Dino skeleton sells for $250,000 at Chait auction

NEW YORK – I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers held their third annual Natural History auction and it was filled with massive Jurassic era and pre-historic skeletons. The star of the sale was the skeleton of a remarkably delicate ten-foot long, fleet footed vegetarian bearing the name Dryosaurus Altus – one of only two in the world – with an anticipated estimate between $400,000 and $500,000. Along with Dryosaurus, a 16-foot-long Mosasaur marine lizard skeleton estimated at $100,000 and the ungainly skeleton of a juvenile woolly mammoth (merely 20,000 years old) was expected to command $100,000 or more.

As the hammer fell on the broad field of collectibles, it became clear that buyers were looking for bargains. This factor weighed heavily in speculations about the fate of the pre-historic lots.

The first of the answers on the big three came when a private collector in California captured the woolly mammoth for $54,900, including the 22 percent buyer’s commission.

Shortly after a juvenile mammoth tusk sold for $3,660 and a raptor leg went for $12,200, including buyer’s premium, it was Dryosaurus Altus’ turn on the block. The bidding opened at $200,000. The winning  bid was $250,000.

Dryosaurus Altus and friends were disassembled, carefully packed and readied for shipping back to Beverly Hills.

I.M. Chait will return to New York in March 2010 for its fourth annual New York City Natural History sale. The regularly scheduled fall auction of Natural History will be held, as usual, at the I.M. Chait Gallery in Beverly Hills. For complete details and prices realized call 310-285-0182 ext. 103.