Meteorites are some of the rarest objects on Earth. Some meteorites are viewed as cosmic objets d'art, naturally sculpted in the most exquisite forms. Some others made history. Others, rare by their composition, are scientific treasures. The Tricottet Collection of Historic Meteorites consists of rare and aesthetic specimens from primary sources, multi-sources and other rare sources. It also includes historic tektites, an extensive Library of Meteoritics, a unique archive of original manuscripts and correspondence letters, and other rare memorabillia.


The Gallery of Historic Meteorite Falls displays a selection of aesthetic and rare meteorite specimens from falls observed within the 1492-1969 period. All specimens displayed in the gallery have an exceptional historical provenance, as they come from the principal investigators in the recovery of these meteorites in the early days after their fall or from dealers and curators who played an important role in their preservation. The period considered spans from the Middle Ages with the fall of the Ensisheim meteorite in 1492 to the dawn of the space age and modern meteoritics with the fall of the Allende meteorite in 1969. The gallery also includes a section on impactifacts, i.e., man-made objects impacted by a meteorite.

The Gallery of Historic Meteorite Finds displays a selection of historic meteorites whose fall was not observed (so-called meteorite finds). It includes three sections: (i) historical finds made between the 19th and 20th centuries, with focus on the finds made in the U.S. Great Plains; (ii) from sacred stones to the Pallas Iron, including archeological finds such as the type meteorite of the Winonaites; and (iii) meteorwrongs, between hoaxes and erroneous chemical analyses.

Tektites (from the Greek τεκτός, molten) have always been objects of fascination. First collected as talismans during prehistoric times, they remained mysterious objects until the late 1960s. Charles Darwin believed tektites were volcanic ejecta (obsidianites) while Harvey H. Nininger thought they were ejecta from lunar volcanoes (lunites). Other possible origins included: rainstorms, lightning (fulgurites), asteroids or comets (meteorites), prehistoric slag and silica gel, to only cite a few. The lunar hypothesis was favoured during the 20th century until lunar rock recoveries (Apollo 11, 1969) disproved the theory. It is now well accepted that tektites are the product of meteoritic impact processes and are therefore a subtype of impactites (which was the hypothesis originally suggested by Spencer in 1933). This gallery presents a selection of historic tektites and other glasses... [READ MORE]

Historic Meteorite Falls

Impactifacts

I. Civilization II videogame box impactifact

The building of institutional meteorite collections

II. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
x. Oscar Monnig's opinion of NASA
III. The Meteoritical Society, USA
x. Krinov-LaPaz friendship across the Iron Curtain
IV. The Committee on Meteorites, USSR
x. Karoonda, the K of CK carbonaceous chondrites
V. American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
VI. British Museum (BM)
x. The "preposterous price" of meteorites
VII. The Foote & Krantz dealerships
x. Marquis de Mauroy's meteorite trade material
VIII. Ward's Natural Science Establishment
x. Meteorite pricing from early inventories
IX. Humboldt University, Berlin (HUB)
x. Mocs meteorite strewn field map by A. Koch
X. Hectic meteorite collecting in Italy
XI. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
x. Meteorite falls depicted by W. Haidinger
XII. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien
x. Renazzo, the R of CR carbonaceous chondrites

From Superstition to Scientific Acceptance

XIII. Late meteorite superstitions
XIV. Meteoritics incunable
x. Robinson's 1793 mezzotint of the Great Meteor
XV. The Ensisheim stone


Historic Meteorite Finds

Historical Finds (19th - 20th centuries)

Brenham, USA
Canyon Diablo, USA
Springwater, Canada
Wellman (c), USA

From Sacred Stones to the Pallas Iron

Krasnojarsk, Russia
Toluca, Mexico
Winona, USA

Meteorwrongs

Aussig, Czech Republic
Braunfels, Germany
Rokitzan, Czech Republic


Historic Tektites & Other Glasses

Tektites

Australite
Indochinite
Ivoirite
Moldavite
Philippinite

Other Impact Glasses & Tektite-wrongs

Irghizite
Lechatelierite
"Obsidianite"
Zhamanshitite

Other Natural & Artificial Glasses

Fulgurite