Mon, Oct 12, 2009 - Page 14 News List

Bones of contention: T-Rex scares off buyers at Vegas auction 拉斯維加斯暴龍化石流標

Private and institutional dinosaur collectors descended on Las Vegas but in a depressesd economy, many items failed to meet the reserve price.


A 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex named Samson failed to sell at a Las Vegas auction after the top bid of US$3.6 million (NT$115.7 million) fell way below the minimum price.

Samson, a female T-Rex found on a South Dakota ranch in 1992, also trailed the record US$8.36 million that Sue, another T-Rex, sold for at a 1997 auction.

Sue, the most complete T-Rex ever found, has since become a blockbuster attraction in Chicago’s Field Museum, which bought her.

But Samson, which is a little less well preserved, was one of 17 dinosaur and fossil items which failed to sell, in a sign of the depressed economy.

Officials from auction house Bonhams & Butterfields attempted to put a brave face on the sale that netted more than US$1.7 million on 25 other dinosaur and fossil lots.

“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t find a buyer, but we will, and I’m pretty happy with the results overall,” Bonhams & Butterfields chief operating officer Patrick Meade said.

A pair of a less-known species of dinosaurs related to the triceratops, sold for US$440,000 — below the US$500,000 estimate noted in the prospectus, but according to Bonhams & Butterfields, a world auction record for such an item.

They were bought by Larry Lawson of Big Lake, Alaska, who spent about US$1 million in all. The 44-year-old oncologist said the items will adorn his home and offices and be available for schools to visit.

“I’ve been into this kind of stuff since I was a little boy,” said Lawson, who was attending his first auction. “I just came to see who was going to buy the T-Rex and to see if I could get anything other than that.”(AFP)












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