Mammoth sale! Four skeletons tipped to make up to €450,000

Mammoth sale! Four skeletons tipped to make up to €450,000

A complete family of prehistoric mammoth skeletons will go under the hammer for the first time.

The Ice Age forms are expected to sell for between £250,000 (€280,000) and £400,000 (€450,000) at auction in West Sussex on Tuesday. The collection is open for the public to view on Sunday.

Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst says the collection will be a unique opportunity for a museum to be the first in the world to show a family scene of the ancient, extinct species.

The family of four skeletons includes a one-year-old mammoth, which is only the second known almost complete baby mammoth skeleton in the world.

The group also includes male and female adult skeletons as well as a young female, aged around eight or nine.

They were all found together during building works near Tomsk, Siberia, in 2002. Their relatively small frames indicates they lived in poor conditions and most probably died at the end of the Pleistocene period, around 12,000 to 16,000 years ago, a spokeswoman for Summers Place said.

The history of the mammoth experienced a recent revival in popularity when animated characters appeared in the children's film Ice Age - so the collection is expected to appeal to museums hoping to entice younger audiences.

Rupert van der Werff, Summers Place's natural history specialist, said: "The Ice Age is particularly fascinating as it is the most recent example of a large climatic shift.

"The retreat of the ice meant that cave man effectively could stop his nomadic lifestyle and with agriculture modern settled society developed.

It's the start of civilisation as we know it. Sadly, this resulted in the demise of iconic animals like the woolly mammoth."

Other highlights at the sale include a rare three-dimensional skeleton of marine reptile the Plesiosaur, from Lyme Regis, Dorset, which is approximately 205 million years old, and could fetch up to £30,000.

Also on sale is a cave bear skeleton from the same period and that of a rare aurochs, an extinct species of large, wild cattle, which are each expected to sell for £15,000 (€17,000) to £20,000 (€22,000).


More in this Section

Much of US scales back on Independence Day events as Trump plans big celebrationMuch of US scales back on Independence Day events as Trump plans big celebration

Boy, 8, killed after shooting in Alabama shopping centreBoy, 8, killed after shooting in Alabama shopping centre

London mayor condemns ‘disgraceful’ attack on police at street partyLondon mayor condemns ‘disgraceful’ attack on police at street party

South African health system under strain as coronavirus cases surgeSouth African health system under strain as coronavirus cases surge


Lifestyle

All eyes are on America for Independence Day - so what happens when the country's borders reopen again? Tom Breathnach gets the lowdownAltered States: What will tourism in the US look like after lockdown?

From days by the seaside to adrenaline-filled days riding rollercoasters, Leinster offers staycationers major bang for their buck.Staycations 2020: Leinster, where Eastern promises are delivered in full

Des O'Sullivan previews the diverse items that will spark interest among collectorsAntiques: From a sword to crystal chandeliers and a dictionary

Kya deLongchamps strikes up the band for some lesser copied American mid-century talentIt's July 4 so let's strike up the band for American designs

More From The Irish Examiner