Bonhams : Willamette Meteorite--Partial Slice of the Most Famous Meteorite in the World
Willamette Meteorite--Partial Slice of the Most Famous Meteorite in the World

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Lot 1086
Willamette Meteorite--Partial Slice of the Most Famous Meteorite in the World

US$ 1,800 - 2,200
£ 1,400 - 1,700

Natural History

4 Dec 2018, 10:00 PST

Los Angeles

Willamette Meteorite--Partial Slice of the Most Famous Meteorite in the World
Iron, medium octahedrite; shocked and recrystallized
Clackamas County, Oregon

This offering provides the opportunity to own a small portion of a major museum exhibit. The Willamette meteorite is the largest meteorite found in North America. It has been the centerpiece in two renowned facilities: the Hayden Planetarium and the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where it has been seen or touched by an estimated 50 million people. So completely renowned is the Willamette meteorite that whenever you open a textbook and there is just one picture of a meteorite, it will most likely be of the 15.5 ton Willamette. It is believed the meteorite fell in Canada or Montana and was deposited in Oregon by a glacier during the last Ice Age. Discovered in 1902, the meteorite was exhibited at the 1905 World's Fair and sold to Mrs. William E. Dodge, who then gifted the meteorite to the American Museum, where the meteorite has been on display for more than 100 years. In 1999 a coalition of Oregonian Native Americans filed a claim to have the meteorite returned to Oregon. The Museum filed a lawsuit in federal court that challenged the claim. The parties settled out-of-court, where it was agreed the meteorite would remain a centerpiece exhibit and never again be cut. As evidenced by the matrix, the Willamette meteorite is recrystallized, the result of a cataclysmic collision in outer space. Featuring one rim of the meteorite's exterior and a troilite inclusion in the lower right corner, this is a select specimen of the most famous meteorite in the world. Measures 44 x 53 x 1mm (1 3/4 x 2 x 1/8in) and weighs 12.46 grams
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