MUONIONALUSTA METEORITE CRYSTAL BALL — DRAMATIZING THE CRYSTALLINE STRUCTURE IN THREE DIMENSIONS
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MUONIONALUSTA METEORITE CRYSTAL BALL — DRAMATIZING THE CRYSTALLINE STRUCTURE IN THREE DIMENSIONS

IRON, FINE OCTAHEDRITE KIRUNA, SWEDEN (67°48’ N, 23°6’ E)

Details
MUONIONALUSTA METEORITE CRYSTAL BALL DRAMATIZING THE CRYSTALLINE STRUCTURE IN THREE DIMENSIONS
Iron, fine octahedrite
Kiruna, Sweden (67°48’ N, 23°6’ E)
A choice three-dimensional display of a Muonionalusta meteorite’s crystalline fingerprint is evident in what is literally an extraterrestrial crystal ball. Modern fashioning.
89mm (3½in.) in diameter
3.53kg. (7.7lbs)
Literature
Holtstam, D., Broman, C., Söderhielm, J. and Zetterqvist, A. (2003), “First discovery of stishovite in an iron meteorite. Meteoritics & Planetary Science.” 38(11), 1579–1583.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

Muonionalusta is located in northern Sweden above the Arctic Circle near the Muonio River, for which the meteorite was named. While meteorite hunters have unearthed numerous masses in recent years, it was back in 1906 that children discovered the first Muonionalusta meteorite while engaging in a favorite childhood pastime: kicking rocks. While tending to his herd of cattle, a child unexpectedly struck a heavy object that was later verified to be an iron meteorite. Possessing what is among the highest terrestrial ages of any meteorite, Muonionalusta fell to Earth about one million years ago when the region was glaciated. Despite its age, many specimens exhibit only minor interior weathering due both to the stability of the material as well as to being kept in the freezer of the Arctic. Muonionalusta specimens are believed to be glacial erratics (material transported by a glacier), and their exposure to churning rocks and ice for tens of thousands of years could account for the smooth surface and prosaic shapes of most specimens. It is all about the splendor within; when sliced and etched, Muonionalusta displays the classic Widmanstätten pattern, the intergrowth of two iron-nickel minerals that form an unearthly metallic grid in shimmering shades of gray and silver.

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