updated 3/25/2007 11:15:05 PM ET 2007-03-26T03:15:05

The skull of a large carnivorous dinosaur and the tusk of a shaggy-coated mammoth from the Ice Age sold for a combined $372,000 at a natural history auction, auction officials said.

Sunday's auction, which also featured a meteorite and other items, brought in a total of $1.55 million.

"This is the highest-grossing collection of natural history sold at auction since such sales figures began in 1995," said I.M. Chait Auctioneers' director of natural history, David Herskowitz.

The prepped and mounted 32-inch-long (81-centimeter-long) tyrannosaurus skull was sold to an anonymous California collector for $276,000, the third-highest amount paid for a prehistoric specimen at auction, said Darryl Pitt, the meteorite expert for Chait.

The highest ever paid was $8.36 million for the skeleton of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur named Sue in 1997, Pitt said.

The 10-foot (3-meter) tusk of a woolly mammoth found on the Siberian tundra was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $96,000, the most such an item has commanded at auction, Pitt said.

An 11-pound (5-kilogram) aesthetic iron meteorite discovered in southwestern Africa fetched $32,000, Pitt said. And a gold nugget from western Australia weighing 62 troy ounces sold for $72,000.

"It was another banner day for extraterrestrial real estate but also for the terrestrial real estate as well," he said.

Among the 345 lots sold during the auction were a 75,000-year-old dire wolf skull for $60,000, a 10 million-year-old fossil penguin found in the Atacama Desert in Chile for $9,600, a multihued crystal from Afghanistan for $32,000, and a fossil plate of a flying dinosaur skeleton from Germany for $48,000, the company said.

Chait, a Beverly Hills, California, auction house oversaw the sale, its first in New York, at a Manhattan loft. The sale prices included a 20 percent buyer's premium, Pitt said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments