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A MONOLITHIC SLICE OF THE FUKANG METEORITE
A MONOLITHIC SLICE OF THE FUKANG METEORITE
A MONOLITHIC SLICE OF THE FUKANG METEORITE
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A MONOLITHIC SLICE OF THE FUKANG METEORITE
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Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Ro… Read more THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EXTRATERRESTRIAL SUBSTANCE KNOWN
A MONOLITHIC SLICE OF THE FUKANG METEORITE

PALLASITE - PAL FUKANG, XINJIANG PROVINCE – (44°26' N, 87°38' E)

Details
A MONOLITHIC SLICE OF THE FUKANG METEORITE
Pallasite - PAL
Fukang, Xinjiang Province – (44°26' N, 87°38' E)
The crescent slice, colossal in size for meteorites of this type, features a mosaic of sparkling peridot and olivine crystals in a gleaming iron-nickel matrix. A signature characteristic of Fukang is the impressive size of the crystals, and this particular specimen contains crystals as large as 2 inches. This is an impressive select sample of the most beautiful extraterrestrial material known. Modern cutting, polished on reverse to reveal fine glittering Widmanstätten pattern and the front polished to a mirror finish.
35 ¼ x 18 ½ x 1/4 in. (89.5 x 47 x 0.6 cm.)
38 in. (96.5 cm.) high on stand
8.15 kg. (18.0 lbs.)
Literature
The Meteoritical Bulletin, September 2006, no. 90 p. 1402.
Special Notice

Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm
Post Lot Text

Brought to you by

Giles Forster
Giles Forster Head of Sale, Director of Decorative Arts, London

Lot Essay

Pallasites are not only rare, representing less than 0.2% of all known meteorites, they are also widely considered the most beautiful extraterrestrial substance known—and samples of Fukang are among the most coveted. This slice is one of the largest cut from the Fukang main mass. Recovered in China’s Gobi Desert, this extraordinary meteorite contains some of the largest and most translucent crystals of any pallasite. Comprised of approximately 50% olivine and peridot (gem-quality olivine) crystals suspended in a nickel-iron matrix. Main-group pallasites originated from the mantle-core boundary of an asteroid formed 4.5 billion years ago in the early Solar System. During the early chaos of planetary collisions, that asteroid broke apart after an enormously energetic impact with another asteroid, before later falling to Earth in a fiery descent.

The pallasite appellation for this meteorite class is in honor of the German scientist, Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811), who while traveling through Siberia, examined the first pallasitic mass in the early 1770s. This is an honour Pallas is fortunate to have received, for he believed the unusual specimen he examined could not possibly have come from outer space.

The seeming mosaic of extraterrestrial gems suspended in its polished metallic matrix contrasts vividly with the clean lines delimiting its form. A magnificent, otherworldly crystalline freeform dating to the birth of the solar system.

Christie's would like to thank Dr. Alan E. Rubin at the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles for his assistance in preparing this catalogue note.

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