Properties / Interiors

Dinosaur skeletons are the latest must-haves for your home

Dinosaur skeletons are gracing collectors’ cabinets, with two huge dinosaur skeletons,  an allosaurus and a diplodocus, go up for auction in Paris this week. “The fossil market is no longer just for scientists,” said Iacopo Briano of Binoche et Giquello, the auction house for the two dinosaurs. The Italian expert claims that they have became “real […]

Apr 17, 2018 | By Shirley Wang

Dinosaur skeletons are gracing collectors’ cabinets, with two huge dinosaur skeletons,  an allosaurus and a diplodocus, go up for auction in Paris this week.

The skeletons of an allosaurus and a diplodocus are up for auction in Paris this week, marketed as trendy interior design objects

“The fossil market is no longer just for scientists,” said Iacopo Briano of Binoche et Giquello, the auction house for the two dinosaurs. The Italian expert claims that they have became “real objects of decoration, like paintings”, citing Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicolas Cage as fans of such ornaments.

Going on sale on Wednesday among 87 lots of natural artefacts, the diplodocus is expected to cost around £480,000 and the allosaurus up to £650,000. In an upcoming auction in June, there will be another huge skeleton of a theropod, expected to auction for up to 1.5 million euros.

The allosaurus is 3.8 meter long and expected to fetch up to £567,000

While the rarity, verification and completeness of these collections are common determinants of the price they fetchy, there are a few more that affect the auction.

Carnivores such as the allosaurus fetch more than herbivores such as the diplodocus due to their prominent sharp teeth. Consider the price of the allosaurus that is considered “small” at 3.8 metres long compared to its fellow auction member diplodocus that stands at thrice the size at 12 metres long.

The diplodocus, measuring 12 meter long from nose to tail, is being assembled in the auction house

Mickler, a natural history expert for the Aguttes auction house, explains that traces of a violent fight or an incurable illness on the fossils also increases their auction value. Furthermore, a collection becomes a lot more attractive if it includes an exceptional piece, such as a particularly impressive skull.

A scientific consultant checks the teeth of the allosaurus

With an increasing fan base notably the Chinese, these new bidders are now competing against multinational corporations, the “typical” buyers of dinosaur skeletons. In 1997, McDonald’s and Walt Disney were among donors who contributed to the €6.75 million to buy Sue – the most complete and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex – for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. ‘Millions of people come to see it, it’s incredible publicity for companies,’ said Eric Mickeler, a natural history expert.

Around five dinosaur skeletons go to auction around the world each year.


 
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