Sotheby's is to feature 100 fossils, skeletons and mineralised panels - including a rare complete mammoth skeleton - in its Natural History auction on October 2.
The auction will be the third sale held in France that has been devoted exclusively to this growing market. Among the auction's main draws will be 30 lots from the Kashiwagi Museum in Japan, with a pair of tusks from a 50-year-old individual mammoth leading bids.
The tusks were found in Russia and date back to the Late Pleistocene period. With a $37,000-62,000 estimate, they are sure to attract strong bids from both museums and private collectors.
The top lot of the sale is expected to be an extremely rare complete mammoth skeleton, which will sell with a $211,000-310,000 estimate. Discovered in Siberia, the skeleton will offer the purchaser a unique opportunity - the chance to christen the skeleton with the name of their choice.
Following this will be a large woolly rhinoceros skeleton, which became extinct 10,000 years ago. Contemporary to Neanderthal man and Homo Sapiens, the woolly rhinoceros is depicted in numerous prehistoric cave paintings. It will sell with an $87,000-124,000 estimate.
Also appearing will be one of the most iconic and recognisable of all fossils - the ammonite. The piece at auction is over 70m years old and boasts "seductive" colouring, with the outer layer of the fossil comprised of the precious stone ammolite. A stunning example, it is expected to bring $18,000-31,000.
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