The Claxton Mailbox —An Icon of Meteorite Americana
Lot 15
The Claxton Mailbox —An Icon of Meteorite Americana
US$ 60,000 - 80,000
£35,000 - 47,000
Auction Details
The Claxton Mailbox —An Icon of Meteorite Americana
Lot Details
The Claxton Mailbox —An Icon of Meteorite Americana
Claxton, Georgia

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 Barnard’s 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.
Activities
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.