A psittacosaurus dinosaur skeleton will be the largest lot ever offered by Antiquities Saleroom when it appears in its March 1 auction in Colorado.
The near-complete skeleton, which measures over a metre in length and half a metre in height, also holds one of the highest estimates in the sale, valued at $10,000-15,000. It originates from the early cretaceous period, around 140 million years ago.
There have been up to 11 species of psittacosaurus identified from fossils found in China, Mongolia and Russia, making it one of the most species-rich genus' of dinosaur. Roughly around the size of a gazelle, psittacosaurus were herbivores notable for their powerful beak.
Following a May Heritage Auctions sale that saw controversy after a Florida fossil dealer admitted to smuggling a valuable tyrannosaurus skeleton from Mongolia, Antiquities Saleroom co-founder Bob Dodge commented: "We do not sell replicas or anything 'in the style of' any ancient culture. What's more, no sale is ever final. We want satisfied customers who are happy with what they buy - so they will come back and buy more."
With most of the world's ancient cultures represented in the sale, some of the top results will be seen by an Egyptian limestone relief of Osiris and Isis, which was created circa 700-300 BC and is expected to sell for $15,000-18,000.
Holding the top estimates are two Chinese jade carvings from the neolithic period - one depicting a mythological humanoid, the other a demon - which will see bids in the region of $15,000-20,000.
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