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Auction Description for I.M. Chait: Natural History Auction
Auction Description:
Natural History Auction
Viewing Notes:
The complete skeleton of an American Duckbill Dinosaur (maiasaura peeblesorum) Two large private collections from Southern California and the East Coast Outstanding Gem Ammonites Two flying dinosaurs (Pterodactyls), one from America and one from Germany A massive Woolly Mammoth tusk A fine selection of natural gold nuggets Ancient Egyptian dynastic artifacts Other fine fossils such as a Saber tooth Cat Skull and a complete Tyrannosaurus foot Martian and lunar specimens Gems; Meteorite jewelry; Zoology and much more
Sale Notes:
Beverly Hills Preview: May 11 - 15 11am - 5pm or by appointment.

Natural History Auction

by I.M. Chait


358 lots with images

May 16, 2010

Live Auction

9330 Civic Center Drive

Beverly Hills, CA, 90210 USA

Phone: +1 (310) 285 0182

Fax: +1 (310) 285 9740

Email: chait@chait.com

358 Lots
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PETRIFIED WOOD EARRING AND NECKLACE SET

Lot 251: PETRIFIED WOOD EARRING AND NECKLACE SET

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Description: PETRIFIED WOOD EARRING AND NECKLACE SET Araucarioxylon arizonicum Triassic Chinle Formation, Arizona As part of a wonderful set, these earrings are fashioned from two 3/4-inch square polished diamonds of petrified wood, mounted with sparkling gilt beads. Strung between similar beads, the necklace comprises eleven further pieces of this wood, each with a dramatic red and brown streak patterning.

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GOLD CHAIN NECKLACE

Lot 252: GOLD CHAIN NECKLACE

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Description: GOLD CHAIN NECKLACE Australia This lovely necklace is made from the precious metal that has so fascinated mankind for thousands of years: purely, yellow gold. What even makes this piece rarer still is that it was woven carefully by hand from natural gold nuggets fresh from the gold fields of Australia. With a lovely bright color denoting a high karat content, it is fashioned in a heavy herring bone pattern, terminating in hallmarked dragon's heads, holding a long hook and eye - 104.5g, 19 1/4 inches long.

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CAT'S EYE ALEXANDRITE RING WITH DIAMONDS

Lot 253: CAT'S EYE ALEXANDRITE RING WITH DIAMONDS

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Description: CAT'S EYE ALEXANDRITE RING WITH DIAMONDS India The centerpiece of this ring is a gorgeous blue cat's eye, flashing with brilliant chatoyance. The shank is gilded and left white at the shoulders, each of which is mounted with a sparkling round-cut diamond.

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SILVER AND RUBY BRACELET

Lot 254: SILVER AND RUBY BRACELET

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Description: SILVER AND RUBY BRACELET This lovely sterling silver bracelet has been beautifully wrought, and inset with vibrant red rubies. Three sets of oval-cut and four pairs of teardrop-cut stones are arranged on an incised geometric area to create a striking regular pattern and a beautiful contrast with the shimmering metal.

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DINOSAUR TOOTH PENDANT

Lot 255: DINOSAUR TOOTH PENDANT

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Description: DINOSAUR TOOTH PENDANT Carcharodontosaurus saharicus Cretaceous Kem-Kem basin, near Taouz, Morocco This is a beautiful warm orange-brown tooth, with fine texture and patination. It most likely comes from the theropod Carcharodontosaurus, a fearsome dinosaur that ruled over North Africa 100 million years ago. Their teeth can measure up to 8 inches long - they were large and ferocious predators - but the example here is the perfect size for a decorative pendant. The silver mount bears an appropriately serrated motif around its edge, with suspension loop, and the tooth itself measures 1 1/2 inches long.

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GENTLEMAN'S METEORITE WATCH

Lot 256: GENTLEMAN'S METEORITE WATCH

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Description: GENTLEMAN'S METEORITE WATCH Muonionalusta - fine (IVA) octahedrite Northern Sweden This handsome timepiece has been fashioned from a piece of the fine Swedish meteorite, Muonionalusta. The surface has been etched with nitric acid, a process that exposes the fascinating Widmanstätten patterns of criss-crossing parallel lines in shades of shimmering silver. To complete this fine piece, the quarter-hour points are inset with tiny diamonds, seven in total. The watch measures 1 3/8 inches in diameter, with a glossy black alligator strap and keep case.

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GENTLEMAN'S METEORITE WATCH

Lot 257: GENTLEMAN'S METEORITE WATCH

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Description: GENTLEMAN'S METEORITE WATCH Muonionalusta - fine (IVA) octahedrite Northern Sweden The Muonionalusta meteorite is prized for the high quality of its Widmanstätten patterns, the strange crystalline lattice of silvery lines created by the immense pressures of its journey from outer space. Revealed through a process of nitric acid etching, they are displayed to stunning effect on the face of this handsome gentleman's watch, in a stainless steel casing stamped with Roman numerals and minute divisions engraved on the glass. The watch measures 1 1/2 inches in diameter, with a leather strap stickered on the reverse "made in Germany", and a keep case.

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METEORITE PENDANT WITH DIAMOND

Lot 258: METEORITE PENDANT WITH DIAMOND

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Description: METEORITE PENDANT WITH DIAMOND Sikhote-alin - Iron, coarse octahedrite Paseka, Primorskiy Kray, Siberia, Russia The lovely smooth surfaces and undulating form of the classic Sikhote-alin meteorite are here displayed to beautiful effect in the form of an attractive pendant. The regmaglyptic pits and peaks give it a fascinating appearance, enhanced by the silvery highlights of ridged areas. For further effect, one protuberance has been sliced flat and inset with a small sparkling diamond. The whole piece measures approximately 1 3/4 x 1 3/8 x 3/8 inches on a robust linked steel chain.

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METEORITE PENDANT WITH DIAMOND

Lot 259: METEORITE PENDANT WITH DIAMOND

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Description: METEORITE PENDANT WITH DIAMOND Sikhote-alin - Iron, coarse octahedrite Paseka, Primorskiy Kray, Siberia, Russia The tumultuous plummet through millions of miles of outer space and the fiery plunge through the Earth's atmosphere have imparted to this lovely little meteorite pendant a beautiful and fascinatingly twisted form. Its smooth black metallic surface is pitted with small concave regmaglypts and one protruding area has been sliced flat and inset with a small sparkling diamond to cap a unique and unusual piece of jewelry. The specimen measures approximately 1 1/4 x 3/4 x 1 inches with a suspension loop.

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PALLASITE PENDANT

Lot 260: PALLASITE PENDANT

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Description: PALLASITE PENDANT Brahin - Stoney-iron, medium octahedrite, main group Pallasite Gomel, Belorussia Pallasites are a small and distinct group of meteorites characterized by the incredible "space-gem" that they carry hidden beneath their rough fusion crust. As such, they make for exceptional jewelry, as the present example so amply demonstrates. Sliced, polished and cut into a triangular form, this specimen displays the typical yellowish-green olivine crystals, bound in silver on a fine sterling silver chain, and measuring approximately 1 7/8 x 7/8 x 1/8 inches.

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METEORITE

Lot 261: METEORITE "COIN" PENDANT

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Description: METEORITE "COIN" PENDANT Muonionalusta - Fine (IVA) octahedrite Kiruna, Norrbotton, Northern Sweden The great fascination of iron octahedrites is the amazing Widmanstätten patterns revealed when the sliced face is lightly etched with nitric acid. A specimen of the collectable Swedish Muonionalusta displays this phenomenon perfectly, with an uncannily regular lattice of criss-crossed parallel lines. Mounted in an unetched ring of the same material it makes for a beautiful extraterrestrial pendant, suspended on a leather cord from a central aperture.

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METEORITE ROUNDEL PENDANT WITH DIAMOND

Lot 262: METEORITE ROUNDEL PENDANT WITH DIAMOND

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Description: METEORITE ROUNDEL PENDANT WITH DIAMOND Muonionalusta - Fine (IVA) octahedrite Kiruna, Norrbotton, Northern Sweden Of slightly bulbous circular form, this attractive pendant has been fashioned from the desirable Muonionalusta meteorite material. Samples of this meteorite display some of the finest examples of the stress-induced Widmanstätten patterning reveled beneath the unassuming fusion crust, and in this instance the fascinating silvery lattice pattern is further enhanced by a scintillating black diamond inset. The piece measures 7/8 inches in diameter and is suspended on a leather cord from a central aperture.

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GOLD-PLATED METEORITE RING

Lot 263: GOLD-PLATED METEORITE RING

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Description: GOLD-PLATED METEORITE RING Muonionalusta - Fine (IVA) octahedrite Kiruna, Norrbotton, Northern Sweden This elegant ring would be truly striking on the hand of a man or a woman, fashioned from the famous Swedish Muonionalusta and displaying the typical lattice-work Widmanstätten patterns created by the high-pressure shocks of the meteorite's plummet to Earth. Of simple band form, the meteorite has been lightly plated with gold, the criss-crossing lines of the patterning still perfectly visible but presented in an unusual and beautiful way.

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ARTICULATED METEORITE RING

Lot 264: ARTICULATED METEORITE RING

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Description: ARTICULATED METEORITE RING Muonionalusta - Fine (IVA) octahedrite Kiruna, Norrbotton, Northern Sweden By its very nature, all meteorite jewelry is rare and intriguing, but the present ring is further enhanced by imaginative design and flawless execution. The main body of the ring is made of steel and inset with a band of material from the Muonionalusta meteorite, itself inset with 24 tiny sparkling diamonds and articulated to rotate completely in its setting. A striking and unusual piece.

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YELLOW GOLD RING WITH MARS ROCK

Lot 265: YELLOW GOLD RING WITH MARS ROCK

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Description: YELLOW GOLD RING WITH MARS ROCK This good-sized ring has been fashioned from 13g of 18 karat yellow gold, inset with a dramatic, almost black polished rectangle of rare Martian meteorite material. There are only 50 Martian meteorites recorded, out of a total of approximately 24,000 meteorites that have been found on Earth, making this not only a beautiful piece of jewelry but one of great rarity.

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WHITE GOLD RING WITH MARS ROCK

Lot 266: WHITE GOLD RING WITH MARS ROCK

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Description: WHITE GOLD RING WITH MARS ROCK Martian meteorite material is amongst the rarest of all extraterrestrial material, comparable with the similarly small number of lunar meteorites found. This specimen has been fashioned into a small rectangle and polished, its almost black appearance strikingly offset by the 5.4g 18k white gold ring in which it is set. A beautiful and rare piece.

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DESERT GLASS

Lot 267: DESERT GLASS

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Description: DESERT GLASS Sahara Desert, Libya The beautiful pale green glass found scattered across the Libyan Sahara is the result of an ancient meteorite impact - superheated sand fused into clear glass. This fine specimen has a vaguely arrow-shaped form with one face polished to a lustrous gleaming smoothness. The other surfaces have been left with the natural soft texture and the whole piece displays a lovely soft green color and excellent clarity, 4 1/2 x 3 1/4 x 2 inches, 328g.

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FULGURITE

Lot 268: FULGURITE

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Description: FULGURITE Africa At first glance it seems impossible to guess what this strange object might be. One would certainly not suppose that it was a hollow tube of glass, although its extreme fragility is immediately apparent to the clumsy. The name comes from the Latin fulgar, meaning "thunderbolt" and that provides a clue: this curious object is the result of a lightning strike in quartoze sand, the fine particles fused by the extreme and sudden heat (up to 4000°C) into this strange arrow-straight roughly-textured object. A rare phenomenon, and the very fragility of fulgurites makes them rarer still, this is a fine example 8 3/4 inches long.

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RARE SANTA ROSA METEORITE SLICE

Lot 269: RARE SANTA ROSA METEORITE SLICE

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Description: RARE SANTA ROSA METEORITE SLICE Iron - Ataxite NI-poor (IC) Tocavita Hill, near Santa Rosa, Boyaca, Columbia The Santa Rosa meteorite sat for many years atop a column in the town square of Santa Rosa, before meteorite hunter Henry A. Ward arrived in 1906. He offered a statue of the president of the Columbian republic in exchange, and under cover of night he had the meteorite whisked away. The authorities recovered it but allowed him an end slice of the 612.5kg mass, the main part being deposited in the national museum in Bogotá. This superb slice boasts a full surround of rust-red fusion crust, several dark graphite inclusions, and one face etched to show the light Widmanstätten pattering caused by the immense stress of the meteorite's hurtling plummet to Earth. A fine and rare specimen of an anomalous iron meteorite, it measures 8 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3 1/6 inches.

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CAMPO DEL CIELO METEORITE

Lot 270: CAMPO DEL CIELO METEORITE

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Description: CAMPO DEL CIELO METEORITE Iron, coarse octahedrite Gran Chaco, Argentina The Campo del Cielo fall was first reported in 1576, and since that time has provided some of the world's largest and most exciting meteorites. The vast majority of iron meteorites possess little aesthetic character, but occasionally one can find an example that puts the lie to this claim. The fine example offered here is covered all over with good thumbprint-like regmaglypts, evidence of chunks of molten metal being torn from the mass as it hurtled through the Earth's atmosphere; it boasts a fine black metallic patina shot through with patches of rust red and measures 10 3/4 x 8 x 4 3/4 inches, weighing in at approx. 33 lbs.

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COMPLETE PATOS DE MINAS SLICE

Lot 271: COMPLETE PATOS DE MINAS SLICE

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Description: COMPLETE PATOS DE MINAS SLICE Iron - IAB complex Santa Fé Hazienda, Minas Giras, Brazil First discovered in 1925, the Brazilian Patos de Minas meteorite was known only from a small (18.4g) end piece. This current example is cut from a main mass weighing approx. 220 kilograms which was discovered in 1990 in the Corrego Areado, near Patos de Minas. This is a superb complete slice, with lovely fusion crust, and one side etched to show the blotchy Widmansätten patterns; unlike the regularly-lined patterns of other iron meteorites, the octahedral arrangement here is a chaotic jumble of amorphous grains in varying shades of silvery gray. In addition, as is common with these specimens, there are several large troilite inclusions, and a curious section that looks like the impact border between two distinct meteorite sections that collided and fused in space - an extremely rare occurrence. A fine specimen, it measures approximately 9 x 8 1/2 x 7/16 inches at its thickest.

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A TRIO OF CLASSIC METEORITES

Lot 272: A TRIO OF CLASSIC METEORITES

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Description: A TRIO OF CLASSIC METEORITES Sikhote-Alin - Iron, coarse octahedrite Paseka, Primorskiy Kray, Siberia, Russia The largest meteorite shower since the dawn of civilization was that which fell on the remote Sikhote-Alin Mountains in the Maritime Territory of Siberia on February 12, 1947. An enormous fireball brighter than the sun exploding at an altitude of 5km and more than sixty tons of material was hurled onto the snowy terrain. The smooth, gently-sculpted pieces that travelled interdependently to earth are amongst the most aesthetic of meteorites, unmistakably extraterrestrial with their dark metallic patina and shimmering silvery highlights, the surfaces pitted with thumbprint-like regmaglypts. One of this trio is of a distinctive arrow-like form and, unusually, is almost entirely smooth on one side; another has a distinct and unusual right-angled form with finely textured surfaces and a smoothly undulating interior to the angle. An attractive collector's Lot, the largest measures 2 1/4 inches long.

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LUNAR AND MARTIAN SPECIMENS

Lot 273: LUNAR AND MARTIAN SPECIMENS

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Description: LUNAR AND MARTIAN SPECIMENS Dhofar 461 - anorthosite melt breccia; Dhofar 190 - H4 Martian basalt (shergottite) Oman Amongst the rarest of all meteorites is material from the Moon and material from Mars; here in attractive collector's display frames are two examples of each. The lunar Dhofar 461 was recovered in 2001 and totaled a mass of only 33.7g; the martian Dhofar 190 was recovered the previous year in the same region of southern Oman, also a tiny mass of merely 90g. Each frame contains a small specimen of each mounted on a photograph of the appropriate celestial body, one pair accompanied by a COA with full details. One frame measures 12 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches, the other 8 x 14 3/4 inches, and both are ready to hang.

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LARGE LUNAR METEORITE SLICE

Lot 274: LARGE LUNAR METEORITE SLICE

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Description: LARGE LUNAR METEORITE SLICE NWA 3163 - achondrite (lunar feldspathic granulite impactite) Mauritania or Algeria Meteorites which originated on the Moon are exceptionally rare, with only 39 known, of a total mass of less than 16 kilograms; this makes them millions of times rarer even than gem-grade diamonds. A piece of Moon rock can only get to Earth by being blasted off the lunar surface with enough velocity (approximately 1.5 miles per second) to escape the strong gravitational field, eventually intercepting Earth's orbit and being captured by our planet's gravity. Only the very largest of all asteroid or meteoroid impacts on the lunar surface would have been powerful enough to accomplish this, which explains in part their great rarity, as does the fact that most lunar samples are held in the collections of the world's museums and scientific institutions. Here, however, is a fantastic example from North Africa, from a fall first discovered in 2001. It is a particularly good specimen not only because of its size, but because it retains a good portion of the roughly textured fusion crust, whilst the faces are polished to better display their lovely soft gray coloring. The specimen measures 2 1/2 x 2 x 1/8 inches, weighs 25.5g and is presented in a Riker mount.

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VERY RARE COMPLETE MARTIAN METEORITE SPECIMEN

Lot 275: VERY RARE COMPLETE MARTIAN METEORITE SPECIMEN

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Description: VERY RARE COMPLETE MARTIAN METEORITE SPECIMEN NWA 998 - Martian (Nakhlite) Morocco or Algeria One would not necessarily realize it, but this remarkable rock travelled millions of miles through outer space to reach the North African desert. A rare enough occurrence in itself, but this particular specimen originated from the lava flows of the planet Mars, making it one of the rarest of all meteorite types. If one were to slice this specimen, one could expect to find green augite crystals, possibly some olivine crystals and a very fine-grained blend of plagioclase, feldspar, pyroxenes, and iron-titanium oxides, sulphides and phosphates. The presence of traces of hydrated minerals, clay and carbonates indicates, remarkably, that the meteorite originated in an environment where liquid seawater was present for a significant amount of time; not only that, but crystallised over 1.3 billion years ago, meteorites in the SNC group (Nakhlites, Shergottites, Chassignites) appear to have been altered by contact with seawater only 700 million years ago, approximately 3 million years after the hypothesized disappearance of the Martian ocean. In addition to its rarity and completeness, this is a lovely aesthetic specimen, with one face naturally flattened and the finely pitted surface highlighted by hints of rust red and tiny sparkling metallic points. It measures 1/2 x 3/4 x 3/4 inches, weighs 5.04g and is presented in a Riker mount.

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RARE NORTH AFRICAN LUNAR METEORITE

Lot 276: RARE NORTH AFRICAN LUNAR METEORITE

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Description: RARE NORTH AFRICAN LUNAR METEORITE NWA 2727 - achondrite (lunar mare basalt/gabbro breccia) Morocco or Algeria This is a fine small end piece from a lunar meteorite, itself a category of extreme scarcity, accounting for no more than 39 of all 24,000 meteorites discovered on Earth. Indeed, scientists have identified only 35 possible craters on the Moon's surface large enough to be the source areas for meteorites. This example is a lunar feldspathic impact breccia, meaning that it is representative of a lunar impact crater. The NWA 2727 totaled a mere 191.2g in mass, and this is an excellent specimen, with superb fusion crust and a sliced and polished face that reveals the fascinating inner structure, speckled in gray and white. A decent-sized piece, it weighs 10.3g and measures 1 1/8 x 3/4 x 3/4 inches, presented in a Riker mount.

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AUTHENTIC MOON DUST

Lot 277: AUTHENTIC MOON DUST

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Description: AUTHENTIC MOON DUST Mingled Lunar breccia (provisionally: UA 2237) Dhofar, Oman When meteorites are cut for scientific analysis or aesthetic purposes, some material is inevitably lost in the process. Meteorites from the Moon, however, are so rare that the cutter will usually save the "sawdust" in vials, such as the example we have here. The UA 2237 is the latest in only a short list of all such meteorites and so its scrapings and parings are particularly precious. The dust is presented here in a 1 1/4-inch long vial.

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FINE SOUTH AMERICAN METEORITE END-PIECE

Lot 278: FINE SOUTH AMERICAN METEORITE END-PIECE

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Description: FINE SOUTH AMERICAN METEORITE END-PIECE D'Orbigny - achondrite Angrite Buenos Aires province, Argentina This is an excellent endpiece from the rare Angrite meteorite known as D'Orbigny, found in 1979 when a farmer hit it with his plow. The Angrites are unusual achondrites that show no evidence of brecciation or shock metamorphosism. This is a superb example, displaying not only a sliced surface with fascinating gray and black finely textured patterning, but a good expanse of bubbly endpiece fusion crust. It measures 2 x 13/4 x 1/8 inches and weighs 71.8g, presented in a Riker mount.

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EVOCATIVE SPACE GEM METEORITE SLICE

Lot 279: EVOCATIVE SPACE GEM METEORITE SLICE

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Description: EVOCATIVE SPACE GEM METEORITE SLICE Stoney Iron, PAL (Pallasite) Fukang, Xinjiang Uygur, People's Republic Of China Discovered only in 2002, the Fukang pallasite is thought by many to be the most beautiful pallasite in the world, for the exceptional size and quality of its crystals. This stunning slice is filled with large, gemmy examples, the peridot (or olivine) colored a lovely warm golden yellow, and it boasts a whimsical shape, somewhat reminiscent of the island of Corfu. One side has been etched to show the uncannily regular Widmanstätten patterns between the "space gems", whilst the other has been polished to a high mirrored finish. With a good section of fusion crust, it is an excellent and aesthetic example and measures approximately 16 x 7 x 1/8 inches.

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FINE PALLASITE SLICE

Lot 280: FINE PALLASITE SLICE

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Description: FINE PALLASITE SLICE Stony-iron - fine octahedrite (main group Pallasite) Bragin, Belorussia Discovered in 1807, the pallasite Brahin was only the second meteorite ever found in Russia. Pallasites are amongst the most collectible meteorites, not only because they comprise only approximately 1.8% of all known meteorites, but also for the otherworldly yellow-green olivine crystals that they contain. This specimen is sliced from a piece of the total 1023kg mass of meteorites so far recovered from the strewnfield, and exhibits a polished silvery surface studded with crystals, as well as a good section of textured fusion crust. Measuring 3 x 4 7/8 x 1/8 inches, it stands 6 inches high overall on a custom metal display stand.

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AUTHENTIC EGYPTIAN MUMMY HAND

Lot 281: AUTHENTIC EGYPTIAN MUMMY HAND

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Description: AUTHENTIC EGYPTIAN MUMMY HAND This remarkable artifact is the actual hand of a human Egyptian mummy. Although its provenance can be traced back only as far as a New Jersey dealer in the 1960s, who sold it to a private collector, its authenticity is in no doubt and the excellence of its preservation suggests a date somewhere between the New Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Era. Mummies have been a feature of civilizations throughout the world for centuries, from Peru to China, but those from Egypt have done most to capture the popular imagination. Indeed, one could almost take this present specimen as emblematic of their place in popular culture, immortalized in the 1940 Universal horror film The Mummy's Hand. Remarkably, given that the wrappings are not present, it displays a superb level of preservation, with a wonderful aged patina in brown, tan and orange, and superb details such as the long slender fingernails and the protruding lunate bone with a fringe of muscle. The distinctive position of the fingers may suggest that it belonged to a high status individual, prepared in careful fashion for their journey to the next life, and it makes for a dramatic display piece with the forefinger extended and the thumb curled over, originally perhaps to hold some ceremonial object. A remarkable and remarkably preserved piece, it measures 7 inches long and stands 10 3/8 inches high on a custom metal display stand.

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EGYPTIAN POLYCHROME CARTONNAGE HEAD OF A CAT

Lot 282: EGYPTIAN POLYCHROME CARTONNAGE HEAD OF A CAT

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Description: EGYPTIAN POLYCHROME CARTONNAGE HEAD OF A CAT Ptolemaic Era, 305-30 B.C. Provenance: Private Collection, England; Luxor Casino Collection, Nevada Exhibited: Ball State University Art Museum, Indiana, 1994-2002 This remarkable specimen from ancient Egypt is a superb demonstration of the traditional practice of cartonnage. Layers of linen were pasted together and coated with lime plaster to create funerary masks, in this instance, in the form of a cat's head. The pale tan-orange base color is decorated with various markings in red and black, including a track of tears from each eye; the specific meaning and function of this object and its markings are unknown, but it certainly suggests the mournful aspect of a companion into the next life. Displaying a remarkable fine quality of preservation, it measures 3 1/2 x 4 x 3 1/4 inches and is raised 6 1/2 inches high on an ebonized wooden display stand.

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ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGUS

Lot 283: ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGUS

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Description: ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGUS Saite Period, 26th Dynasty This is a genuine Egyptian sarcophagus, the wooden coffins shaped and decorated to represent their occupants on their way to the next life. In fact, the burial arrangements were such that a dignitary might well be encased in a Russian doll arrangement of sarcophagi, inner ones being of decorated wood within a large carved stone exterior casing. This is a wooden example, its occupant unknown, but simply and finely rendered with a red-brown painted face on a black ground, large and dramatic white eyes, and gold painted hieroglyphics down the front of the body area. It dates from approximately 2600 years B.P. during the twenty-sixth dynasty, or Saite Period, the start of the Late Period of ancient Egypt and the last gasp of their sophisticated and previously flourishing culture. A superb and unusual specimen, in fine condition, it stands approximately 69 inches high and is accompanied by a C-14 radiocarbon report from the Brussels Art Laboratory.

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FINE COLLECTION OF 60 NEOLITHIC POINTS

Lot 284: FINE COLLECTION OF 60 NEOLITHIC POINTS

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Description: FINE COLLECTION OF 60 NEOLITHIC POINTS 4,000-6,000 years B.P. Mali, Mauritania, western Sahara Thousands of years ago, today's Sahara Desert was the shoreline of a lake teeming with life, not least of which were our ancestors. They left behind this evidence of their hunting lifestyle, finely knapped points in a variety of materials and styles, in shades of gray, brown and earthy red, some with serrations and many with stems. A fine collection, they range in size from 1 1/4 to 2 3/8 inches and are presented in a 16 1/4 x 12 1/4-inch Riker mount.

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FINE COLLECTION OF 60 NEOLITHIC POINTS

Lot 285: FINE COLLECTION OF 60 NEOLITHIC POINTS

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Description: FINE COLLECTION OF 60 NEOLITHIC POINTS 4,000-6,000 years B.P. Algeria Thousands of years buffeted by hot sand-heavy winds beneath the burning desert sun have given these ancient points a splendidly burnished luster. Finely knapped from various cherts and jaspers, they exhibit lovely warm shades of red, orange and yellow, some translucent and many eared. Ranging in size from 3/4 to 1 3/4 inches, they are presented in a 16 1/4 x 12 1/4-inch Riker mount.

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COLLECTION OF 28 HAND TOOLS AND SPEARHEAD POINTS

Lot 286: COLLECTION OF 28 HAND TOOLS AND SPEARHEAD POINTS

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Description: COLLECTION OF 28 HAND TOOLS AND SPEARHEAD POINTS 4,000-6,000 years B.P. Ziagot, Morocco This fine collection offers an array of the ingenious hand tools painstakingly knapped by our Neolithic ancestors in the then-lush region of North Africa. Fashioned from a variety of materials, they comprise instruments such as hand axes, hammers and choppers, together with a number of spear heads. Made from a variety of local materials in colors ranging from dark brown to rust red to warm orange, the largest measures 3 inches long, presented in a 16 1/4 x 12 1/4-inch Riker mount.

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BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE

Lot 287: BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE

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Description: BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE Peru This beautiful display contains seven examples of the soft yellow and orange Phoebis philea, nine striking red and black Panacea prola with their vivid white stripes, and six of the large electric blue Morpho amathonte. The gorgeously contrasting and complementary colors and patterns of the wings are only enhanced by the reverse view; the case is glazed on both sides to allow a perfect view of the yet further fascinating designs on the underside of the wings. A fine display, it is framed in mahogany and measures 17 x 27 inches.

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BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE TRIPTYCH

Lot 288: BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE TRIPTYCH

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Description: BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE TRIPTYCH Peru The central case of this trio is flanked by two smaller ones, between them containing 24 specimens of the Dione juno, or Juno Silverspot. Their warm orange-red colored wings, strongly lined in black, are decorated with silver spots on the underside, and perfectly complemented by two large Morpho amathonte, their gorgeous wings shimmering with electric blue iridescence. Each case is glaze don both sides and framed in mahogany, the larger measuring 16 5/8 x 10 5/8 inches and the two smaller 6 5/8 x 10 5/8inches.

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LARGE BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE

Lot 289: LARGE BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE

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Description: LARGE BUTTERFLY DISPLAY CASE Peru This stunning display dazzles with iridescence. 116 Urania leilus are mounted within, with the electric turquoise wings vividly tiger-striped in black. As a perfect softening complement, they are accompanied by 63 Phoebis argante with their lovely bright yellow coloring. Glazed on both sides to afford an equally clear view of the underwings, the display is framed in mahogany and measures 36 x 48 inches.

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SACRED VENUS FLOWER BASKET

Lot 290: SACRED VENUS FLOWER BASKET

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Description: SACRED VENUS FLOWER BASKET Euplectella aspergillum One of the most beautiful of all the creatures that live in the oceans is the extremely rare Venus flower basket, or glass sponge. It grows only on the ocean floor in the warm tropical waters of the South Pacific and has the appearance of being made up of fine and intricate lace spun from glass fibers. In life, when the Venus flower basket is small, a tiny mating pair of shrimp will swim into it; as the sponge grows, it seals off the open end, entrapping the shrimps forever - the pair will spend the rest of their lives inside that Venus flower basket. To the Japanese this is a symbol of eternal love and being happily married forever, and a Venus flower basket is sometimes given as a wedding present in Japan on account of this beautiful symbolism. The present example is in excellent condition and is presented in a 10 3/4 x 8 3/4 x 2 3/4-inch glazed display case.

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MINIATURE CRAB COLLECTION

Lot 291: MINIATURE CRAB COLLECTION

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Description: MINIATURE CRAB COLLECTION Various species Japan This fine collection comprises twenty three specimens of fifteen different species. Each is meticulously labeled with its Latin and Japanese name and location, and all were collected by T. Ohta. An excellent representation of Japanese crustacea, it is presented in a 20 1/4 x 14 1/4-inch Riker mount (some damage).

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CRAB COLLECTION

Lot 292: CRAB COLLECTION

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Description: CRAB COLLECTION Various species Various localities This impressive crab collection boasts eight different specimens of different species. The centerpiece is an impressive 11-inch wide creature with massive black-tipped claws, and the collection is presented in an ebonized glazed tabletop case 21 x 17 inches (some damage)

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PIRANHA COLLECTION

Lot 293: PIRANHA COLLECTION

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Description: PIRANHA COLLECTION Pygocentrus nattereri Amazon Basin Native to the freshwater rivers of South America, the piranha is famed for its voracious appetite for meat: the efficient manner in which it can rend an unsuspecting victim to the bone in minutes is easily imagined from one glance at the upturned mouth full of nasty-looking pointed teeth. This collection comprises six specimens, mounted on a white ground in an ebonized glazed display case measuring 17 3/4 x 21 3/4 inches.

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FRAMED BAT DISPLAY

Lot 294: FRAMED BAT DISPLAY

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Description: FRAMED BAT DISPLAY Various species Indonesia This fine collection comprises four bat specimens; Bicoloured leaf-nosed bat, Hipposideros bicolour; Short-nosed fruit bat, Cynopterus brachyotis; The Java Pipistrelle, Pipistrellus javanicus and Painted bat, Kerivoula picta. Two are positioned face up and two face down; thus one gets a good overview of the overall anatomy, from the distinctive leathery wings to the tiny claws and teeth and the furry underbelly, three here in orange-brown and one colored black. The largest specimen boasts a wingspan of 15 inches and they are presented in an ebonized glazed display case 16 5/8 x 20 5/8 inches.

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FROG-FISH DISPLAY

Lot 295: FROG-FISH DISPLAY

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Description: FROG-FISH DISPLAY Antennariidae Philippines The Frogfish is a curious looking anglerfish, found in almost all the tropical and subtropical oceans of the world, bar the Mediterranean. This specimen is perfectly preserved, its flat stocky body covered with bifurcated spinules and bearing the odd-looking fins at the rear which suggest its name. It is presented in an ebonized glazed display case 10 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches.

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GOOSENECK BARNACLE DISPLAY

Lot 296: GOOSENECK BARNACLE DISPLAY

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Description: GOOSENECK BARNACLE DISPLAY Lepas anserifera Washington State Gooseneck barnacles are filter feeding crustaceans that live attached to hard surfaces and floating debris. Some species, such as Lepas anserifera, are pelagic. In Portugal and Spain, they are a widely consumed and expensive delicacy known as percebes. In the days before it was realized that birds migrate, it was thought that Barnacle Geese, Branta leucopsis, developed from this crustacean, since they were never seen to Nest in temperate Europe, hence their names. The confusion was prompted by the similarities in color and shape. Because they were often found on Driftwood, it was assumed that the barnacles were attached to branches before they fell in the water. The present specimen is a colony consisting of 22 barnacles, and was collected from floating debris off the coast of Washington state. Mounted in a framed display. Measuring 16 x 12 x 2 1/2 inches.

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SPIDER LOBSTER DISPLAY

Lot 297: SPIDER LOBSTER DISPLAY

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Description: SPIDER LOBSTER DISPLAY Scyllaridae Philippines Spiny lobsters are found in all warm seas, but are particularly prevalent in Australasia, and all across the world are regarded as a delicacy on the dining table. This excellent specimen is perfectly preserved, with a multi-colored carapace, fan-like uropod and distinctive spidery legs. It is presented in an ebonized glazed display case 8 5/8 x 10 3/4 inches.

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Lot 298: "MONSTER" CRAB

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Description: "MONSTER" CRAB Philippines This superb specimen has a lovely soft salmon color to its heavily textured shell, and massive claws. Expertly prepared to eradicate all trace of the unpleasant fishy odor, it measures 8 inches wide and is raised dramatically on a tall perspex display stand, 10 1/2 inches high overall.

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CRAB COLLECTION

Lot 299: CRAB COLLECTION

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Description: CRAB COLLECTION Various species This display contains specimens of ten different species of crab, exhibiting the wide range of size, shape and color found in these strange-looking creatures. The centerpiece is a massive specimen with vivid white and purple coloring, 14 inches wide, and they are presented together in a glazed ebonized display case 40 x 30 x 5 1/2 inches.

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WATUSI BULL SKULL

Lot 300: WATUSI BULL SKULL

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Description: WATUSI BULL SKULL Bos primigenius taurus Africa The Ankole-Watusi is a breed of cattle originating in Africa, already well-established in the Nile Valley over 6000 years ago. It is known for its long thick horns which are honeycombed with blood vessels and used for thermo-regulation in hot weather. This is a fine example, the skull expertly cleaned, and with horns measuring approximately 17 inches around the base and 32 1/2 inches along the curve. It boasts good dentition and a fine patina and measures approximately 49 inches long overall.

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