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Auction Description for I.M. Chait: Natural History Auction
Auction Description:
Natural History Auction
Viewing Notes:
The complete skeleton of an American Duckbill Dinosaur (maiasaura peeblesorum) Two large private collections from Southern California and the East Coast Outstanding Gem Ammonites Two flying dinosaurs (Pterodactyls), one from America and one from Germany A massive Woolly Mammoth tusk A fine selection of natural gold nuggets Ancient Egyptian dynastic artifacts Other fine fossils such as a Saber tooth Cat Skull and a complete Tyrannosaurus foot Martian and lunar specimens Gems; Meteorite jewelry; Zoology and much more
Sale Notes:
Beverly Hills Preview: May 11 - 15 11am - 5pm or by appointment.

Natural History Auction

by I.M. Chait


358 lots with images

May 16, 2010

Live Auction

9330 Civic Center Drive

Beverly Hills, CA, 90210 USA

Phone: +1 (310) 285 0182

Fax: +1 (310) 285 9740

Email: chait@chait.com

358 Lots
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LION FULL-BODY MOUNT

Lot 301: LION FULL-BODY MOUNT

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Description: LION FULL-BODY MOUNT Panthera leo Africa This is a full-sized Lion, the second largest of the cat family and one of the Big Five for game hunters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a handsome specimen, 39 inches high at the shoulder, with a fine soft hint of mane and good taxidermy quality, presented on a simulated rocky base 81 x 33 1/2 inches.

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DINOSAUR BUST REPLICA

Lot 302: DINOSAUR BUST REPLICA

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Description: DINOSAUR BUST REPLICA Hypacrosaurus altispinus Fashioned from papier-mâché and painted, this life-size bust represents one of the most distinctive of the crested Hadrosauridae. Remains of the Hypacrosaurus were first collected in 1910 by Barnum Bailey for the American Museum of Natural History and are distinguished by the broad hollow crest on the top of the cranium, here with black-spotted red and yellow coloring, and by the tall vertebral spines. On this fine representation, the spines and throat are colored red, with the rest of the head and neck in shades of dark gray, and when wall mounted it protrudes 47 inches to the tip of the duck-billed snout.

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FULL-SIZE REPRODUCTION TIGER SKELETON

Lot 303: FULL-SIZE REPRODUCTION TIGER SKELETON

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Description: FULL-SIZE REPRODUCTION TIGER SKELETON Panthera tigris This finely executed osteological specimen represents the skeleton of a sub-adult male tiger in full and correct detail. Made several years ago for a zoo exhibit it remains in good condition with only some minor paint flaking and minimal repair to the plaster. An impressive display piece, it stands 37 1/2 inches high at the shoulder and measures 63 1/2 inches long, on an unfinished wooden base.

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FOSSIL FERN PLAQUE

Lot 304: FOSSIL FERN PLAQUE

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Description: FOSSIL FERN PLAQUE Central Asia These four fossil fern fronds are so perfectly preserved and presented that they look as though they had fallen to the ground only yesterday. The lifelike appearance is only enhanced by the warm brown coloring and superb texture and detail to the individual pinnules. Contrasting attractively with the gray stone matrix this makes for a highly decorative display piece, 21 1/2 x 28 inches.

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PETRIFIED WOOD STUMP

Lot 305: PETRIFIED WOOD STUMP

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Description: PETRIFIED WOOD STUMP Araucarioxylon arizonicum Triassic Chinle Formatrion, Arizona This wonderful natural specimen is from the famous Petrified Forest of Arizona. The stump has been left with its natural bark sheath, of a delightfully rough texture that perfectly offsets the high polish given to the exposed face. Cut on a steep bias to increase the surface are of the stump's interior, it swirls with marvelous clouds of blue-gray and vivid red and stands 11 1/4 inches high.

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PETRIFIED WOOD SLICE

Lot 306: PETRIFIED WOOD SLICE

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Description: PETRIFIED WOOD SLICE Araucarioxylon arizonicum Triassic Chinle Formatrion, Arizona It is no wonder that petrified wood from the Chinle Formation Petrified Forest of Arizona is known as "Rainbow Wood" - this beautiful slice displays a wondrous array of colors in a starburst of red, gray, white, cream and black, with hints of blue, purple and green. It has been brought to a lustrous high-polish finish and retains the contrasting rough-textured bark crust, and measures 14 1/2 x 17 1/8 x 1 7/8 inches.

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LARGE AMBER NUGGET

Lot 307: LARGE AMBER NUGGET

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Description: LARGE AMBER NUGGET Dominican Republic From the abundant reserves of fossilized tree resin in today's Dominican Republic comes this fine specimen of 30 million year-old amber. It boasts the characteristic dark golden honey color, one half with great translucence showing cloudy swirls and planes within, finely speckled with tiny floral inclusions, and measures 4 3/8 x 4 x 2 1/2 inches, 6 3/8 inches high overall on a custom metal display stand.

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FLYING INSECT IN AMBER

Lot 308: FLYING INSECT IN AMBER

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Description: FLYING INSECT IN AMBER Oligocene Dominican Republic Amber is the common name for fossilized tree resin which, seeping from the trunks and branches of prehistoric flora 30-90 million years ago, would occasionally trap an unwitting insect in its slow but sticky and inexorable path. Such specimens are highly prized, for, as distinct from fossils, they represent the incredible preservation of a life-form physically unchanged over millions of years. This lovely pale yellow nugget contains a single flying insect, perfectly preserved in suspended animation for all eternity, with long wings and almost 1/2 inch in overall length. Polished into a lens-like cabochon, this fine piece measures 1 1/2 x 7/8 x 1/2 inches.

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TRIO OF INSECTS IN AMBER

Lot 309: TRIO OF INSECTS IN AMBER

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Description: TRIO OF INSECTS IN AMBER Oligocene Dominican Republic One of the most fascinating - and collectible - relics of the prehistoric world is fossilized tree resin, or amber. Just occasionally the sticky ooze would engulf an unsuspecting insect; unable to pry itself free, it would be entrapped for all eternity in a lovely golden prison. This example offers three such insects, in one polished cabochon, each preserved in absolutely perfect detail. A fine specimen, it measures 1 3/4 x 1 x 5/8 inches.

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LARGE LA BREA TARPIT BLOCK WITH A MASS OF BONES

Lot 310: LARGE LA BREA TARPIT BLOCK WITH A MASS OF BONES

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Description: LARGE LA BREA TARPIT BLOCK WITH A MASS OF BONES Order: Artiodactyla Pleistocene McKittrick Pit, Rancho La Brea Formation, Kern County, California The famous tarpits of the La Brea Formation in southern California ("brea" meaning "tar" in Spanish) are renowned for their abundance of finely preserved bones from the Pliestocene era, a mere 12,000-2 million years ago. These bones are not in fact fossils, having undergone no mineralization, but in fact are perfectly preserved as in life by the thick sticky asphalt in which they have been imprisoned since before the last Ice Age. Large blocks of tar are removed from the pits and then painstakingly chipped away at to reveal the treasures inside; this piece has revealed four finely preserved leg bones from something like a juvenile elk, deer or longhorn, as well as numerous smaller osteological specimens, each with the lovely warm woody patination imparted by tens of thousands of years encased in asphalt. The largest bone measures 8 inches long and the whole block is 24 x 23 inches.

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SMALL MAMMOTH TOOTH

Lot 311: SMALL MAMMOTH TOOTH

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Description: SMALL MAMMOTH TOOTH Mammuthus primigenius Pleistocene The teeth of the mammoth are easily recognizable for the vertical lamellar structure, usually exposed due to the heavy grinding action to which use their teeth were put every day. This is a lovely little example with a fine dark patina and good root section, presumably from an infant, and measures 4 3/8 inches wide.

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FINE SABERTOOTH SKULL

Lot 312: FINE SABERTOOTH SKULL

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Description: FINE SABERTOOTH SKULL Machairodus giganteus Miocene Central Asia On the Miocene savannahs of central Asia massive migrating herds of gazelles, ancient elephants such as Mastodon and Platybelodon and other large mammals provided a veritable smorgasbord for the king of the local food chain, Machairodus, the largest saber-toothed cat of them all. This fearsome hunter was well equipped to bring down the large prey that made up the majority of its diet; pack hunters much like the modern lion, they roamed in prides and after felling their large prey, one or more would rush in and make a lightning-quick killing bite, severing the windpipe and major arteries of the throat. Once the captured animal was thus subdued it no longer presented a threat of injury, allowing the pack to feast at its leisure. This excellent skull shows the vicious nature of the beast: the wicked-looking upper canines measure 4 1/2 inches around the curve, with good enamel coverage, and the whole piece boasts good dentition, fine bone texture and an attractive chalky patina. The skull is slightly flattened but displays remarkably little of the burial distortion common to Central Asian specimens. A superb and striking display piece, it measures 17 1/2 inches long and stands 18 3/4 inches high on a custom metal display stand.

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CAVE BEAR HAND

Lot 313: CAVE BEAR HAND

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Description: CAVE BEAR HAND Ursus spelaeus Pleistocene Russia This superb example of Ice Age fauna has been expertly prepared and presented, a hand from the giant Cave Bear. Between 300,000 and 10,000 years these ancestors of today's Black, Brown and Polar bears were found throughout Eurasia, a formidable beast that would have competed with prehistoric man; indeed, early human hunting is believed to have contributed to their extinction. This specimen displays excellent bone texture and patination, from the hefty carpal structure of the wrist to the individual finger bones, terminating in deadly-looking curved claws, 11 1/2 inches long overall.

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LARGE WOOLLY MAMMOTH TUSK

Lot 313A: LARGE WOOLLY MAMMOTH TUSK

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Description: LARGE WOOLLY MAMMOTH TUSK Mammuthus primigenius Pleistocene Tamyr Peninsula, Russia This extremely large and well-preserved Mammoth tusk is most probably from a male mammoth due to its robust characteristic. It measures an impressive 8 feet 2 inches along the outside curves and displays the classic double curve. The surface has been polished to reveal the beautiful natural colors of cream to brownish-tan. With only 2-3% restoration, this specimen is virtually complete and contains a well-preserved root cavity. A custom oak display stand is included (with some cracking).

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LARGE AQUATIC REPTILE

Lot 314: LARGE AQUATIC REPTILE

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Description: LARGE AQUATIC REPTILE Hyphalosaurus (Sinohydrosaurus) lingyuanensis Lower Cretaceous Central Asia The form of this fine aquatic reptile is immediately familiar; this is not the common Keichosaurus, however, but its much scarcer cousin the Hyphalosaurus (juvenile synonym: Sinhydrosaurus). Like the Triassic Period Keichosaurs, it was probably not solely a marine creature, its forelegs and shoulders well-developed for subaerial locomotion; but its long slender form and paddle-like feet show that it would have been at its most effective in the water. This fine specimen boasts good three-dimensionality to the chain-like neck vertebrae, with fine rib and finger bones and well-defined limbs and tail; its dark gray coloring makes for an attractive contrast with the pale gray matrix, approximately 241/2 x 10 inches, and it is presented in a Chinese fabric-covered box.

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ANCIENT AQUATIC REPTILE SKULL

Lot 315: ANCIENT AQUATIC REPTILE SKULL

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Description: ANCIENT AQUATIC REPTILE SKULL Megalocephalus pachycephalus Devonian Central Asia This distinctive skull is immediately reminiscent of today's aquatic crocodilia, but in fact belongs to a species of the extinct family loxommatidae. They are amongst the oldest known four-footed creatures, although very little more is known of them since almost no remains have been recovered apart from various skulls. Nonetheless, it has been deduced from their long rows of needle-like teeth that they were amphibious fish-eaters, of possibly crocodilian form. This is an excellent specimen, preserved in three-quarter profile to expose both the top of the skull and the left-hand side of the head; the teeth are excellently preserved, with good dark brown enamel coverage, a bristling array of weaponry. The patina throughout is superb, as is the finely dimpled bone texture, and the underside of the matrix contains further teeth and jaw detail - 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches.

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FOSSIL TURTLE

Lot 316: FOSSIL TURTLE

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Description: FOSSIL TURTLE Central Asia Turtles are very often preserved in the fossil record as "exploded" specimens, their remains scattered and disarticulated. This is a fine specimen, however, all more or less in the right place, with superb three-dimensionality and definition to the heavy head, the raised vertebrae and the slender tail. Remains of the four long limbs are also present, one complete right down to the tiny toe bones, and the whole piece is attractively colored in red-gray on a gray stone matrix, 14 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches.

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FINE CROCODILE SKULL

Lot 317: FINE CROCODILE SKULL

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Description: FINE CROCODILE SKULL Morocco Unlike the rest of the dinosaurs, crocodilians survived the great Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event into modern times, and so it is sometimes startling to look at a fossil such as this and recognize clearly the ancestor of one of today's living creatures. Crocodiles in the Mesozoic era were largely ocean-dwelling creatures, but like their modern descendants they could not abide cold temperatures, giving us a clue as to the tropical nature of this locale so many millions of years ago. The present specimen boasts exceptional bone texture and three-dimensionality with no distortion. Almost all of the fine dark brown teeth are present, with good enamel coverage, and the overall effect is of a fine and attractive piece, on a sandy matrix base 16 1/2 inches long.

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ICHTHYOSAUR

Lot 318: ICHTHYOSAUR

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Description: ICHTHYOSAUR Ichthyopterygia The Ichthyosaur - Greek for "fish lizard" - first appeared 250 million years ago, 20 million years before the first dinosaur, and became extinct about 25 million years before their land-dwelling counterparts (about 90 million years ago). They seem to have evolved from land-dwelling reptiles who returned to the oceans, the structure of their flippers suggesting that the bones evolved from a form more similar to an arm and a hand, with fingers and a thumb-like appendage. Once back in the water, however, the ichthyosaur developed a form built for speed, similar to today's tuna, with elongated snout, sleek body and powerful propulsive flippers. All these details are visible here, in a specimen boasting great detail to the teeth and paddle bones, as well as the head and rostrum and the scattered bones of the body. The warm black patina of the fossil harmonizes with the dark gray matrix and makes for an impressive display piece, presented in a 62 1/2 x 26-inch wooden frame.

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DINOSAUR TRACKWAY

Lot 319: DINOSAUR TRACKWAY

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Description: DINOSAUR TRACKWAY Cheilichnus sp. Permian, Artinskian stage Coconino Formation, Ashfork, Arizona The Coconino Formation is a sandstone unit formed from the arid desert of the region 280 years ago. Although fossils are almost unheard of in this locale, it is known for its well preserved trace fossils, such as the trackways offered here. Cheilichnus is an ichnogenus, known only from such traces, and it is surmised that it was some sort of pre-dinosaurian reptile. Its tracks are perfectly defined in the smooth pale pinkish matrix, 22 x 10 3/4 inches.

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PARTIAL MOSOSAUR SKELETON

Lot 320: PARTIAL MOSOSAUR SKELETON

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Description: PARTIAL MOSOSAUR SKELETON Tylosaurus sp. Cretaceous, Maastrichtian stage Niobrara Formation, Montana The Tylosaurus was one of the family of mosasaurs who ruled the waters of the Niobrara Sea, or Western Interior Seaway of North America 70 Million years ago. Giant aquatic lizards, they were the apex predator of their food chain, and this specimen certainly suggests a viciously effective carnivore. Approximately three quarters of the original spine is mounted in a curved posture, with large hand-like paddles outstretched, and surmounted by the skull with its bristling array of deadly teeth. The bones all boast a lovely warm orange-brown patina and the teeth create a striking contrast with their good dark brown enamel coverage. The lower jaw is hinged to open and close and the whole piece makes for a dramatically striking display item, approximately four feet high on a wire armature from an irregularly shaped pale limestone base.

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LARGE FOSSIL SHARK

Lot 321: LARGE FOSSIL SHARK

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Description: LARGE FOSSIL SHARK Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage Aioula, Lebanon Although the fossil beds of Lebanon are famed for the abundance and quality of their fish fossils, most examples are relatively small. Occasionally, however, the lonely fossil hunter digging the mountains of this ancient country will unearth a larger prize, such as this fine fossil cat shark. With the kind of detail and quality of preservation common to the finest fossils of the region, it presents a terrific outline and excellent three-dimensionality, the aesthetic effect heightened by the cloak of dendrites surrounding the fossil. There are few examples of this species, but it has been placed in the living genus Scyliorrhinus, giving it a remarkable longevity of 90 million years; so few have been unearthed, however, that sufficient research to clarify the matter has been impossible. An excellent specimen, the fish itself measures 36 inches long in an irregular 34 1/2 x 52-inch limestone matrix.

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FOSSIL SKATE

Lot 322: FOSSIL SKATE

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Description: FOSSIL SKATE Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage Lebanon The fossil beds of Lebanon are rivaled only but those of the Green River Formation for the abundance and quality of their fish specimens. This excellent primitive skate perfectly exemplifies that quality: with strong brown coloring and good detail from the heavy arrow-shaped head through the well-defined vertebrae it is a fine specimen of the colloquially-known "guitarfish". Although this particular fish is long extinct, the genus thrives today with 17 species found all across the world. Like many other fish, its cartilaginous skeleton makes it particularly rare in the fossil record; the only chance for preservation was to be covered by silt almost immediately following death, before the cartilage along with the soft tissue had a chance to decay. A first-class example of a rare specimen, the fish itself measures 25 1/4 inches long on an irregular limestone matrix 26 x 35 inches.

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FOSSIL SAW FISH

Lot 323: FOSSIL SAW FISH

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Description: FOSSIL SAW FISH Libranopristis hiram Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage Hajola quarries, Lebanon This strange-looking skate was related to the shark, but boasts a bill like that of the sawfish, and comes from the renowned fossil beds of Lebanon. Although the region has produced over 70 genera of fish, the Libranopristis is a rare specimen, here preserved in fine detail, from the tiny "teeth" lining the pale orange rostrum via the fine-boned fins. In contrast, the main body of the fish is softer in detail, representing the parts that were simply too soft to be preserved in fossil form, but leaving a perfect idea of the shape of the creature. This is further highlighted by the well-defined vertebrae, preserved half in positive and half in negative form, both parts exhibiting good three-dimensionality and stretching down towards the dangerous barbed tail. Accompanied by two tiny but perfectly preserved shrimp it measures 28 1/2 inches long in the characteristic warm orange-brown of the region, in a pale-colored irregularly-shaped matrix approximately 37 x 26 inches.

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FINE FOSSIL FISH

Lot 324: FINE FOSSIL FISH

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Description: FINE FOSSIL FISH Cretaceous, Cenomanian Lebanon The mid-Cretaceous fossil deposits of Lebanon are amongst the finest in the world, a remarkable source of fish of over 70 genera, many unique to the area and unparalleled in quality, typically in lovely warm brown shades on the pale limestone, as here. The present example also exhibits fine three-dimensionality and detail, from the bony mass of the head, via the slender ribs down to the superfine tails of the caudal fin. The coloring shades from red-brown to warm orange, with pale-brow, yellow-cream and white - a beautiful specimen, on a 15 x 8 inch matrix.

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COLLECTION OF FOUR FISH FOSSILS

Lot 325: COLLECTION OF FOUR FISH FOSSILS

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Description: COLLECTION OF FOUR FISH FOSSILS Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage Lebanon The fossil beds of Lebanon are renowned as second only to the Green River Formation in Wyoming for the quality and diversity of their fish fossils. This is an excellently representational collection, comprising four separate species, each with the typically fine detail and lovely warm brown coloring of specimens from the area. The fossil deposits of Lebanon are the only ones known in the Middle East, the ancient beds of the Cretaceous Tethys Sea, and were first noted in 1248 in the journal of one of Louis IX's travelling companions, Sire de Joinville, when the king was presented with a stone containing "the shape of a sea fish" during their stay at Sidon; the collector of these specimens is in good company, and the largest fish here measures 7 1/8 inches long in a pale limestone matrix 14 x 8 1/4 inches.

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SUPERB FOSSIL STING RAY

Lot 326: SUPERB FOSSIL STING RAY

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Description: SUPERB FOSSIL STING RAY Heliobatus radians Eocene Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA Many of the aquatic animals that lived in the Fossil Lake of the Green River formation were descendants of marine species cut off from the oceans as the North American continents rose slowly from the primordial waters that covered much of the globe. This is the reason why the traditionally ocean-dwelling sting-ray was to be found in these fresh waters. Like their modern-day descendants, they were placid bottom dwellers, the fearsome tail barbs providing an excellent deterrent to predators that might otherwise have enjoyed them as a tasty dinner. As might be expected, the remains of these thin, delicate flat fish are rare. They are a cartilaginous fish, a characteristic highly antipathetic to fossilization, and although the strata of the "18-inch layer" of the Fossil Lake make it relatively easy to remove the abundant fossils found there, the "wing" bones of the ray present one of the greatest challenges to the excavator, having the thickness of only two sheets of paper. The preparator's skill is likewise keenly tested in its presentation, and the fine detail of the present example is testament to a master of this most painstaking art. This is an exceptional example, with superb detail and good three-dimensionality from the tiny delicate wing bones to the long slender tail, with its barbs resting by its side. The wingspan is a good-sized 12 inches, and the fossil a lovely warm brown, in pleasing harmony with the pale creamy limestone matrix, 30 x 18 1/4 inches.

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FINE AMERICAN CRINOID PLAQUE

Lot 327: FINE AMERICAN CRINOID PLAQUE

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Description: FINE AMERICAN CRINOID PLAQUE Marcocrinus mundulus, Paradichocrinus planus Carboniferous, Mississippian epoch, Osagean stage Edwardsville Formation, Montgomery Co., Indiana, USA The famed crinoid beds of Crawfordsville, Indiana boast over 100 species of fossil crinoids and related echinoderms. No-one is more expert at their identification and preparation than Tom Witherspoon, whose work has been collected by major natural history museums across the world. His skill is immediately evident in the superb three-dimensionality of this plaque and the exquisitely delicate detail of the specimens themselves, their heads and stems a soft mauve-gray color in harmony with the gray matrix, 9 x 7 1/2 inches.

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FINE RUSSIAN TRILOBITE

Lot 328: FINE RUSSIAN TRILOBITE

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Description: FINE RUSSIAN TRILOBITE Hoplolichoides conicotuberculatus Middle Ordovician Asery Level Formation, St. Petersburg region, Wochow River, Russia The old Russian capital has seen more than its fair share of upheavals throughout modern history, but one constant that has always remained is the massive bedrock of Ordovician limestone on which it sits, a veritable treasure trove of multiple species of trilobite. This is a superb example, the lovely soft brown-gray coloring a result of replacement by golden calcite; it displays amazing detail, from the characteristic pustules on the head to the vertical free-standing spines on its back, and is presented on a natural matrix measuring 7 1/2 inches wide.

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GIANT TRILOBITE GROUPING

Lot 329: GIANT TRILOBITE GROUPING

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Description: GIANT TRILOBITE GROUPING Paradoxides sp. Lower Cambrian Djbel Ougrat, Morocco Fossils of the trilobite have been prized by man for over 25,000 years: the Cro-Magnon settlement in France known as the "Grotte du Trilobite" yielded an example with a hole drilled through it, to be worn as an adornment, and others have been found in Greek, Roman and Egyptian tombs. They were known to have been sold on the streets of 15th-century Europe, and closer to our own age were sought out by such celebrated collectors as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. This is a rare display of three exceptionally large Cambrian examples together on the same matrix. Each exhibits extremely fine textured detail, well-preserved with little distortion, and the largest measures approximately 14 x 10 3/4 inches, on 36 x 27 1/2 inch matrix.

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LARGE AND EXCEPTIONAL AMMONITE

Lot 330: LARGE AND EXCEPTIONAL AMMONITE

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Description: LARGE AND EXCEPTIONAL AMMONITE Placenticeras meeki Cretaceous Bearpaw Shale Formation, Montana, USA This outstanding specimen of a Planticeras meeki was found in the shale of the Bearpaw Formation in Montana. It has been superbly prepared and highly polished, with the fernlike suture (growth) patterns exposed on each side, dramatically outlined in white in striking contrast to the warm ground of soft browns, grays, dark red-brown and deep black. These ammonites are found in medium to large nodules that occur in what was the Pierre Seaway, a shallow sea that covered the western interior of North America for millions of years. A specimen of unusual size and beauty, it measures 16 1/4 inches wide and stands 19 3/4 inches tall on a custom metal display stand.

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FINE HETEROMORPH AMMONITE

Lot 331: FINE HETEROMORPH AMMONITE

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Description: FINE HETEROMORPH AMMONITE Ancycloceras sp. Cretaceous Ulyanovsk, Russia Late on in the hundreds of millions of years that ammonites ranged across the oceans of the world a variant developed wherein the characteristically tightly coiled shell started to stretch out. It is thought that this had something to do with subaqueous locomotive evolution and it is certainly an uncanny sight when one is used only to the typical spiral form. But it is still recognizably an ammonite, with excellent shell texture and flashing patches of the nacreous lining amidst an attractively mottled gray, white and brown patterning. The fossil leaps aesthetically from the dark gray matrix 8 3/4 inches wide, raised on a custom metal display stand from a large rectangular base of beautiful dark and pale brown striped zebrawood, 9 1/4 inches high overall.

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SLICED AMMONITE PAIR

Lot 332: SLICED AMMONITE PAIR

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Description: SLICED AMMONITE PAIR Madagascar For millions of years an unassuming rock in the ground, this ancient ammonite has been painstakingly excavated, cleaned of debris, and perfectly sliced in half. The polished inner faces are colored a lovely deep red-brown, and the inner chambers are lined with gray calcite crystals. A beautifully attractive pair for display, each half measure 7 5/8 inches wide.

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PAIR OF POLISHED AMMONITES

Lot 333: PAIR OF POLISHED AMMONITES

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Description: PAIR OF POLISHED AMMONITES Coniceras sp. Madagascar These two complete specimens are representative of the beautiful fossil ammonites from the island of Madagascar. Their outer shell has been removed and the inner surface on both sides brought to a lustrous polished finish to display the wonderful fern-like sutures created by their growth pattern. These distinctive are only enhanced by the marvelous array of colors imparted through millions of years of mineral seepage during the fossilization - deep brown, calcite yellow, warm gray-green and striking white outlining. The centre of each has been left with the natural nacreous shell lining, a glimmering roundel of mother-of-pearl, and they measure 6 7/8 and 6 1/4 inches wide.

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IRIDESCENT RUSSIAN AMMONITE PAIR

Lot 334: IRIDESCENT RUSSIAN AMMONITE PAIR

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Description: IRIDESCENT RUSSIAN AMMONITE PAIR Lamberticeras lamberti Jurassic, upper Callovian stage Kostroma Region, Russia This unique region at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma rivers is home to some of the loveliest ammonite specimens anywhere in the world. The clay deposits were perfect for preserving the nacreous shell lining, here intact on two fine little specimens, their gently ribbed shells shimmering with deep pink and pale green opalescence. The larger of the two is 2 5/8 inches wide and they are presented on a gray stone matrix 2 3/4 inches high overall.

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FINE RUSSIAN AMMONITE TRIO

Lot 335: FINE RUSSIAN AMMONITE TRIO

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Description: FINE RUSSIAN AMMONITE TRIO Peltoceras (Peltomorphites) sp. Jurassic, upper Callovian stage Saratov Region, Russia All ammonites had natural mother-of-pearl lining to the shells, but only under exceptional circumstances does these incredibly thin layer survive the long crushing process of fossilization. In some clay-rich areas, however, conditions are just right to retain this shimmering covering, and here we have three specimens from the fames Saratov region of Russia. Their ribbed and lightly horned shells flash all over with pink and green opalescence, the two larger measuring 3 1/8 inches wide, and they are beautifully presented on a matrix covered with druzy calcite, 4 1/2 inches high overall.

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ORTHOCERAS PLAQUE

Lot 336: ORTHOCERAS PLAQUE

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Description: ORTHOCERAS PLAQUE Orthoceras sp. Ordovician Sahara Desert, nr Talmud, Morocco The name "orthoceras" means "straight horn" and here is a perfect exhibition of that nomenclature, as a mass of the regular cone-shaped belemnite shells align perfectly on the sea bed to be preserved for millions of years. Across the flow of the regular-sized specimens a much larger shell presents itself with striking effect, its torpedo-like form highlighted by a spine of cloudy gray blush; throughout, the rigorously monochromatic shades call to mind a finely veined marble, and Moroccan craftsmen have painstakingly carved and polished each element to produce a plaque of vivid three-dimensionality, 27 1/2 inches high overall on a custom metal display stand.

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SLICED AMMONITE PAIR

Lot 337: SLICED AMMONITE PAIR

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Description: SLICED AMMONITE PAIR Cleoniceras sp. Middle Jurassic Madagascar This ancient nautiloid has been cut in half to expose the wondrous interior structure. The outer sections are filled with a soft gray stone, but this soon gives way to scintillating crevices and yellow calcite-filled chambers, each beautifully lined with warm dark honey brown calcite and back to the granite-like filling at the center. Each sliced face has been brought to a high lustrous polish, and measures approximately 7 7/8 inches wide, and 10 inches high overall on a custom metal display stand.

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POLISHED AMMONITE PAIR

Lot 338: POLISHED AMMONITE PAIR

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Description: POLISHED AMMONITE PAIR Cleoniceras sp. Middle Jurassic Madagascar Almost every surface of this lovely pair of complete specimens has been brought to a highly-polished finish, perfectly to display the amazing suture structure of the animal's shell growth. A profusion of fern-like patterning is revealed in lovely warm brown honey shades and a gentle gray-green, highlighted throughout with a dramatic white aragonite lining. The centre of each has been left with a natural finish, displaying little roundels of the original nacreous shell lining, flashing with gold, pink and green opalescence. Each measures approximately 6 1/2 inches wide and stands 8 3/4 inches high on a custom metal display stand.

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FINE SMALL POLISHED AMMONITE

Lot 339: FINE SMALL POLISHED AMMONITE

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Description: FINE SMALL POLISHED AMMONITE Cleoniceras sp. Madagascar This lovely little polished ammonite is a perfect demonstration of why Madagascar is a locality renowned for the beautiful quality of its specimens. The surface of the shell has been polished away to reveal the profusion of delicate fern-like patterns that represent the process of the interior growth structure, but not so polished as entirely to obliterate the fine ridge lines of the shell's exterior. Much of the surface is colored in warm earthy shades of red and brown, highlighted by creamy white edging to the sutures, but the center of the whorl flashes with the opalescent nacre that formed the shell's lining. A fine little specimen, it measures 4 3/4 inches wide and stands 7 inches tall on a custom metal display stand.

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PAIR OF PYRITIZED AMMONITE SLICES

Lot 340: PAIR OF PYRITIZED AMMONITE SLICES

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Description: PAIR OF PYRITIZED AMMONITE SLICES Spiticeras sp. Jurassic Volga River, Ulianovsk Area, Russia In one small area long the Volga River, ancient Jurassic ammonites are found whose entire shell has been turned to shimmering silvery pyrite. Specimens are sliced and the inner surfaces brought to a high polish to emphasize the incredible natural beauty of these specimens. The living chambers provide a dramatic contrast in metallic black, and they are further enhanced by hints of lovely warm dark red-brown calcite. One half has a flattened base for free-standing, 11 5/8 inches high.

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FINE GEM AMMOLITE

Lot 341: FINE GEM AMMOLITE

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Description: FINE GEM AMMOLITE Placenticeras meeki Upper Cretaceous Bearpaw formation, Alberta, Canada Gem ammolite is one of the world's few biogenic gemstones, along with amber and pearl, and like lumichella or "fire marble" it is formed through the geomorphic transformation of the shells of living organisms. Ammolite's source is immediately apparent - an ancient coiled ammonite. Although their outline is usually preserved in this small area of North America where ammolite is found, they are most often crushed completely flat. The present specimen, however, retains an excellent three-dimensionality, and is covered all over both sides with fine flashing colors, in shades of green, gold and red and even a few occurrences of the much rarer blue and purple. Furthermore, the thin iridescent surface displays fine instances of the crackled "dragon skin" patterning and makes for a beautifully aesthetic specimen, 12 1/2 inches wide.

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SUPERB DOUBLE AMMOLITE PLAQUE

Lot 342: SUPERB DOUBLE AMMOLITE PLAQUE

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Description: SUPERB DOUBLE AMMOLITE PLAQUE Placenticeras meeki Upper Cretaceous Bearpaw formation, Alberta, Canada In one small area of Alberta and northern Montana, conditions were just right over the millions of years of fossilization to transform the shells of deceased ammonites into these incredible natural wonders. The impurities imparted by bentonite-rich sediment to the original mother-of-pearl shell lining have resulted in one of the rarest gemstones in the world: ammolite. This matrix holds two remarkably bright specimens: the smaller, at 5 inches across, blazes with a strong fiery red with shimmering golden green highlights; the larger measures 9 inches wide and displays a greater mixture of greens, reds and golds, as well as some fine patches of the much rarer electric blue and purple. These beautiful fossils leap in superb aesthetic contrast from the irregularly-shaped dark gray shale matrix, which measures approximately 29 x 26 1/2 inches and is ready for wall hanging.

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EXCEPTIONAL GEMSTONE AMMONITE

Lot 343: EXCEPTIONAL GEMSTONE AMMONITE

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Description: EXCEPTIONAL GEMSTONE AMMONITE Placenticeras meeki Upper Cretaceous Bearpaw formation, Alberta, Canada Gemstone ammolite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world, formed from the nacreous shell linings of Cretaceous ammonites in only one small area of North America. It is prized for its fantastic display of shimmering colors, created by impurities in the incredibly thin layers of aragonite. This specimen has a full covering of multi-colored iridescence on both sides, flashing with red and green and gold. Remarkably, however, it also displays large areas of the much rarer purple and electric blue colors, produced by the very thinnest (>5mm) aragonite layers. It is because of such quantity and quality of these rare colors that makes this specimen one of the rarest on the world. In addition, these fossils are most commonly found crushed flat but the present example retains areas of excellent three-dimensionality and detail. A superb specimen, it measures 20 1/4 inches wide.

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OVIRAPTOR EGG PAIR

Lot 344: OVIRAPTOR EGG PAIR

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Description: OVIRAPTOR EGG PAIR Elongatoolithus sp. Upper Cretaceous Central Asia Oviraptors are believed to have possessed paired ovaries from their apparent habit of laying their eggs in twos. This is just such a pair, with the familiar elongated form and rounded tip, and both examples retain good shell coverage with minor crushing to one end. The dark gray patina and texture of the shell contrasts strikingly with the red-earth matrix that fill the eggs. Each measure approximately 7 3/4 inches long.

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IMPRESSIVE DINOSAUR EGG-NEST

Lot 345: IMPRESSIVE DINOSAUR EGG-NEST

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Description: IMPRESSIVE DINOSAUR EGG-NEST Hadrosauridae Cretaceous Central Asia This fantastic nest boasts large examples of the familiar round and slightly flattened hadrosaurid eggs characteristic of the central Asian fossil beds. Not only are they bigger than usual, however, but they are also superbly preserved, with each of the fourteen complete specimens retaining excellent inflation, shell coverage and a wonderful fine texture. Their strong dark gray coloring makes for a terrific contrast with the red matrix, and they are presented on a bed of sand, under the glass top of a painted wood coffee table standing 19 3/4 inches high. The largest egg measures approximately 7 1/2 inches wide and the top of the table measures 39 1/8 x 29 1/4 inches.

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TRIO OF DINOSAUR EGGS

Lot 346: TRIO OF DINOSAUR EGGS

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Description: TRIO OF DINOSAUR EGGS Dendroolithus sp. Cretaceous, Campanian stage Central Asia These are the eggs are from one of the numerous species of hadrosaur that roamed across Asia, North America and Europe approximately 75 million years ago. The duck-billed herbivore would lay its eggs in enormous nests which were closely guarded from the numerous predators that shared their ecosystem, not only during incubation but even after hatching, as their young were born with unfused femurs and required vigilant protection during the formative period. These examples each shows the remains of the cracked, gray shell, in fine contrast to the attractive earthy red coloring of the host rock. The whole piece measures 15 1/2 inches wide and stands 10 1/2 inches tall on a custom metal display stand.

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RARE AGATIZED DINOSAUR EGG

Lot 347: RARE AGATIZED DINOSAUR EGG

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Description: RARE AGATIZED DINOSAUR EGG Titanosauroidea Upper Cretaceous South America The massive eggs of the giant Titanosaur are rare enough, and usually when found bear a striking resemblance to an ancient stone cannonball. This remarkable specimen is much rarer still: a completely agatized example. The exterior retains a lovely softly textured surface but instead of dull gray stone, it is colored with a soft pale blue, white and gray patterning and a fine texture; partly split and opened, the interior by contrast displays the large smooth botryoidal growths of soft blue-gray agate. Highly rare and unusual, it measures approximately 6 3/4 inches in diameter.

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LARGE DINOSAUR FOOTPRINT

Lot 348: LARGE DINOSAUR FOOTPRINT

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Description: LARGE DINOSAUR FOOTPRINT Dilophosaurus sp. Early Jurassic Moenave Formation, St. George, Utah, USA Not all fossils are the preserved bones of ancient creatures. Some are referred to as trace fossils, preserved indicators of life such as this fine dinosaur track cast. Making an impression in the soft mud of its ancient habitat, the creature moved on, but a combination of chemical circumstances conspired to preserve that footprint forever. First the impression was filled with soft mud which then hardened into stone over an imperceptible amount of time. The fossil-hunter unearths it and finds a perfect cast of a millions of years old event. This unidentified track is from a three-toed dinosaur, presumably a theropod, preserved in perfect three-dimensional outline on a matrix 22 x 17 inches.

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STUNNING TYRANNOSAURUS FOOT

Lot 349: STUNNING TYRANNOSAURUS FOOT

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Description: STUNNING TYRANNOSAURUS FOOT Tyrannosaurus sp. Cretaceous, Maastrichtian stage Central Asia This remarkable specimen comes from the foot of an Asian Tyrannosaurus, the 40-foot monster that has entered popular imagination as the king of all dinosaurs. 70 million years ago it roamed across the humid floodplains like its North American cousin the T.rex, a fearsome predator at the apex of its food chain. This is an excellently-preserved example of its foot bones, comprising the hefty fused metatarsal, and three main phalanges with one subsidiary toe section, each tipped with a large wickedly curving claw. Throughout, the bones display a marvelous texture and earthy patina from warm woody red-brown to creamy bone-white. A first-class specimen with next-to-no restoration, it measures 33 inches along the curve to the tip of the middle claw, and stands 32 inches high on an ebonized metal armature and display stand.

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