Classified in the chronology of the specimens, not of their discovery.
Not including jeweled gems.
2006 Brazilian Geology
2015 SOLD for $ 275K including premium
Tourmaline is a group of chemically stable silicate minerals whose crystals can reach large linear developments. Their color range is considerable. The colors of tourmalines depend on their chemical composition and on their impurities but also on their sensitivity to the radiation emitted by the granites.
The recently extracted tourmalines are kept on their natural bedrock which is often a quartz. With their long, multi-directional crystals and the beauty of their colors, nature has created works of art.
The four top lots have very dissimilar characteristics, to the delight of fans.
Blue on blue, lot 73105 estimated $ 500K, collected in 2001, is interesting by its two shades of blue but also because the growth of crystals in two contradictory ways, thin and stout, is a scientific curiosity.
Big beauty, lot 73100 estimated $ 450K, collected in 2006, is remarkable for the complexity of its colors and shapes.
Blastoff, lot 73114 estimated $ 450K, collected in 2004, includes six crystals, the longest measuring 18 cm. The two longest are perched like birds on their beautiful natural base of white cleavelandite.
The flower of Pederneira, lot 73099 estimated $ 300K, collected in 2000, offers an incredible network of secondary ramifications attached to the main crystal.
Lot 73100 SOLD for $ 275K including premium.
Lots 73099, 73105 and 73114 are unsold.
The Snake Necked Turtle
2010 SOLD 457 K€ including premium
Formerly, reptiles dominated the planet. Their skeletons are now fossils, and provide fun to scholars and collectors.
The main quality of a fossil is to be complete. We have already admired in this group a marine reptile belonging to the order of the ichthyosaurs. The 5.40 meters long skeleton preserved at 90% for the skull and 75% for the rest of the body had been sold 180 K € including premium at Christie's on April 7, 2009 in Paris.
The specialized sale at Sotheby's, also in Paris, on October 5 includes rarities. In the release shared by Paul Fraser Collectibles, let us pass without stopping over the star of the sale, a brave flesh-eating dinosaur from Wyoming preserved at 70%, for discussing a plesiosaur announced as complete.
Shaped like a turtle without shell, this predator of the seas that lived 190 million years ago was a pioneer of hydrodynamics with the neck of a snake and the tail of a crocodile. The piece of Sotheby's, 3 meters long, is estimated 320K €.
It was found less than 20 years ago in England, the country where Mary Anning discovered the first plesiosaur in 1821.
Many skeletons presented in the sales appear to be recent discoveries. Perhaps finding techniques have been improved. The excavation techniques are certainly more effective than before for unearthing complete specimens.Fossil lovers, be prepared: this market will grow!
POST SALE COMMENT
This fossil skeleton was truly exceptional. It deserves its price: € 457K including premium.
2007 Battles of Giants in the Jurassic
2011 SOLD 2.75 M$ including premium
The inhabitants of the Earth sometimes have difficulty in supporting one another. I take the example of a terrible battle that was fought in the Jurassic.
The techniques of discovery and excavation of fossilized dinosaur skeletons are improving, and recent findings supplement and amend our knowledge. It is a matter for professionals, of course. Wyoming is their preferred ground, for the abundance of such remains.
In spring 2007, researchers at International Dinosauria were excited by the discovery of an Allosaurus, whose dentition is well preserved. As they progressed in the recovery of bones of this flesh-eating dinosaur, they make a stunning and unprecedented discovery: a Stegosaurus skeleton is mingled with the bones of the Allosaurus.
There is little doubt that the animals killed one another 155 million years ago. Their corpses did probably fall into a river or were quickly buried by a mudslide, and the skeletons were not dispersed by other predators of the time.
It was anticipated that the dinosaurs were fighting. Grass-eating specimens were often the losers, as already shown by the bite of an Allosaurus in the neck plate of a Stegosaurus. But the discovery of two skeletons together was a considerable scientific novelty.
Both fossils are for sale in one lot, by Heritage in Dallas on June 12. The Allosaurus named Dracula is 6.30 m long and 70% complete. Fantasia, the Stegosaurus, is 5.40 m long and 75% complete.
POST SALE COMMENT
The two dinosaurs were sold together. I followed the event live on LiveAuctioneers. There was one bid at $ 2.3 million, covering the reserve price. With premium, that is $ 2.75 M.
It is a remarkable price in its category, rewarding a unique group.
2013 An Elderly Dinosaur
2018 SOLD for € 2M including premium
These fossils of skeletons arouse a growing craze. A juvenile specimen 3.80 m long was sold for € 1.4M including premium by Binoche et Giquello on April 11, 2018 from an estimate of € 500K.
When paleontologists begin to release a new fossil in 2013 they immediately believe that it is an allosaurus. After the completion of its excavation in 2015 and of its preparation in 2017 they observe that this beast was different from allosaurs by a slightly larger quantity of teeth. The bone structure also has a few unprecedented characteristics including an extended shape of the pubis.
This dinosaur 2.60 m high, nearly 9 m long and 70% preserved was an old adult. It was probably dead by a fall in the river and not in a landslide because its bones were not compressed during the fossilization, allowing for example to construct with accuracy the three-dimensional shape of its muzzle. Its bone pathologies are discernible.
It has been inspected by specialists but it remains to find its actual place in the evolution of theropods. Its next owner will be invited to contribute to its scientific designation.
After a public exhibition on reservation from June 2 to 4 on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, this fossil will be sold by Aguttes in Neuilly-sur-Seine on June 4 in duplex with its showroom. It is estimated beyond € 1,2M, lot 1. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The Nightmare of the Nuit Blanche
2010 SOLD 1.3 M€ including premium
Since 2002 in Paris, la Nuit Blanche (white night) is an annual cultural event during which activities are offered free to the public for much of the night.
With a remarkable sense of media, on Saturday, Sotheby's opens until midnight the exhibition of its sale of natural sciences. The auction itself will take place on October 5.
On this occasion, the comfortable room of Sotheby's will be occupied by one of those antediluvian horrors that excite both imagination of adults and passion of children: the fossil skeleton of a carnivorous dinosaur.
The happy tenant is an Allosaurus, which lived during the Jurassic 150 to 140 million years ago. Its species was a distant forerunner of the Tyrannosaurus, a very similar beast that began its long career in the Cretaceous, 50 million years later. The Allosaurus for sale is a large size specimen, 10 meters long, which further strengthens the comparison with Tyrannosaurus.
Its skeleton is complete and 70% original. It is illustrated in the release shared by Artdaily.
The auction house has not published an estimate, but several sources on the web announce the convincing figure of € 800K.
The famous Tyrannosaurus Sue was only 13 meters long, but was original to more than 90%.
POST SALE COMMENT
After being the star of the Parisian cultural news, this fossil skeleton grew higher than its estimate. It was sold € 1.3 million including premium.
2013 River Sediments in Wyoming
2016 SOLD for € 1.13M including premium
The allosaurus has a remarkable similarity with its much later successor the tyrannosaurus but it is smaller. It has all the characteristics of the most formidable predators. The claws gripped and lacerated the prey and the 7 cm long teeth were curved backwards to prevent the victim from escaping. The very tall hind legs attest to its frightening power.
On June 12, 2011 Heritage sold for $ 2,75M including premium a group composed of an allosaurus and a stegosaurus whose bones were found intermingled, meaning that the carnivore and the herbivore had killed each other. This allosaurus named Dracula was 6.30 m long and 70% complete.
On October 5, 2010, Sotheby's sold for € 1,3M including premium an allosaurus 10 m long, which is very large for this species, also complete to 70%.
A new specimen named Kan found in 2013 in Wyoming will be sold by Aguttes in Lyon on December 10, lot 28. It measures 7.5 m and is also 70% complete. It is remarkable for the conservation of its skull with teeth still in place on the jaw and a very good articulation of the cervical vertebrae. Please watch the video in French shared by Art et Communication.
1990 'Sue' the Tyrannosaurus
1997 SOLD for $ 8.3M including premium by Sotheby's
Attribution : Rklawton at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Skeletons of Mammoth
2017 SOLD for € 550K including premium
The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) occupies a special place in our imagination. Our ancestors painted its image on the walls of the caves. Its morphology is very close to the Asian elephant but is distinguished by the extension of the tusks used for catching food by burying the snow.
Among the extinct species the woolly mammoth is of the utmost interest in contemporary biology. The discovery of frozen bodies with a well preserved DNA makes hope for a regeneration of the species.
On December 16 in Lyon, Aguttes sells the skeleton of a large specimen of Mammuthus primigenius, lot 55 estimated € 450K. It is 3.40 m high including its straight head, 5.40 m long and 80% complete. Its beautiful tusks preserved at 90% are curved without being symmetrical for a linear length of 3.32 m and 3 m and a weight close to 80 Kg each. It was collected in Siberia.
The detailed inspection provides information on the medical history of this old male who probably died of a necrosis of the lower mandible that no longer enabled him to eat.
The 90 % complete skeleton sold on November 26, 2014 for £ 190K including premium by Summers Place was a male of similar size but shorter tusks. Among the specimens whose preservation rate and tusk size were not available in the catalog, let us remind Le Président that sold for € 310K including premium at Christie's on April 16, 2007 and another skeleton sold for € 240K including premium by Sotheby's on October 2, 2012.
Please watch the video shared by Aguttes.
1865 The Lazy Pigeon of the Indian Ocean
2016 SOLD for £ 346K including premium
That new bird arouses some curiosity in Europe, without triggering a scientific analysis. When it became evident about one hundred years after its discovery that the species was extinct, all reliable information had also disappeared. The stuffed specimens had rotted. Descriptions made by travelers and the rare drawings could be questioned.
The dodo is probably the result of a trans-ocean migration of pigeons about ten or twenty million years ago. The vegetation was abundant on this isolated island and they had no predators. Over the generations the species changed. The bird became bigger and the wings were atrophied, making it impossible to escape when men came bringing with them pigs, monkeys, cats and dogs that ate the beasts and their eggs.
In 1865 a schoolmaster is allowed to search in a bog. The result meets the expectations : the bones are abundant, probably following an ancient flood which had engulfed simultaneously a large quantity of birds. A few bones were sent to English zoologists and the rest of the collection was auctioned in London by J.C. Stevens.
Most dodo bones available on the market come from the Stevens sale. Important discoveries have been made since 2005 but their export is prohibited.
For four decades a collector bought bones of dodo in order to create a skeleton as complete as possible. It managed it up to 95% with a part of the skull and a set of claws being the only missing elements. This composite skeleton is estimated over £ 300K for sale by Summers Place in Billingshurst (West Sussex) on November 22, lot 81. Here is the link to the website of the auction house.
1769 The Freshwater Lion
2018 SOLD for € 320K before fees
In 1769 an agent of the Dutch East Indies Company returns from Batavia where he had spent five years. He brings with him various goods that will interest the European market including an exceptional nacreous freshwater pearl weighing 2373 grains, 578 carats according to the measurement system in period, which is still today one of the three largest known specimens.
The pearl is a sensation in the auction sale of his deceased estate in Amsterdam in 1778, not only for its size but also for its blistered shape visualizing a sleeping lion above a flat striated base that evokes the finial of a carved jade seal of the Qianlong Emperor. A real size engraving has been edited for that auction.
It is bought at that sale for 2100 guilders before fees by a Dutch banker acting as art broker for Empress Catherine the Great to whom he delivers it in the following year. The pearl reappears circa 1863 when a woman, probably the daughter of a Danzig shipowner, tries to sell it to the King of Italy. It is bought by a Dutch associate of the jeweler of the king. The project of integrating it into a Fabergé surprise egg to be offered by the Tsar to the Tsarina is canceled by the fall of the Russian empire.
This 70 x 43 x 39 mm sleeping lion pearl weighing 118 grams is offered with its ancient gilt brass box fitting to its dimensions. It is estimated beyond € 340K for sale by Venduehuis in The Hague on May 31, lot 1778. Here are the links to the site of the auction house and to an article shared by Den Haag Centraal.
C’est la plus grosse perle naturelle d’eau douce connue au monde : Le «Sleeping Lion Pearl» qui mesure près de 7 cm de long est proposé aux #enchères @VenduehuisDH. Cette rareté est d’autant plus majestueuse qu’elle a appartenue à Catherine II de Russie https://t.co/sOrrVzPo9T pic.twitter.com/H4LenYinzH— AuctionLab (@byAuctionLab) May 24, 2018
SPECTACULAIR! □ VANDAAG IN DEN HAAG CENTRAAL "Grootste zoetwater parel ter wereld onder de hamer" op 31 mei a.s. bij het @VenduehuisDH. Directeur Peter Meefout, keurig met witte handschoenen, koestert ‘The Sleeping Lion Pearl’#pearl #parel #sleepinglion #auction #veiling pic.twitter.com/Cqrm6t2o7Q— Venduehuis Den Haag (@VenduehuisDH) May 17, 2018
2017 Fragments of Moon
2018 SOLD for $ 610K including premium
Only a geological analysis makes it possible to know the origin of a meteorite. The surface of the Moon has a composition of a limited variety due to the absence of air and water and to its low gravity field. Lunar rocks account for less than 0.1% of the meteorite population.
A breccia weighing 1780 g voluntarily split into two halves was sold for $ 330K including premium by Heritage on October 14, 2012. It is typical of rocks on the far side of the Moon and was found in Dar al Gani in the Libyan Sahara.
In an online auction ending October 18, RR Auction sells a lunar breccia rock found in 2017 in Mauritania, lot 4004 estimated $ 500K. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
This meteorite is composed of six naturally separated fragments that fit perfectly like a puzzle for a total weight of 5.5 Kg. The largest piece weighs 2939 g and measures 180 x 150 x 105 mm. One of the faces of the reconstituted assembly shows traces of fusion generated by its descent into our atmosphere.
ASTOUNDING is the only word for it!#Meteorites in the new @RRAuction catalog include (we assume?) the largest & most unusual #moon rock ever offered at #auction— Meteorite Men (@MeteoriteMen) September 30, 2018
View online --> https://t.co/YYM45aW9mo#astronomy #space #auctions #geek #nerdvana #STEM #NASA #museums pic.twitter.com/xV6lreeS5q