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European Auction Record for an Allosauraus Dinosaur, the T-Rex of the Jurassic Period
A rare complete skeleton of a carnivorous dinosaur Allosaurus from Wyoming, USA, that measures 12 meters long. EPA/SOTHEBY'S PARIS.
PARIS.- The Galerie Charpentier was the setting for a landmark event this evening: Sotheby’s first Natural History sale in Paris. After a five-day viewing that pulled in 4000 visitors, enthusiasm for all the natural marvels, skeletons and fossils on offer was confirmed throughout the sale.

Skeletons of prehistoric animals fetched the top prices, led by a complete, skeleton of a 33-foot Allosaurus (the ‘T-Rex’ of Jurassic Period) from Wyoming. The carnivorus dinosaur soared to €1,296,750 – a record in Europe for a dinosaur skeleton. The dimensions of this 70% complete specimen suggest it was a female.

In the words of sale expert/consultant Eric Mickeler: ‘A star is born! The Sotheby’s Allosaurus today became part of human history. What will it become known as? We can’t say yet, but I congratulate the buyer for blending excellent taste with daring bidding, in front of a packed saleroom.’

The Allosaurus (‘different lizard’) was a theropod, sometimes dubbed the ‘Jurassic T-Rex,’ that lived 150-135 million years ago and could weigh up to 3 tons. It was a ferocious carnivore with huge, articulated jaws, lined with some 70 curved teeth, capable of extending horizontally to swallow its prey. Its short front limbs, each with three deadly claws, were used to immobilize its victims and tear off their flesh.

The rare skeleton of a woolly rhinoceros (Rhinoceros Tichorinus) from Siberia, complete with its original horn, sold to French collector Gérard Reynaud for €96,750. This Ice Age symbol (dating from the Pleistocene Epoch 100,000 years ago) was promptly presented by Monsieur Reynaud to the Institute of Human Paleontology in Paris. Institute Director Henry de Lumley reacted delightedly, saying ‘this unique piece’ would be ‘one of the most prestigious additions to our prehistoric collection for a century, and will now be at the disposal of the international scientific community.’

Another sale highlight was one of few examples still in private hands of a complete skeleton of a Plesiosaurus (Cryptocleidus sp.), which cleared its €370,000 top estimate on €456,750.* This aquatic reptile was a swift-moving predator whose form inspired the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Exceptionally, the thorax, tail, neck, limbs and skull are all fully preserved.

A magnificent wall plaque (8ft 1in x 7ft 5in) of a fossilized palm-leaf, Sabalites sp. (Cenozoic Era), discovered at Green River Formation, raced to €120,750 against an estimate of €80,000-100,000; a complete Sphenodiscus Lenticularis ammonite (late Cretaceous Period) from South Dakota, with the opal-like appearance of a precious stone, flew to a triple-estimate €72,750; and a petrified oak ‘butterfly’ plaque from Oregon (Middle Miocene Period, Juntura region) was propelled to €102,750 against an estimate of €40,000-50,000.

Sotheby's | The Galerie Charpentier | Allosauraus Dinosaur | T-Rex |


Today's News

October 8, 2010

The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Painting from the Stadel Museum at the Guggenheim

Major Exhibition of the Work of Anselm Kiefer at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Architect Sir David Chipperfield CBE to Receive the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture

Leading Figure of American Pop Art, Tom Wesselmann, at Haunch of Venison in London

LACMA Welcomes Nearly 40,000 to Celebrate Opening of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion

The Hand of God? Strange Phenomenon at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery

Exceptional Southeast Asian Modern & Contemporary Art to Captivate Collectors this Fall

Baseball Legend, Yogi Berra, Adds Space to His Museum and Learning Center

London's Savoy Hotel, the "Palace by the Thames", to Reopen after $350 Million Facelift

Brooklyn-Based Artist Fred Tomaselli Has Solo Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum

The Crosby Garrett Helmet, Found by a Metal Detectorist, Sells for $3.6 Million at Christie's

Important Works by Andy Warhol from the Shapazian Collection Go to the Huntington

Two Outstanding Beach Scenes by Sorolla are the Highlights of Sotheby's 19th Century European Paintings Sale

Swedish Museum Unaware of Theft of Munch Painting

Christie's Announces Sale of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design, Autumn 2010

Controversial Artwork won't Be Returned to Display

Turning a New Leaf, Jerry Hall to Shed Her Art Collection Next Week at Sotheby's

15th Art Forum Berlin Opens the Autumn Season of the European Art Shows

$250,000 First-Place Prize Goes to Grand Rapids , Michigan Artist Chris LaPorte

First NYC Museum Exhibition on the Tradition of Spanish Draftsmanship Opens at the Frick Collection

Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris Exhibition by Larry Clark Barred to Minors

European Auction Record for an Allosauraus Dinosaur, the T-Rex of the Jurassic Period

Qing Dynasty Vase Smashes World Record in Glowing China Art Sales at Sotheby's

Tracey Emin Work to Be Auctioned during Frieze in Aid of Margates Turner Contemporary

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Claims Painting is by Rembrandt Not His Pupil

First Major United Kingdom Exhibition by Swedish Artist Klara Lidén at Serpentine Gallery

Major Exhibition Explores the Mastery of Moshe Safdie and a Lifetime of Architectural Achievements

MoMA Appoints Laura Hoptman as Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture

Gold and Gem Encrusted Tiger Head from Throne of Tipu Sultan Sells for £434,400 at Bonhams

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1.- Fever mounts as stunning statues found at Alexander The Great-era tomb

2.- Hi-tech underground scans reveal vast complex of monuments at Britain's Stonehenge

3.- National Geographic Museum opens exhibition featuring shark-munching Spinosaurus

4.- First major New York City exhibition to explore Vienna Actionism opens at Hauser & Wirth

5.- Elizabeth I 'airbrushed' for 18th century make-over and a bug is found in Edward VI

6.- Award winning Swedish director Daniel Fridell to direct Kalliope Films' Vincent Van Gogh biopic

7.- Comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Joan Miró's work opens at the Albertina

8.- Synchrotron radiation technology in art conservation: Science to the rescue of art

9.- Mona Kuhn's first solo exhibition in the US opens at Edwynn Houk Gallery

10.- Sotheby's announces details of its sales series for Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon

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