably to a rock from a similar event in Siena, Italy one year earlier. Up to this point in time, such events were either simply denied, explained away, or never fell into the embrace of science (see lot 49041); the Sienna event was dismissed by many as a fantasy of overly romantic Italians, in much the same way that Thomas Jefferson dismissed the l'Aigle event (see lot 49022). The fact that two stones from different localities had important common characteristics convinced many scientists of the stones' possible extraterrestrial origins. No one, however, imagined these rocks traveled farther away than the Moon, where it was believed volcanic eruptions propelled them to Earth. The partial slice of Wold Cottage offered here is decidedly not from the Moon but the asteroid belt. Featuring a vein of impact melt arcing across its creamy matrix, metalflake scattered throughout, this is an uncommon offering of an extremely historic meteorite. 33 x 37 x 3 mm (1.33 x 1.5 x .2 inches) and 10.28 grams.

    Provenance: The Natural History Museum, London (formerly the British Museum of Natural History)




    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, 2011
    12th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,432

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

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 14 days left to consign to the 2020 April 20 Design Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    You helped me navigate unchartered territory and I do appreciate all of the work you put in to it. You are appreciated!
    Jamie W.,
    Tulsa, OK
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2019 October 15 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 October 15 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,692,116