The Claxton Mailbox An Icon of Meteorite Americana
While there have been hundreds of buildings and nearly two dozen cars struck by meteorites, there is only one mailbox known to have received an extraterrestrial special delivery. (For a description of the events surrounding this impact, see previous lot).
Immediately following the December 10, 1984 arrival of the Claxton meteorite, Carutha Barnards mailbox was acquired by meteorite collector and tektite expert Hal Povenmire, pictured second from left in the accompanying image. (It should be noted that the image, with Carutha Barnard on the far right, was staged as the mailbox was, in fact, ripped off the post by the impact.) Shortly after meteorite dealer Blaine Reed acquired the mailbox from Mr. Povenmire, he received a letter from the Smithsonian Institution soliciting his donation of the mailbox. Reed demurred and later sold the mailbox to the Macovich Collection.
The steel mailbox is covered with a coat of gray paint. The meteorite struck the rear of the mailbox, forcefully blowing off the rear plate. In the current presentation, the mailbox has been ingeniously mounted by museum preparators onto a steel post from which it can be readily removed. The original wooden slats onto which the mailbox was nailed are still attached and one of the nails that previously secured the mailbox to the wooden crossbeam is held by vise grip at the top of the post. The vise grip can be loosened and the mailbox removed by use of a tiny Allen wrench (conveniently affixed inside the box by a small magnet). The condition of the mailbox has not changed since the moment of impact in 1984. This is an iconic example of meteorite Americana and an important offering from the Macovich Collection.
Mailbox dimensions: 6.5 x 9 x 19in Including pedestal: 50 x 9 x 19in Footprint of base: one square foot.