The enthusiasm for dinosaur auctions continues. One of the world’s most complete T-Rex skeletons was sold for $ 31.8 million (27 million euros) on Tuesday, October 6, at a sale organized by the Christie’s house in New York. A sum four times higher than the previous record for a dinosaur auction.
The Big Predator made short work of the initial estimate proposed by Christie’s of between 6 million and 8 million dollars, demonstrating once again, if it were needed, the power of attraction possessed by the T-Rex. The nine million dollars were reached in less than two minutes, but it took nearly 14 in total to decide between the three collectors still on the track, with a final hammer blow to $ 27.5 million, to which were added fees and commissions.
The price surpassed the all-time record set by Sue, another T-Rex sold in October 1997 at Sotheby’s for $ 8.4 million at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Only about fifty T-Rexs have been discovered since the first one, in 1902.
Discovered in 1987
The sale was organized in New York, where the auctioneer was located, but with two branches in Hong Kong and London, where Christie’s specialists took calls from collectors. In fact, two buyers who passed through London animated the sale, with a collector in New York, who notably crossed the thresholds of 20 million and 25 million dollars.
4 meters high, 12 meters long, “Stan”, as he was baptized, weighed seven to eight tons during his lifetime, according to specialists. It is 67 million years old and was discovered in 1987 near Buffalo, South Dakota. Paleontologists at the Geological Research Institute in Black Hills, South Dakota, spent more than 30,000 labor hours unearthing it and reconstructing its 188-bone skeleton.
It has since been used in casts for dozens of museums around the world, eager to acquire a copy of this Tyrannosaurus rex exceptionally dead at around 20, according to researchers’ estimates.
Ironically, the sale provides that the purchaser will not have the right to reproduce Stan in three dimensions. The sale arises out of a dispute between the directors of the institute. The law allows sale when the specimen has been discovered on private land, which is the case here.
“THE dinosaur that attracts the crowds”
“There aren’t many complete skeletons”, explained to Agence France-Presse, before the sale, James Hyslop, head of the scientific instruments, globes and natural history department at Christie’s in London. “The opportunities to acquire such a complete T-Rex only present themselves once in a generation”, assured the specialist, who took orders, during the sale, of the collector who took it.
“It would become the centerpiece of any natural history museum”, argued James Hyslop. “The T-Rex has the status of an icon”, he said, which is reflected in its price. “It’s THE dinosaur that draws the crowds. ” Stan is on display in one of the windows at Christie’s headquarters in New York City until October 21.
The head being too heavy, a replica was placed on the skeleton. The real one is presented alongside.