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Archive for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mammoth skeleton fetches record price

April 17, 2007

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— If you were looking for the skeleton of a prehistoric mammoth, Monday was your day to buy. Christie's auction house sold one for $421,200 - a world record.

The unidentified buyer was a European who collects contemporary art and 19th century furniture, Christie's spokeswoman Capucine Milliot said.

The mammoth sale was one of a dozen world records set during Monday's auction of paleontological curiosities that brought in a total of more than $1.53 million, Christie's said.

The 10,000-year-old skeleton of a 13.5-foot-long rhinoceros sold for a record $162,000. That of a 7.5-foot-high prehistoric cave bear from the Russian Urals sold for $63,180.

The skeletons previously were owned by private collectors.

The Siberian mammoth from the High Pleistocene era, dubbed the "The President," was the star item at the auction. At 12.5 feet tall and 16 feet long, it had been estimated to sell for about $199,000.

The last such item sold at auction, last year in Paris, went for $254,340, Milliot said.

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