A resurgence of interest in natural history, climate change and extinction has fuelled the collecting market for natural history. Christie’s sale of Travel, Science and Natural History in South Kensington on April 10 will feature a very rare Dodo bone and a cave bear skull from the upper Pleistocene era. Cave bears became extinct in the last Ice Age, Dodo’s in the 1700’s. When Christie’s offered a Dodo bone last year it was the first to come to auction since 1934. It sold for £8,125. Now they have another one. The rarity of the piece is reflected in the estimate of £10,000-15,000. Cave Bear Skull’s are not as rare as this, but it is becoming much more difficult to trade in them legitimately.
James Hyslop, Head of Travel, Science and Natural History, Christie’s South Kensington commented: “As an icon of extinction, the dodo is second to none”.
UPDATE: The sale realised £850,625. The top lot was an ice axe associated with legendary mountaineer George Mallory which sold for £132,100. An elephant bird egg sold for a world record price of £122,500.
A rare Dodo bone, expected to realise between £10,000-15,000. Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD
Cave Bear Skull
From the upper Pleistocene, 126,000-12,000 years old (£2,000-3,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd. 2014. UPDATE: THIS MADE £2,125