Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 17:28 UK

Space collection sold at auction

Meteor (generic)
The auction included meteorites and rocks from Mars and the Moon

The UK's largest private collection of space artefacts has been sold at auction for £113,000.

The Robert Elliott collection of more than 170 items, included meteorites and rocks from the Moon and Mars.

Among the lots sold was the Barwell meteorite, found in Leicestershire in 1965, which went for £8,000.

Also for sale was a piece of the Warbar meteorite which fetched £2,400 and a piece of the Wold Cottage meteorite, found in 1795, which sold for £3,100.

The auction, which featured lots valued from £70, attracted buyers from all over the world.

Among the items unsold was a 5.8kg chunk of the Hambleton meteorite, found in North Yorkshire in 2005.

It had been expected to fetch up to £90,000, however a small slice of the meteorite did sell for £2,000.

Also unsold was a helium tank from the Russian Salyut 7 spacecraft.

Film crews

However, auctioneer Gavin Strang, of Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh, said the sale had attracted a huge amount of attention.

He said: "The fact that the meteorites come from all over the world has meant that we have had global interest in the sale, with film crews from Russia, the USA and the UK covering the story.

Robert Elliott
Robert Elliott has been collecting meteorites since he was a young boy

"This is the first meteorite auction to be held in the UK and with many international phone bidders and a packed saleroom we are needless to say over the moon with the result."

Other items of note included a polished slice of the Esquel meteorite from Argentina which sold for £2,400.

The Glenrothes meteorite sold for £280, it was the first to be found on UK soil by Mr Elliott in the summer of 1998.

Mr Elliott, from Fife, has been collecting space memorabilia since he was a young boy.

Also going under the hammer was one of the oldest meteorites known on earth, the Lake Murray meteorite, which was found in rock more than 110 million years old in Oklahoma, which sold for £4,000.

Other items included part of a witnessed fall in Iowa of the Estherville Mesosiderite which was bought by the Estherville Chamber of Commerce for £6,800, so will return to where its was found.



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