Sunday - 23 November 2014

How sales are evolving at Summers Place

05 November 2013Written by Roland Arkell

This remarkable fossil of one of the largest animals ever to have walked the Earth becomes the first large dinosaur skeleton to be offered at auction in the UK at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex, on November 27.

The skeleton of a 56ft (17m) long Diplodocus Longus carries an estimate of £400,000-600,000 as part of Summers Place's inaugural Evolution sale.

Relatively complete diplodocus skeletons are rare and this specimen, a mere 150 million years old, joins only a handful of other known examples. Even the famous 'Dippy' in the Natural History Museum is a plaster copy taken from an original in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, which was itself composed from at least two different skeletons.

This female diplodocus, nicknamed Misty, was found by the children of the celebrated dinosaur hunter Raimund Albersdoerfer near to the famous, privately owned Dana quarry in Wyoming and prepped at a leading fossil laboratory in Holland before being assembled in the UK.

The Evolution sale is being curated by natural history expert Errol Fuller whose most recent book, Drawn from Paradise, co-authored with Sir David Attenborough, charts the discovery and history of birds of paradise and the art associated with them.

He is chairman of the Natural History vetting committees for many of the leading London antiques fairs including Olympia, LAPADA and the Battersea Decorative Fair.

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