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.

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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)

在拉斯維加斯一場拍賣會上,六千六百萬年前的暴龍「參孫」骨骸因出價遠低於底標而流標,會中最高出價為三百六十萬美元(新台幣一億一千五百七十萬元)。

一九九二年,母暴龍參孫在南達科塔州一座大農場出土。和暴龍「蘇」一九九七年售得八百三十六萬美元的紀錄相比,參孫還差了一截。

蘇是史上保存最完整的暴龍化石,被芝加哥費爾德博物館買下後,成為館內人氣展品。

然而,保存較不完整的參孫受到經濟不景氣影響,淪為流標的十七件恐龍骨骸和其他化石之一。

這場拍賣會共賣出二十五件恐龍及其他化石,售得一百七十多萬美金。面對這樣的結果,寶龍伯得富拍賣會人員強打起精神。

拍賣會營運長派屈克.米德表示:「我很失望我們沒能找到買主,不過我們終會找到的;整體而言,我很滿意這次拍賣的結果。」

一對較不知名的三角龍近親恐龍化石以四十四萬美元賣出,成交價低於拍賣簡介上預估的五十萬美元,不過據拍賣會表示,該成交價已打破這類拍賣品的世界紀錄。

買主是阿拉斯加州大湖區的賴瑞.勞森,他共花費約一百萬美元買下若干拍賣品。這名四十四歲的腫瘤學家表示,他會把這些化石用來裝飾住家和辦公室,並開放給學校團體參觀。

第一次參加拍賣會的勞森說:「我從小就很迷恐龍化石。這次來就是想看誰會買下這個暴龍化石,順便看看自己可以買點什麼。」

(法新社╱翻譯:袁星塵)

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