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  • Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 23 February 2021

RESULTS: Christie's Deep Impact: Lunar, Martian and Other Rare Meteorites Totals $4,351,750 

100% OF LOTS SOLD

72 OF THE 75 LOTS SELL ABOVE HIGH ESTIMATE — MOST SUCCESSFUL METEORITE AUCTION, EVER

SPECTACULAR ORIENTED STONE METEORITE, Price realized: $175,000

New York – Christie’s Deep Impact: Martian Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites, an online-only sale of rare meteorites, shattered records totaling $4,351,750, with 100% of the lots sold. 72 of the 75 lots offered sold for more than their high estimate. A record number of bbidders participated in the category from 23 countries across 5 continents, and for 73% it was the first-time.

James Hyslop, Head of Science and Natural History, Christie’s, commented: “This record-breaking sale reached a wider audience than ever before for the category. Clients from nearly two dozen countries confirmed the universal appeal of these otherworldly works of art; and that the meteorite market is on the rise.”

Meteorites cut into slices and carved into spheres provided many of the sale’s highlights.  Leading the sale was the fourth largest slice of the Moon cut from the famed Tisserlitine 001 lunar meteorite.  Estimated to sell for $250,000 - 350,000 it surpassed its high estimate and sold for $525,000.  An extraterrestrial crystal ball from the shattered core of an ancient asteroid estimated to sell for $14,000 -18,0000 achieved $350,000.  A sphere fashioned from the lunar meteorite NWA 12691 sold for $500,000 — 20 times its high estimate of $25,000. And selling for 18 times it’s high estimate of $18,000, a Symchan sphere containing extraterrestrial gemstones in its natural metallic matrix sold for $325,000.

The smallest object in the sale, a 1.7 gram exotic sample of the planet Mars sold for $13,750—more than 100 times its weight in gold.  The most massive object in this sale, a 140 kilogram (307 lb) Gibeon iron meteorite with Macovich Collection provenance sold for $437,500.

“We find ourselves at a moment where we are more receptive to — and hungrier for — wonderment,” mused Macovich Collection curator Darryl Pitt. “Meteorites provide exceedingly well in that regard. At the turn of the 19th Century it was finally accepted rocks could fall out of the sky; today the sky is the limit.”

To illustrate that point, a Murchison meteorite containing 7 billion year old stardust sold for $40,000 (estimate: $4,000 – 6,000), and an Imilac meteorite with crystals of olivine and peridot estimated at $3,500 – 4,500 achieved $47,500.

BROWSE SALE RESULTS AND SEE A TOP TEN RESULTS ATTACHED

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.