A kennel struck by a meteorite, a hunk of Mars and other examples of the “oldest matter humankind can touch” are expected to be sold for millions of pounds, as Christie’s holds its annual sale of rare and unusual meteorites.
Included in the 66 lots on “Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and other Rare Meteorites” is a dog house hit by a meteorite which crashed through the tin roof in April 2019 in Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica. Expected to sell for as much as £220,000, it has a seven-inch hole which “marks where the meteorite punctured the roof”, according to the catalogue.
Its resident, a German shepherd named Roky, survived unharmed, according to James Hyslop, head of the science and natural history department at Christie’s.
“To value all the items in the auction, I work to the four Ss – size, shape, science and story,” he told the BBC. “The story and its provenance play a very important role in determining the value. My first question when I was offered the dog shed for auction was, ‘Was Roky OK?’ I’m pleased to report that other than now being ‘sans’ dog shed, he’s doing just fine.”
The auction house is also expecting keen interest in a 15g fragment of the meteorite that fell over the Cotswold town of Winchcombe last year, which could sell for up to £50,000 – more than 70 times the value of its weight in gold and become of the largest pieces ever to be held in private hands.
The item on sale is just a fragment of the Winchcombe meteorite – the most important meteorite ever to be recovered in the UK – more than 90% of its remnants is now housed in the UK’s national collection, curated by London’s Natural History Museum.
Other items include “rocks that have been jettisoned by larger meteorite impacts on the moon or on Mars”, the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson told Reuters. “These rocks escaped, those bodies wandered through space, some of which landed here on Earth.”
He added: “You might go your whole life without…