The first large dinosaur auctions in Europe ends with a bargain: £ 400,000 plus fees in the amount of 83,000 pounds achieved the 17-meter-long Diplodocus. For “Misty” and their admirers, it is a happy ending: The anonymous buyer wants to exhibit the giant public
“for free here,” says David Thomas auction helper with shining eyes, “is already extraordinary.” His wife, sitting at the information booth at the entrance hall, has never experienced such an interest: “So many media representatives!”
BBC and ITV, Sky and AFP are there, a total of eight camera crews. The reason: On Wednesday, at public auction in the southern English Billinghurst for the first time on European soil, a large dinosaur. One in six of the most complete Diplodocus dinosaurs ever found.
Spectacular Fossil auctions are in the U.S., where fabulous prizes are called to part, not uncommon in Europe does. “Summers Place Auctions” is always with fossils – “Misty” holds since only the record size. “That’s a trend,” said auctioneer James Rylands. “The whole attitude towards natural history exhibits changed,” also believes curator Errol Fuller.But do not ever seen such a thing in spectacular prices as the auction proved: In the end, “Misty” only a price of 400,000 pounds achieve (478,000 euros). The auction is also a test case
At noon observed Fuller and Rylands how crowded the hall. The atmosphere is cultivated-relaxed, the tension still palpable. Here take gamers to the curious. Right hand waiting at a long table eight phones to which calls the remote bidders. Shortly before 14 clock goes Rylands forward. The three-meter-wide blades of a prehistoric Irish elk are its majestic podium. Let the show begin.
The crowd is rather rustic dressed. That means nothing: is auctioned in the elegant ambience of a southern English exclusive residential area in the country, but also around it is parked on the field. The shoes are already dirty before you are very exited. Sturdy shoes and quilted jacket are there an obvious choice of attire, especially as it is cool in the hall.
The Hall is a dimly lit, smartly dressed functional buildings of approximately 50 meters in length. Along the walls and in two rows in the room are the exhibits of the auction close together. The way through the ranks is a surreal trip: There stands a magnificent, 62 centimeters by measuring mother-of ammonite of rare beauty, and diagonally opposite in a glass case a “Centaur” which has mounted an artist from the skeletons of a small hoofed animal and a monkey .
hang on the walls next to the Triassic crinoids impressive modern Taxodermie plants, arrange the birds or parts thereof artfully. Everywhere animal trophies are presented, as they are in the 19th Century loved: An threads hanging birds behind glass bells, heads of rhinoceros, antelope, buffalo. Under the ceiling float two zebra heads that have been assembled together into a kind of macabre heart.
Giant ammonites, fossil palms, Dodo bones, Ice Age walrus and mammoth pine stand or lie as a matter of course in addition to modern art or numerous small dioramas. This is the name behind the glass combined, arranged in scenes stuffed animals, as we know from many large natural history museums. For your own home you took in the 19th Century but also less like natural scenes: In two approximately one sees squirrels playing cards. “Which I like best,” says David Thomas helpers. The were funny.
All this is like a giant indoor flea market, but just a more expensive. The price expectations start at a few hundred pounds for two zockende squirrels, extend over 50,000 to 80,000 pounds for a magnificent ichthyosaurs (the then “only” bring 44,000) up to 400,000 pounds and more for the most expensive of all pieces.
is right at the back in the dim light, “Misty”, the Diplodocus lady. 150 million years old and 17 feet long.Need large dinosaur public?
day before Rylands spoke with a group of children over the last Diplodocus, for he was also for the schools of the region a welcome attraction. “Misty was a herbivore,” says Rylands the four-to six-year-old tots: “It’s as if there for lunch only salad and vegetables.” And definitely unlike the Tyrannosaurus rex, which one of the little ones can most correctly as “terror-king” translate. “Misty,” explains Rylands was, as compared rather fond of. Somehow “Misty” made for children.
“The really know a lot,” Rylands says, laughing, “some more than the adults.” And yes, it would be nice of course if you “Misty” even after the sale could still see publicly.
This finds Errol Fuller, who has collected as curator of the auction the exhibits. Of course, the great public attention pleases him, though he does not want to overstate the importance of Diplodocus: “The science is thus relatively little lost when they should end up with a private collector The species is largely pried..”
Fuller is a painter and a well-known non-fiction author, a renowned expert on extinct birds. And it is also a consultant in the field of antiques, art, curiosities and natural history collectibles. “The general theme of the auction is the natural history. And have what we associate with it or connected representations in three-dimensional form.”criticism of auction paleontological discoveries
then hits just the sculpture of an ammonite on their real-life counterparts. For Fuller – and probably also for the buyer – is all art. All this, he says, but “highly decorative” and sometimes much valent and more beautiful than many things that offering the art market often completely inflated prices.However
criticism also run auctions paleontological finds, especially when it comes to spectacular. Fuller has to a significant opinion: “The vast majority of paleontological discoveries have been made by private collectors or dealers academics should not forget that..” The scholars should “get her butt up and do more excavation work itself.” The science trying to “a kind of new clergy to create,” says Fuller. “This is something limited knowledge rather than that it is widespread.”
But to “Misty” There will not be such a controversy. After more than two and a half hours is “Lot 167″ for sale, the dinosaurs. Auctioneer Rylands who could lure his bidding until then with a lot of English joke from the reserve, you can feel immediately that it would be over after one, two, three bids.
400,000 pounds plus 83,000 pounds of charges was “Misty” to her new owner in the end worth – an institution whose name was not immediately known. There is a price at the lower end of expectations, a bargain if you will. Sure, says Silke Lohmann, spokeswoman for the auction organizer, you hope for something always more. On the other hand, an institution would have the dinosaur at a significantly higher price also can not afford.
The sensation has failed in the English Billingshurst last seen in New York: There is no speculative run on fossil investments. Also, why is “Misty” it public. That at least is said to have promised the mysterious institution.