T-rex specimens brengen op een veiling naar verwachting miljoenen op
December 9, 2022 - Dinomania shows no signs of abating, with two exceptionally well preserved Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons up for auction just a few days apart in Hong Kong and New York.
First, a 1,400kg T. rex skeleton will be up for auction at Christie’s in Hong Kong on Nov 30, where it is expected to sell for as much as $25 million. The 66-68 million years old specimen, named Shen, will be the first T. rex skeleton ever to be auctioned in Asia.
And then, a remarkably complete adult Tyrannosaurus rex skull will appear at a public auction in New York on Dec 9 and will likely sell for between $15 million and $20 million, according to Sotheby's auction house.
The skull fossil, nicknamed Maximus, which is nearly 2 metres tall and weighs more than 90 kilograms, was excavated in South Dakota from the famous Hell Creek Formation, a fossil-rich deposit known to contain a trove of unique specimens from the late Cretaceous period (145 million to 66 million years ago). Maximus is estimated to be about 76 million years old.
But Maximus is not the first Hell Creek T. rex to hit the auction block. Sue and Stan, two near-complete skeletons, fetched $8.36 million in 1997 and a record $31.8 million in 2020, respectively.
Auction houses’ increased interest in dinosaur bones has, however, sparked criticism from the scientific community. Some experts have expressed concern that such significant items should not be auctioned to private collectors, where they may not be available to the public or to scientists.
Francis Belin, president at Christie’s Asia Pacific, said they hoped that exceptional objects ended up in institutions so they could be seen by the public.
Sue is now a permanent feature at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. Stan sold went to a mystery buyer later found to be the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi, where it is due to go on display in 2025.
- Maximus, 'one of the best' T. rex skulls on record, could fetch $20 million at auction (Livescience)
- Tyrannosaurus rex skull expected to fetch £13m at US auction (The Guardian)
- T-Rex Skeleton Expected to Fetch Up to $25 Million at Auction (Bloomberg)
- King of the dinosaurs’: Shen the T. rex in all its ferocious glory (Christie’s)
- Maximus Rex (Sotheby’s)