Santa Rosa iron meteorite (IC) etched and polished partial slice, weighing 294.7 grams and measuring approximately 94 mm x 65 mm x 8 mm. While Santa Rosa has been known to science since the year 1810, and its total recovered weight is significant, it is most unusual to see examples of this beautiful and historic Colombian iron offered on the collectors’ market. Most known examples long ago found permanent homes with noted research institutions.
The celebrated and adventurous American naturalist, Henry August Ward, who founded Ward's Scientific and was an early collector and provider of meteorite specimens, journeyed to Colombia in 1907, on a mission to acquire the 612-kg main mass of Santa Rosa which, much like the celebrated Tucson Ring meteorite, had previously served as an anvil. Although Ward purchased the entire mass, he was not allowed to export it. 460 kg remained in its home country, but Ward eventually removed a 150-kg end cut, which he further sectioned and distributed widely. In the early 1900s, there were few iron meteorites available for sale or trade and Ward's new and gorgeous iron was snapped up by institutions around the globe. Santa Rosa specimens now grace the collections of major museums all over the world, including Chicago Field Museum, Harvard, NHM London, AMNH New York, the Vatican collection and many others, indicating its importance.
Santa Rosa is one of only eleven meteorites in the rare IC class (note that one of the others, Mount Dooling, is also offered in this auction: see lot 2120). Note the fine, delicate and multi-faceted Widmanstätten pattern, reminiscent of cross-hatching in a painting or illustration.
A most unusual opportunity to acquire a lovely piece of Santa Rosa—an iron with a world-spanning life story. Accompanied by a specimen identification card from Aerolite Meteorites.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.