Christie's is a British auction house. It was founded in 1766 by James Christie, its main premises are on King Street, St James's, in London and in the Rockefeller Center in New York City. The company is owned by the holding company of François-Henri Pinault. Sales in 2015 totalled £4.8 billion. In 2017 the Salvator Mundi was sold for $450.3 million at Christie's, which at that time was the highest price paid for a single painting at an auction. The official company literature states that founder James Christie conducted the first sale in London, England, on 5 December 1766, the earliest auction catalogue the company retains is from December 1766. However, other sources note that James Christie rented auction rooms from 1762, newspaper advertisements for Christie's sales dating from 1759 have been traced. Christie's was a public company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, from 1973 to 1999. In 1974, Jo Floyd was appointed chairman of Christie's, he served as chairman of Christie's International plc from 1976 to 1988, until handing over to Lord Carrington, was a non-executive director until 1992.
Christie's International Inc. held its first sale in the United States in 1977. Christie's growth was steady since 1989, when it had 42 % of the auction market. In 1990, the company reversed a long-standing policy and guaranteed a minimum price for a collection of artworks in its May auctions. In 1996, sales exceeded those of Sotheby's for the first time since 1954. However, profits did not grow at the same pace. In 1993, Christie's paid $12.7 million for the London gallery Spink & Son, which specialised in Oriental art and British paintings. The company bought Leger Gallery for $3.3 million in 1996, merged it with Spink to become Spink-Leger. Spink-Leger closed in 2002. To make itself competitive with Sotheby's in the property market, Christie's bought Great Estates in 1995 the largest network of independent estate agents in North America, changing its name to Christie's Great Estates Inc. In December 1997, under the chairmanship of Lord Hindlip, Christie's put itself on the auction block, but after two months of negotiations with the consortium-led investment firm SBC Warburg Dillon Read it did not attract a bid high enough to accept.
In May 1998, François Pinault's holding company, Groupe Artémis S. A. first bought 29.1 percent of the company for $243.2 million, subsequently purchased the rest of it in a deal that valued the entire company at $1.2 billion. The company has since not been reporting profits, its policy, in line with UK accounting standards, is to convert non-UK results using an average exchange rate weighted daily by sales throughout the year. In 2002, Christie's France held its first auction in Paris. Like Sotheby's, Christie's became involved in high-profile private transactions. In 2006, Christie's offered a reported $21 million guarantee to the Donald Judd Foundation and displayed the artist's works for five weeks in an exhibition that won an AICA award for "Best Installation in an Alternative Space". In 2007 it brokered a $68 million deal that transferred Thomas Eakins's The Gross Clinic from the Jefferson Medical College at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia to joint ownership by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
In the same year, the Haunch of Venison gallery became a subsidiary of the company. On 28 December 2008, The Sunday Times reported that Pinault's debts left him "considering" the sale of Christie's and that a number of "private equity groups" were thought to be interested in its acquisition. In January 2009, the company employed 2,100 people worldwide, though an unspecified number of staff and consultants were soon to be cut due to a worldwide downturn in the art market. With sales for premier Impressionist and contemporary artworks tallying only US$248.8 million in comparison to US$739 million just a year before, a second round of job cuts began after May 2009. Guy Bennett resigned just before to the beginning of the summer 2009 sales season. Although the economic downturn has encouraged some collectors to sell art, others are unwilling to sell in a market which may yield only bargain prices. On 1 January 2017, Guillaume Cerutti was appointed chief executive officer. Patricia Barbizet was appointed chief executive officer of Christie's in 2014, the first female CEO of the company.
She replaced Steven Murphy, hired in 2010 to develop their online presence and launch in new markets, such as China. In 2012, Impressionist works, which dominated the market during the 1980s boom, were replaced by contemporary art as Christie's top category. Asian art was the third most-lucrative area. With income from classic auctioneering falling, treaty sales made £413.4 million in the first half of 2012, an increase of 53% on the same period last year. The company has promoted curated events, centred on a theme rather than an art classification or time period; as part of a companywide review in 2017, Christie's announced the layoffs of 250 employees, or 12 percent of the total work force, based in Britain and Europe. From 2008 until 2013, Christie's charged 25 percent for the first $50,000. From 2013, it charged 25 percent for the first $75,000. Christie's main London salesroom is on
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Harry Winston was an American jeweler. He donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 after owning it for a decade, he traded the Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1963. Winston founded the Harry Winston Inc. in New York City in 1932. He had been called by many as the "King of Diamonds". Winston's father Jacob started a small jewelry business after he and his mother immigrated to the United States from Ukraine. While growing up, he worked in his father's shop; when he was twelve years old, he recognized a two-carat emerald in a pawn shop, bought it for 25 cents, sold it two days for $800. Winston started his business in 1920 and opened his first store in New York City in 1932. Winston's jewelry empire began in 1926, with his acquisition of Arabella Huntington's jewelry collection, for $1.2 million. The wife of railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington, Arabella amassed one of the world's most prestigious collections of jewelry from Parisian jewelers such as Cartier; when Winston bought the collection after her death, the designs of the jewelry in the collection were quite old fashioned.
Winston redesigned the jewelry into more contemporary styles and showcased his unique skill at jewelry crafting. According to the Huntington museum, "He boasted that Arabella's famous necklace of pearls now adorned the necks of at least two dozen women around the world."When he died, Winston left the company to his two sons and Bruce, who entered into a decade-long battle over the control of the company. In 2000, Ronald along with new business partner, Fenway Partners, bought Bruce out from the company for $54.1 million. Winston was among the most noted jewelers in the world, well-known to the general public. In the 1953 musical film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" includes the spoken interjection "Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me all about it!" The Lauren Weisberger comic novel, Chasing Harry Winston, was published in May 2008. In 2015, Harry Winston, Inc. operated 39 salons and numerous retail affiliates in locations such as New York, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Bal Harbour, Costa Mesa, other countries around the world.
Reference: The Arcots, first 33.70 and 23.65 carats, recut by Winston to 31.01 and 18.85 carats, respectively. The stones were thought to be a match, but when Winston bought them, removed them from their settings and discovered they were not, he decided to recut them to improve their clarity and brilliance. Both were either colorless or near-colorless, antique pear-shaped brilliants; the Anastasia, three emerald cuts weighing 42.95, 30.90 and 22.88 carats, all D color and Flawless clarity. Cut from a rough crystal weighing 307.30 carats Winston had purchased in 1972, largest gem named after Anastasia Nikolaevna, daughter of Czar Nicholas II. The Ashoka a 42.47 carats, modified elongated cushion brilliant. Purchased by Winston from a Chinese dealer in 1947. Stone was recut in 1977 from its original weight of 42.47 carats before it was sold again as a ring. The Blue Heart, a 30.82 carats, heart-shaped brilliant. After the cut was made, Cartier sold it to the Unzue family of Argentina in 1910, it reappeared in Paris in 1953 where it was purchased by an important European titled family purchased by Harry Winston in 1959.
Winston mounted it in a ring and sold it to Marjorie Merriweather Post, who donated it to the Smithsonian Institution. The Briolette of India, a 90.38 carats, briolette cut. The Cornflower Blue, 31.93 carats pear brilliant. The larger stone was sold in 1969 as the pendant for a diamond necklace. Winston repurchased it two years then sold it to a Middle Eastern client; the round brilliant was set as a ring and sold in 1969. In 1987 the pear brilliant was auctioned in Switzerland; the Countess Széchényi, a 62.05 carats, D color, pear-shaped brilliant. Purchased by Winston in 1959 from namesake and recut to a flawless 59.38 carats. Sold to an American industrialist in 1966; the Crown of Charlemagne, a 37.05 carats, sky blue, Old European cut brilliant. The Deal Sweetener, a 45.31 carats diamond plus four smaller stones, D color and Flawless, emerald cut. In 1974 Winston bought a large parcel of diamonds worth $24,500,000—at that time the largest individual sale of diamonds in history. Harry Oppenheimer, head of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. arranged the transaction.
When Winston asked Oppenheimer, "How about a little something to sweeten the deal?" Harry Oppenheimer pulled a 181 carats rough diamond out of his pocket and rolled it across the table. Winston picked up the stone and said "Thanks." It was cut into the largest being named the Deal Sweetener. Other gems cut from the crystal: An emerald cut of 24.67 carats, plus three pear shapes of 10.80, 4.19 and 1.45 carats, respectively. All were sold that same year; the Deepdene, a 104.52 carats, antique cushion brilliant. Purchased by Winston in 1954 from Cary W. Bok sold the following year to Mrs. Eleanor Loder of Canada. Resurfaced in 1971 and put up for auction at Christie's in
Brilliant (diamond cut)
A brilliant is a diamond or other gemstone cut in a particular form with numerous facets so as to have exceptional brilliance. The shape resembles that of a cone and provides maximized light return through the top of the diamond. With modern techniques, the cutting and polishing of a diamond crystal always results in a dramatic loss of weight; the round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron, as two stones may be cut from one such crystal. Oddly shaped crystals such as macles are more to be cut in a fancy cut—that is, a cut other than the round brilliant—which the particular crystal shape lends itself to; the original round brilliant-cut was developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The modern round brilliant consists of 58 facets, ordinarily today cut in two pyramids placed base to base: 33 on the crown, truncated comparatively near its base by the table, 25 on the pavilion, which has only the apex cut off to form the culet, around which 8 extra facets are sometimes added.
In recent decades, most girdles are faceted. Many girdles have 64, 80, or 96 facets. While the facet count is standard, the actual proportions are not universally agreed upon; some gem cutters refer to a Scandinavian brilliant cut. Quoting Green et al. 2001: Because every facet has the potential to change a light ray's plane of travel, every facet must be considered in any complete calculation of light paths. Just as a two-dimensional slice of a diamond provides incomplete information about the three-dimensional nature of light behavior inside a diamond, this two-dimensional slice provides incomplete information about light behavior outside the diamond. A diamond's panorama is three-dimensional. Although diamonds are symmetrical, light can enter a diamond from many directions and many angles; this factor further highlights the need to reevaluate Tolkowsky's results, to recalculate the effects of a diamond's proportions on its appearance aspects. Another important point to consider is that Tolkowsky did not follow the path of a ray, reflected more than twice in the diamond.
However, we now know that a diamond's appearance is composed of many light paths that reflect more than two times within that diamond. Once again, we can see that Tolkowsky's predictions are helpful in explaining optimal diamond performance, but they are incomplete by today's technological standards. Figures 1 and 2 show the facets of a round brilliant diamond. Figure 1 assumes that the "thick part of the girdle" is the same thickness at all 16 "thick parts", it does not consider the effects of indexed upper girdle facets. Figure 2 is adapted from Figure 37 of Marcel Tolkowsky's Diamond Design, published in 1919. Since 1919, the lower girdle facets have become longer; as a result, the pavilion main facets have become narrower. The relationship between the crown angle and the pavilion angle has the greatest effect on the look of the diamond. A steep pavilion angle can sometimes be complemented by a shallower crown angle, vice versa. Other proportions affect the look of the diamond: The table ratio is significant.
The length of the lower girdle facets affects whether Hearts and arrows can be seen in the stone, under certain viewers. Most round brilliant diamonds have the same girdle thickness at all 16 "thick parts". So-called "cheated" girdles have thicker girdles where the main facets touch the girdle than where adjacent upper girdle facets touch the girdle; these stones weigh more, have worse optical performance. So-called "painted" girdles have thinner girdles where the main facets touch the girdle than where adjacent upper girdle facets touch the girdle; these stones have less light leakage at the edge of the stone. Some diamonds with painted girdles receive lower grades in the GIA's cut grading system, for reasons given in a 2005 GIA article. Several groups have developed diamond cut grading standards, they all disagree somewhat on. There are certain proportions; the AGA standards may be the strictest. David Atlas has suggested; the HCA changed several times between 2001 and 2004. As of 2004, an HCA score below two represented an excellent cut.
The HCA distinguishes between brilliant and fiery cuts. The American Gem Society standards changed in 2005 to better match Tolkowsky's model and Octonus' ray tracing results; the 2005 AGS standards penalize stones with "cheated" girdles. They grade from 0 to 10; the GIA began grading cut on every grading report beginning 2006 based on their comprehensive study of 20,000 proportions with 70,000 observations of 2,000 diamonds. The single descriptive words are as follows: Excellent, Very Good, Good and Poor; the distance from the viewer's eye to the diamond is important. The 2005 AGS cut standards are based on a distance of 25 centimeters; the 2004 HCA cut standards are based on a distance of 40 centimeters. Polish and symmetry are two important aspects of the cut; the polish grade describes the smoothness of the diamond's facets, the symmetry grade refers to alignment of the facets. With
South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations
Kimberley, Northern Cape
Kimberley is the capital and largest city of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. It is located 110 km east of the confluence of the Vaal and Orange Rivers; the city has considerable historical significance due to its diamond mining past and the siege during the Second Boer War. British businessmen Cecil Rhodes and Barney Barnato made their fortunes in Kimberley, Rhodes established the De Beers diamond company in the early days of the mining town. On September 2, 1882, Kimberley was the first city in the Southern Hemisphere and the second in the world after Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States to integrate electric street lights into its infrastructure; the first Stock Exchange in Africa was built in Kimberley, as early as 1881. In 1866, Erasmus Jacobs found a small brilliant pebble on the banks of the Orange River, on the farm De Kalk leased from local Griquas, near Hopetown, his father's farm, he showed the pebble to his father. The pebble was purchased from Jacobs by Schalk van Niekerk, who sold it.
It proved to be a 21.25-carat diamond, became known as the Eureka. Three years in 1869, an 83.5-carat diamond, which became known as the Star of South Africa, was found nearby. This diamond was sold by van Niekerk for £11,200 and resold in the London market for £25,000. Henry Richard Giddy recounted how Esau Damoense, the cook for prospector Fleetwood Rawstone's "Red Cap Party", found diamonds in 1871 on Colesberg Kopje after he was sent there to dig as punishment. Rawstorne took the news to the nearby diggings of the De Beer brothers — his arrival there sparking off the famous "New Rush" which, as historian Brian Roberts puts it, was a stampede. Within a month 800 claims were cut into the hillock which were worked frenetically by two to three thousand men; as the land was lowered so the hillock became a mine – in time, the world-renowned Kimberley Mine. The Cape Colony, Orange Free State and the Griqua leader Nicolaas Waterboer all laid claim to the diamond fields; the Free State Boers in particular wanted the area as it lay inside the natural borders created by Orange and Vaal Rivers.
Following the mediation, overseen by the governor of Natal, the Keate Award went in favour of Waterboer, who placed himself under British protection. The territory known as Griqualand West was proclaimed on 27 October 1871. Colonial Commissioners arrived in New Rush on 17 November 1871 to exercise authority over the territory on behalf of the Cape Governor. Digger objections and minor riots led to Governor Barkly's visit to New Rush in September the following year, when he revealed a plan instead to have Griqualand West proclaimed a Crown Colony. Richard Southey would arrive as Lieutenant-Governor of the intended Crown Colony in January 1873. Months passed however without any sign of the proclamation or of the promised new constitution and provision for representative government; the delay was in London where Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Kimberley, insisted that before electoral divisions could be defined, the places had to receive "decent and intelligible names. His Lordship declined to be in any way connected with such a vulgarism as New Rush and as for the Dutch name, Vooruitzigt … he could neither spell nor pronounce it."
The matter was passed to Southey who gave it to his Colonial Secretary J. B. Currey. Roberts writes, he made quite sure that Lord Kimberley would be able both to spell and pronounce the name of the main electoral division by, as he says, calling it'after His Lordship'." New Rush became Kimberley, by Proclamation dated 5 July 1873. Digger sentiment was expressed in an editorial in the Diamond Field newspaper when it stated "we went to sleep in New Rush and waked up in Kimberley, so our dream was gone."Following agreement by the British government on compensation to the Orange Free State for its competing land claims, Griqualand West was annexed to the Cape Colony in 1877. The Cape Prime Minister John Molteno had serious doubts about annexing the indebted region, after striking a deal with the Home Government and receiving assurances that the local population would be consulted in the process, he passed the Griqualand West Annexation Act on 27 July 1877; as miners arrived in their thousands the hill disappeared and subsequently became known as the Big Hole or, more formally, Kimberley Mine.
From mid-July 1871 to 1914, 50,000 miners dug the hole with picks and shovels, yielding 2,722 kg of diamonds. The Big Hole is 463 metres wide, it was excavated to a depth of 240 m, but partially infilled with debris reducing its depth to about 215 m. Beneath the surface, the Kimberley Mine underneath the Big Hole was mined to a depth of 1097 metres. A popular local myth claims that it is the largest hand-dug hole on the world, however Jagersfontein Mine appears to hold that record; the Big Hole is the principal feature of a May 2004 submission which placed "Kimberley Mines and associated early industries" on UNESCO's World Heritage Tentative Lists. By 1873 Kimberley was the second largest town in South Africa, having an approximate population of 40,000; the various smaller mining companies were amalgamated by Cecil Rhodes and Charles Rudd into De Beers, The Kimberley under Barney Barnato. In 1888, the two companies merged to form De Beers Consolidated Mines, which once had a monopoly over the world's diamond market.
Kimberley became the largest city in the area due to a massive African migration to the area from all over t
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. United States, it is open 364 days a year. In 2016, with 7.1 million visitors, it was the fourth most visited museum in the world and the most visited natural-history museum in the world. Opened in 1910, the museum on the National Mall was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed to hold the national collections and research facilities; the main building has an overall area of 1,500,000 square feet with 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space and houses over 1,000 employees. The museum's collections contain over 126 million specimens of plants, fossils, rocks, human remains, human cultural artifacts, it is home to about 185 professional natural-history scientists—the largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of natural and cultural history in the world. The United States National Museum was founded in 1846 as part of the Smithsonian Institution.
The museum was housed in the Smithsonian Institution Building, better known today as the Smithsonian Castle. A formal exhibit hall opened in 1858; the growing collection led to the construction of the National Museum Building. Covering a then-enormous 2.25 acres, it was built in just 15 months at a cost of $310,000. It opened in March 1881. Congress authorized construction of a new building on June 28, 1902. On January 29, 1903, a special committee composed of members of Congress and representatives from the Smithsonian's board of regents published a report asking Congress to fund a much larger structure than planned; the regents began considering sites for the new building in March, by April 12 settled on a site on the north side of B Street NW between 9th and 12th Streets. The D. C. architectural firm of Hornblower & Marshall was chosen to design the structure. Testing of the soil for the foundations was set for July 1903, with construction expected to take three years; the Natural History Building opened its doors to the public on March 17, 1910, in order to provide the Smithsonian Institution with more space for collections and research.
The building was not completed until June 1911. The structure cost $3.5 million dollars. The Neoclassical style building was the first structure constructed on the north side of the National Mall as part of the 1901 McMillan Commission plan. In addition to the Smithsonian's natural history collection, it housed the American history and cultural collections. Between 1981 and 2003, the National Museum of Natural History had 11 acting directors. There were six directors alone between 1990 and 2002. Turnover was high as the museum's directors were disenchanted by low levels of funding and the Smithsonian's inability to define the museum's mission. Robert W. Fri was named the museum's director in 1996. One of the largest donations in Smithsonian history was made during Fri's tenure. Kenneth E. Behring donated $20 million in 1997 to modernize the museum. Fri resigned in 2001 after disagreeing with Smithsonian leadership over the reorganization of the museum's scientific research programs. J. Dennis O'Connor, Provost of the Smithsonian Institution was named acting director of the museum on July 25, 2001.
Eight months O'Conner resigned to become the vice president of research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Maryland. Douglas Erwin, a paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History, was appointed interim director in June 2002. In January 2003, the Smithsonian announced that Cristián Samper, a Colombian with an M. Sc. and Ph. D. from Harvard University, would become the museum's permanent director on March 31, 2003. Samper founded the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute and ran the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute after 2001. Smithsonian officials said. Under Samper's direction, the museum opened the $100 million Behring Hall of Mammals in November 2003, received $60 million in 2004 for the Sant Hall of Oceans, received a $1 million gift from Tiffany & Co. for the purchase of precious gems for the National Gem Collection. On March 25, 2007, Lawrence M. Small, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and the organization's highest-ranking appointed official, resigned abruptly after public reports of lavish spending.
On March 27, 2007 Samper was appointed Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian. Paul G. Risser, former chancellor of the University of Oklahoma, was named Acting Director of the Museum of Natural History on March 29. Samper's tenure at the museum was not without controversy. In May 2007, Robert Sullivan, the former associate director in charge of exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History, charged that Samper and Smithsonian Undersecretary for Science David Evans ordered "last minute" changes in the exhibit "Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely" to tone down the role of human beings in the discussion of global warming, to make global warming seem more uncertain than depicted. Samper denied that he knew of any scientific objections to the changes, said that no political pressure had been applied to the Smithsonian to make the changes. In November 2007, The Washington Post reported that an interagency group of scientists from the Department of the Interior, NASA, Nati