Christie's has announced that it will sell a rare fragment of dodo bone and an elephant bird's egg in its Travel, Science and Natural History sale in London on April 24.
The dodo bone, a fragment of the flightless bird's femur, is believed to be the first to appear at auction since 1934. It has been given an estimate of £10,000-15,000 ($15,138-22,708).
The dodo was first recorded by Dutch sailors in 1598 on the island of Mauritius, but was driven to extinction in the late 17th century, less than 100 years after its discovery. The bone was "almost certainly" excavated on Mauritius in 1865 during a famous dig by George Clark (1807-1873).
"As an icon of extinction, the dodo is second to none. From its appearance in Alice in Wonderland to the expression 'dead as dodo', the bird has cemented its place in our cultural heritage," commented Christie's James Hyslop.
The elephant bird egg, measuring over 100 times the size of a chicken egg, will be sold for £20,000-30,000 ($30,277-45,416). The elephant bird was the largest bird even known to have lived; resembling an ostrich, it could grow to around 11 feet in height. It was a native species of Madagascar, but was hunted to extinction between the 14th and 17th centuries.
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