T-Rex maxilla leads Bonhams Natural History auction in Los Angeles

22 May 2013, Natural History
Natural History

T-Rex maxilla leads Bonhams Natural History auction in Los Angeles

22 May 2013, Natural History

Los Angeles — A Tyrannosaurus rex maxilla (upper jaw) from Montana achieved the top-selling spot in Bonhams auction of Natural History, May 22 in Los Angeles. The maxilla, featuring seven teeth - with five mature teeth and two emerging teeth seen, sold well within its $70,000-90,000 estimate, bringing $86,500.

Highlights of the 145-lot sale went on to include a rare and exceptional jurassic crocodile of Poseidon Shale, Holzmaden, Germany, which brought $84,100 and a gigantic Megalodon teeth in jaw reconstruction, whose deep ocean teeth were primarily found at Offshore Cape Fear, Wilmington, North Carolina, which achieved $74,500 - surpassing a $50,000-60,000 estimate.

Also notable in the auction was an immense dinosaur specimen from a recently discovered undescribed species, comprising a mounted femur, tibia, fibula and foot, Diplodocus sp., possibly Amphicoelias, from the Morrison Formation, Wyoming, that brought $31,350; and a research quality cast replica of the Tyrannosaurus rex skull of "Duffy," discovered by Stan Sacrison in 1993, from Hell Creek Formation, Harding County, South Dakota, that realized $13,750, past a $7,000-9,000 estimate.

A selection of fossils also sold impressively in the sale. From the Green River Formation, Lincoln County, Wyoming, was a rare Palm Frond mural that sold for $43,750; a Palm Flower Mural, prepared in high relief and seen with three fossil fish specimens, that realized $18,750; and an incomparable Palm Flower Part and Counterpart, in "positive/negative" presentation, that fetched $21,250, topping its $15,000-20,000 estimate. Additional notable fossils on offer included a 100-million-year-old Rhombopterygia Guitar Fish from Hgula, Byblos, Lebanon - thought to be the largest of its species ever discovered - that brought $17,500; and a Jurassic Sea Lily fossil of Holzmaden, Germany, in an attractive vertical presentation on the rich gray-black matrix of the famous locality from which it originated, that sold for $16,250.

Tom Lindgren, Co-Consulting Director of Natural History at Bonhams, commented, "I am pleased with the continued and growing interest that surrounds important fossil specimens."

Ammonites of note in the auction included a 101-million-year-old, exceptionally large, Colossal Texas Ammonite, from Duck Creek Formation, Texas, that brought $32,500 and a 71-million-year-old, Canadian Ammonite in Matrix from Bearpaw Formation, Alberta, Canada, displaying brilliant red and golden coloration, that took in $17,500.

The next auction of Natural History at Bonhams is scheduled to take place November 19. For more information, please visit www.bonhams.com


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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