Bonhams will hold their first ever Natural History auction at The Venetian(R) in Las Vegas on October 3, 2009.
Among the approximately 50 lots of fossils to be auctioned, there will be a Tyrannosaurus Rex known as Samson, one of the largest known Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered. If you ever wanted to exhibit your very own T.Rex in your living room, this is the time to get it. You still have over a month to come up with the cash. Based on the previous sale of similar skeleton of a lady T.Rex Sue at $8.3 million in ’97, Samson will also be one expensive pet to have.
The rare 66-million year old Tyrannosaurus skeleton – dubbed “Samson” – is arguably one of the three most complete specimens to have been discovered. This rare example from the Cretaceous period was excavated near Buffalo, South Dakota over 15 years ago.
Originally prepared by scientists and technicians at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “Samson’s” skull is considered to be one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus skulls in existence. The entire specimen contains approximately 170 bones, more than 50% of the total bone count of an entire skeleton. In life, “Samson” was equal in weight to “Sue,” the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton which sold for $8.3-million in 1997.
Of further interest are pathologies (evidence of healed injury or disease) of the skull and portions of the skeleton that open a window into the life of this virtual beast. The skeleton is beautifully prepared and mounted utilizing the most modern methods, which allows for new discoveries and enhanced aesthetic qualities.
According to Peter Larson, Tyrannosaur Paleontologist: “Although research on this particular Tyrannosaurus is still incomplete, it is believed by experts to be one of four possible examples of a yet unnamed species of Tyrannosaurus. I look forward to seeing the entire assembled and fully prepared skeleton in Las Vegas.”
This animal was most likely a very skilled hunter with binocular color vision and an extremely sensitive sense of smell. In life, “Samson” measured approx 40-feet in length and could have looked into a second story window. Its massive skull and powerful serrated teeth could have bitten through the leg bone of any contemporary dinosaur. During the Cretaceous Period, Tyrannosaurs occupied a position at the apex of the food chain giving this creature lasting celebrity.
In addition to “Samson,” the October 3rd sale will also feature approximately 50 lots of high quality and distinctive dinosaur specimens and exceptional fossils. Other highlights will include a fully mounted, 28-foot-long “duckbilled” dinosaur skeleton and a 7-foot-long fossil shark from the Permian Period, which was discovered in Germany (estimates upon request).
The illustrated catalogue will be available online for review at www.bonhams.com/us in the weeks preceding the auction. The specimen will be exhibited and sold in the space formerly occupied by The Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas.