NEW YORK — Bonhams is pleased to announce the complete line-up for the highly anticipated November 19 auction, The Montana Duelling Dinosaurs & Distinguished Fossils. The spectacular Montana Duelling Dinosaurs, a Nanotyrannus and ceratopsian which experts believe died together in a prehistoric death match, will headline the auction (est. $7,000,000-9,000,000). One of the most important North American fossils ever discovered, the Duelling Dinos have untold paleontological potential as their unmounted, fully-articulated skeletons could provide groundbreaking insight into life on earth during the Cretaceous period.
The Duelling Dinos will be in familiar company on November 19th, as Bonhams will offer several additional Cretaceous dinosaurs found in Montana, including a 38 foot long Tyrannosaurus rex (est. $1,800,000-2,200,000). Translated literally as "Tyrant Lizard King," the T-Rex is undoubtedly the monarch of all paleontological treasures. This colossus stood about two stories tall and used its massive skull, serrated teeth, binocular colour vision and extremely sensitive sense of smell to become the apex predator of the late Cretaceous period.
Also from Montana comes a Triceratops skeleton, one of Cretaceous period's best-known behemoths (est. $700,000-900,000). Its famous three horns and bony frill may have had several purposes. Undoubtedly used as protection against its contemporaries, this distinctive skull structure may have also helped the herbivore uproot giant, prehistoric plants.
Bonhams will also offer several fully-mounted skeletons from unusual Cretaceous period dinosaur species: a Thescelosaurus, an ornithopod which first appeared right before the catastrophic K-T extinction (est. $400,000-550,000); a Hypacrosaurus, an obscure duck-billed dinosaur species only formally named in 1994 (est. $175,000–225,000); and a juvenile Tenontosaurus with a fascinating pathology that indicates this diminutive dinosaur may have been attacked by a predator (est. $150,000-180,000).
In addition to the fully-mounted skeletons, extraordinary partial remains from various fantastic prehistoric creatures will be available. One of the most exceptional is a gigantic 12 foot Canadian blue mammoth tusk weighing 285 lbs. from the Pleistocene period (est. $250,000-300,000). This splendid specimen from an extinct member of the Elephantidae family acquired its patina from exposure to vivianite, a rare phosphorous mineral, while entombed for thousands of years in the Yukon permafrost.
Fossils from ancient marine creatures will also be on offer, including a large megalodon jaw reconstruction with a complete set of original fossil teeth from South Carolina measuring over nine feet across and eight feet tall (est. $300,000-400,000). The megalodon was a carnivorous fish species that lived 16 million years ago, and is thought to have approached lengths comparable to today's blue whale. A scientifically accurate set of teeth is extremely rare and represents years of arduous diving.
"The November 19 auction contains nearly 80 lots, including several of the finest, most important fossils ever to come on the market," said Thomas E Lindgren, Bonhams Co-Consulting Director of Natural History. "Led by the unsurpassed Montana Duelling Dinosaurs, this auction is a once in a lifetime opportunity for institutions and collectors."
Bonhams will present The Montana Duelling Dinosaurs & Distinguished Fossils on November 19 in New York. The auction will preview from November 14-19 at Bonhams.
A complete catalogue will be available at www.bonhams.com/auctions/21076/
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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