A LARGE PAIR OF IRISH ELK / GIANT DEER ANTLERS  Megaloceros Giganteus, Ireland

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Lot 69
A LARGE PAIR OF IRISH ELK / GIANT DEER ANTLERS
Megaloceros Giganteus, Ireland

Sold for £ 12,562 (US$ 17,430) inc. premium

The Sporting Sale

31 Oct 2019, 11:00 GMT

Edinburgh

A LARGE PAIR OF IRISH ELK / GIANT DEER ANTLERS
Megaloceros Giganteus, Ireland
With 19 points and skull with jawbone, the whole stained dark brown with shellac, (restorations), 171cm wide, 122cm deep, 138cm high (67in wide, 48in deep, 54in high)

Footnotes

  • The 'Irish Elk', or Giant Deer, lived during the Pleistocene Period of the Great Ice Age (starting 2.6 million years ago and ending 11,700 years ago). Now extinct, the Irish Elk is one of the largest deer to have ever lived.

    The Giant Deer stood around seven feet (2.1m) tall at the shoulder, carrying antlers weighing up to 40kg and spanning up to 13 feet (4m) across.

    Whilst called the 'Irish Elk', the species is neither exclusively Irish, nor is it an Elk, but actually a relation of the Red or Fallow deer.

    Whilst the majority of skeletons have been found in Ireland, their habitat was vast, spreading across Europe, Asia, Africa and China. The name 'Irish' has stuck however, due to well preserved fossils of the Giant Deer being especially common in lake sediments and peat bogs of Ireland.

    There are numerous theories regarding the extinction of the species including over-hunting by humans, as well as loss of habitat and vegetation due to climate change at the end of the last Ice Age. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the antlers themselves became so large that they leached minerals and calcium from the animal's bones, effectively causing what we now know as osteoporosis.

    These impressive antlers have long been a feature of Scottish and Irish Baronial banqueting halls. The largest known pair to have sold at auction measured 292cm across and came from Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow (Christie's, London, 14 June 2001, Lot 5).
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Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £10,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £10,000 up to and including £450,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £450,000 up to and including £4,500,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4,500,000.

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