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Sotheby's to offer dinosaurs, woolly rhinoceros and marine reptile in Paris on September 30
Group of three elegant sea-lilies (Seirocrinus Subangularis – Lias), 180 million years old. Natural Tableau, 8 ft 6 in. x 5 ft 3 in. Estimate: 75,000 – 95,000€ /$102,183 – 129,432. Photo: Sotheby’s France / Art Digital Studio.

PARIS.- The next Natural History sale at Sotheby’s Paris on 30 September 2014 is sure to delight both seasoned collectors and new enthusiasts. Marvels of Nature, rediscovered fossils and skeletons of vanished creatures will retrace the spectacular history of Evolution down the millennia. Although this is a field that remains unfamiliar to many, it is attracting more and more collectors who see a unique opportunity to fulfil childhood dreams amongst long-lost giants elevated to the status of art. Such creatures have fascinated connoisseurs of rarities since the 16th century, with their appeal given fresh impetus at the start of the 20th century by artists of the Avant-Garde.

Sotheby’s were among the first auctioneers to stage sales devoted to Natural History. In 1997 a complete Tyrannosaurus Rex known as Sue, 42 feet long and 12 feet high, with teeth and vertebrae intact, attained a record $8.4m and now welcomes visitors to the Field Museum in Chicago. This Autumn, Sotheby’s Paris will unveil other marvels with a mythical aura – vestiges of an era that crystallize our wildest dreams and transport us back to our most unexpected origins.

Skeletons & Fossilized Specimens
The sale’s exceptional creatures include an Ornitholestes (literally ‘bird robber’) – a small, carnivorous dinosaur around 7ft long, which lived towards the end of the Jurassic Period 150 million years ago. Despite its small size, its long lower limbs gave it tremendous speed and agility, making it a formidable hunter. The ornitholestes ate small mammals, lizards and birds in wooded areas. The holotype, discovered in 1990, enabled scientific knowledge about the ornitholestes to advance, and the specimen to be offered at Sotheby’s was important in adding to this knowledge (est. €350,000-450,000 / $476,900-613,098).

The Woolly Rhinoceros (Coeldonta Antiquitatis) lived in the icy steppes of Eurasia. It was large and robust, 5-7 feet tall, over 10 feet long and weighed 2-3 tons. Its main characteristics were a thick brown coat to protect it against the cold, and its two central horns. Collectors will have the chance to acquire one such horn, 27 in length and especially well preserved (est. €15,000-20,000 / $20,437-27,249).

The sale includes aquatic as well as land-based creatures, including an Ichtyosaur Stenopterygius Quadridcissus fossil from the early Jurassic Period (est. €50,000-70,000 / $68,122-95,370). This marine reptile, close to the dolphin, liked warm, shallow seas, speeding through the water in pursuit of cephalopods and other fish armed with a long beak enclosing a row of jagged teeth. This large fossil, 6ft 3in long, retains its four skeleton legs and stands out majestically against its background of slate.

Mineralized/Fossilized Panels & Other Curiosities
Collectors can admire a magnificent group of three elegant sea-lilies (Seirocrinus Subangularis – Lias) 180 million years old, enlaced for eternity on a natural tableau (8ft 6in x 5ft 3in). The tentacular sea-lily owes its name to its floral appearance, sometimes with Surrealist overtones. These three lilies are fixed to a natural stone panel and unfurl their corollas in a spectacular fashion, magnified by the fine layer of pyrite that covers them, giving them an iridescent sheen (est. €75,000-95,000 / $102,183-129,432).

Today's News

July 16, 2014

New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'

Group show at Blain/Southern in London explores ideas of the void and emptiness

Sotheby's to offer dinosaurs, woolly rhinoceros and marine reptile in Paris on September 30

Snowdon gives 130 of his most iconic photographs from his archive to National Portrait Gallery

The Academy announces major gifts from Dolby Laboratories and the Dolby family

Museum of Modern Art appoints Martino Stierli as Chief Curator of Architecture and Design

Christie's London announces Second Annual Out of the Ordinary Sale to be held on 3 September

Destination London: Record sales distinguish capital as key art market hub

The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

Japanese businessman Yuzo Yagi thanks Italy with $2.7 million Roman pyramid

Call for Participation: Daniel Canogar looks for particpants for project in Times Square

Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art acquires Benvenuto Tisi Nativity painting

Forty Over 40 honors Guggenheim Museum's Chief Curator Nancy Spector

Notable galleries to offer important works at Art Southampton this month

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts acquires major Taos School painting

Tsang Kin-Wah selected as Hong Kong's submission for the 56th Venice Biennale

Project EATS to run a farm stand in front of Brooklyn Museum Thursdays

An important painting by Pop-artist Sam Walsh donated to the nation under the Cultural Gifts Scheme

Berry Campbell opens exhibition of paintings by Eric Dever and Jodie Manasevit

NEA selects Wendy Clark as Director of Museums, Visual Arts, and Indemnity

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3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

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