Saturday, September 22, 2012


The press has publicized the fact that a mammoth skeleton will go up for auction at a Histoire Naturelle sale on October 2nd (slideshow here), but Sotheby's Paris believes that the squelette of  "a woolly rhinoceros will no doubt be the star." The complete fossilized skeleton of a Late Pleistocene (-12,000yo) woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius, 2nd image) from Siberia is expected to fetch between 170,000 and 250,000 ($220,000-$324,000). It has had only minor restorations and comes complete with all its papers allowing it to be sold and exported. The mammoth is the largest land mammal of all time, and this specimen measures 340cm long and 350 cm high (133" x 138"). The complete skeleton of a Pleistocene (-10,000yo) woolly rhinoceros (1st image, detail) is also from Siberia and also has its walking papers. Measuring 450cm long by 160cm tall (177" x 63"), it is expected to reach bids of 70,000 to 100,000 ($90,000-$130,000). 
Dozens of other exquisite fossil specimens will be auctioned (list here), with winning bids from an estimated 2,000-3,000 ($2,600-$3,900) for 2 starfish to €55,000-80,000 ($71,000-$104,000) for a tortoise. The items have been deaccessioned by the Kashiwagi Museum of Nagao, Japan, which is closed for renovation until 2014. The private museum was opened by computer scientist Yasutada Kashiwagi in 1993 to showcase and share the fossils and minerals he had begun collecting in 1988.
Auctions mentioned:

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