The l'Aigle Meteorite Shower-One of the Most Important Meteorites in History
The final exclamation point to the Old Worlds scientific acceptance that rocks fell out of the sky did not occur until the Frenchwho were at the vanguard of so many of the sciences in the late 18th and early 19th centuriessigned on. The acceptance of the existence of meteorites by some French scientists did not occur following the Siena event (see lot 2), and was postponed until 1:00pm on April 26, 1803 following the lAigle meteorite shower.
It was the comprehensive report of this event submitted by Jean Baptiste Biot to the National Institute of France that provided, in the words of historian John Burke in his tome Cosmic Debris, the coup de grace to the last of the skeptics. Following an investigation of the phenomena at lAigle, the French Academy of Sciences acknowledged that the face of science had changed; rocks could indeed fall from the heavens.
With an identifying parchment label, this complete specimen is in pristine condition with more than 90% fusion crust. A natural window through the crust provides a glimpse of the meteorites internal structure. Accompanied by two antique catalog cards dating from its early inclusion in an important German collection, this is a superlative example of one of the most important meteorites in history.
54 x 25 x 25mm (2 x 1 x 1in) and 74.2 grams