Online, 23 March – 6 April
Meteorites contain mysteries about what lies beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, and many have travelled far and wide to discover more about these otherworldly materials. From the subarctic tundra of Norrbotten in northern Sweden to the tropical climate of Pernambuco in Brazil, scientists and explorers trek through difficult terrains to be the first to reach these mysterious extraterrestrial rocks. Illustrated by specimens from our upcoming online auction of Meteorites from the Collection of Michael Farmer, follow us as we explore their unique journey from outer space into our world.

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THE SANTA FILOMENA MAIN MASS

In the mild Brazilian winter of August 2020, a bright fireball tainted the blue sky, and with a loud bang it descended into the western region of Pernambuco state. Shortly after, the small town of Santa Filomena began to fill with researchers, collectors, meteorite hunters and buyers from across the world, eager to get their hands on a piece of meteorite fresh from space. On offer is the dense 38.3kg main mass of what became known as one of the largest meteorites to land in Brazil.

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THE SANTA FILOMENA MAIN MASS
Chondrite – H5-6
Pernambuco, Brazil
Estimate: £150,000–250,000
SLICE OF ESQUEL PALLASITE

Pallasites are not only rare, constituting just 0.2% of all known meteorites, they are also considered the most beautiful extraterrestrial substance known — and samples from Esquel are among the most sought-after. Despite its splendour, the falling of this pallasite meteorite was not observed and was inadvertently found in 1951 by a farmer in Esquel, Argentina. The beauty of this meteorite is perfectly captured in this specimen, featuring gem-quality olivine or peridot, splendidly embedded within the nickel-iron matrix.

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SLICE OF ESQUEL PALLASITE
Pallasite
Chubut, Argentina
Estimate: £20,000–30,000
A MUONIONALUSTA METEORITE END PIECE

The Muonionalusta meteorite impacted the Earth over one million years ago, making it the oldest discovered extraterrestrial rock. Since landing on Earth, this meteorite has withstood four ice ages and has been preserved by the permafrost and glaciers of the subarctic tundra in northern Scandinavia. The first fragment of the Muonionalusta was found in 1906 near the village of Kitkiöjärviin, Sweden, and merely 40 pieces are known to exist, making this an extremely rare specimen. Due to its historic significance, fragments of the Muonionalusta meteorite are held by numerous institutions worldwide, including the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, USA.

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A MUONIONALUSTA METEORITE END PIECE

Octahedrite, type IVA
Norrbotten, Sweden
Estimate: £8,000–12,000
A SPECTACULAR HENBURY METEORITE

The Henbury meteorite fell 4,700 years ago in what is now Northern Territory, Australia. The meteorite broke into fragments as it fell, producing over a dozen craters as they hit the Earth. For centuries the Henbury craters remained a mystery, until in 1931, a prospector recognised a piece of meteoric iron on the craters. Following this discovery, pieces of the meteorite were collected from the site, some of which were sent to the Natural History Museum in London, where they remain today.

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A SPECTACULAR HENBURY METEORITE

Iron medium octahedrite
Northern Territory, Australia
Estimate: £15,000–25,000
MICHEAL FARMER: MY LIFE AS A METEORITE HUNTER

Over the course of nearly 30 years, Michael Farmer has pursued meteorites around the globe, encountering many dangers along the way. As treasures from his collection are offered online, he talks to Christie’s about the passion that has fuelled an extraordinary career.

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THE SANTA FILOMENA MAIN MASS
Pernambuco, Brazil
Estimate: £150,000–250,000
Find out more
-37.946777
-8.472372
SLICE OF ESQUEL PALLASITE
Chubut, Argentina
Estimate: £20,000–30,000
Find out more
-65.100000
-43.299999
A SPECTACULAR HENBURY METEORITE
Northern Territory, Australia
Estimate: £15,000–20,000
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132.550964
-19.491411
A MUONIONALUSTA METEORITE END PIECE
Norrbotten, Sweden
Estimate: £8,000–12,000
Find out more
22.156704
65.584816