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Press Release - September 24, 2012

The Sky Is Falling: Largest Piece Of The Moon Ever Offered In Heritage Auctions' New York Event

Oct. 14 event at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion is the largest event of its kind ever held; featuring pieces of the Moon and the planet Mars; the largest meteorite slab ever offered at auction and the extraterrestrial evocation of Edvard Munch’s “Scream”

NEW YORK – The sky will be falling Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Fletcher Sinclair Mansion in New York City when Heritage Auctions – the third largest auction house in the world – offers more than 100 select meteorites, many with museum provenance, in its Natural History Signature® Meteorite Auction, the largest auction of its kinds ever held.

The headliner of this stellar event is a four pound lunar specimen – the largest piece of the Moon ever to be auctioned – that is expected to bring $340,000+.

“This Moon rock is worthy of the finest natural history museums in the world,” said Darryl Pitt, Meteorite Consultant for Heritage Auctions. “Only 135 pounds of the Moon is available to the public, excluding Apollo mission material, and this is a superlative example of some of what is perhaps the rarest naturally occurring substance on Earth.”

This auction also coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the Peekskill fireball – the most videotaped meteorite descent of all time – which burnished its legacy by puncturing a Chevy Malibu in its final act just 30 miles outside of Manhattan. A large portion of this renowned meteorite is estimated to sell for $45,000+.

This sale also includes: meteorites containing extraterrestrial gemstones; a piece of a meteorite that resulted in the only documented fatality; a meteorite that weighs three-quarters of a ton and the oldest matter mankind can touch.

“If you want to experience the marvels of the Earth, go to museums and travel,” said Pitt. “If you want to begin to contemplate the marvels of the universe, touch a meteorite.”

Further highlights include, but are certainly not limited to:

A large fragment of the Tissint Martian meteorite that fell last year in Morocco, which perfectly fits and locks into the large 1099 gram fragment that is now a centerpiece at the Natural History Museum in London. With an impressive Earthly provenance, the matching segment to the Natural History Museum jewel is estimated to sell for $230,000+.

“This is the most important meteorite shower in 100 years,” said Dr. Caroline Smith of the Natural History Museum.

A naturally sculpted iron meteorite from the Kalahari that is the extraterrestrial evocation of Munch's “The Scream,” is estimated at $175,000+.

The largest slice of the most famous meteorite in the world, the Willamette meteorite at the American Museum of Natural History, is estimated to sell for $85,000+.

“Acquiring a specimen of a centerpiece exhibit at a major museum is virtually unheard of,” said Pitt.

To complement the largest slice of the Willamette, the smallest slice of the famous meteorite is also being offered. It carries an estimate of $11,000+.

Originally from the Western Australian Museum in Perth, the most massive slab of a meteorite ever available at auction, a Mundrabillia meteorite the size of a table, three full feet across, is a breathtaking and stunning piece expected to realize $120,000+.

The auction will include a portion of a meteorite that fell in 1492 that was later chained up in a church, specifically so it couldn't fly back into the sky, which comes with British Museum of Natural History provenance. It is estimated at $4,000+.

A special highlight of the auction will be a meteorite that did a bit of… stargrazing: a piece of the planet Mars that legendary recording artist Herbie Hancock had in his pocket during a gala performance at The Kennedy Center last fall for The Thelonious Monk Institute. This bit of Mars – along with Hancock – were embraced by the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright and Aretha Franklin, among others. One hundred percent of the auction proceeds of this lot go to The Monk Institute, which is devoted to nurturing musical excellence. Estimate: $6,500+.

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