Rare T. Rex Skeleton To Be Auctioned in Chelsea

By Mathew Katz on May 17, 2012 6:19pm 

The 8-foot-tall, 25-foot-long dinosaur skeleton is roughly 80 percent complete.
The 8-foot-tall, 25-foot-long dinosaur skeleton is roughly 80 percent complete.
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Heritage Auctions

CHELSEA — We'll start the bidding at $65 million.

In a once-in-a-million-years sale, an exceptionally rare tyrannosaurus skeleton will be up for auction in Chelsea on Sunday. 

Heritage Auctions will sell off a near-complete tyrannosaurus bataar, the Asian counterpart of the North American T-Rex, at Center 548, an exhibition space at 548 W. 22nd St.

The 8-foot-tall, 25-foot-long dino skeleton is roughly 80 percent complete, according to the auction house.

"This is simply an impeccably preserved specimen of the sort that is almost never seen on the open market," said David Herskowitz, director of natural history at Heritage Auctions.

"Tyrannosaurs are incredibly rare to come across in any condition, let alone as pristine as this."

Heritage has estimated that the skeleton is worth more than $950,000. "Sue," the last tyrannosaurus sold at auction, was sold by Sotheby's for $8.3 million in 1997.

The skeleton is not alone at this weekend's auction — Heritage also plans to sell off a paleontologist's dream's worth of bones and gems, including a tyrannosaurus bataar tooth with an erupting crown, valued at $18,000, a spikey ankylosaurid skull valued at $60,000, and a 28-inch-long, "bird-dinosaur" skeleton valued at $45,000.

More recent additions include a pair of $70,000 antique elephant trunks and a roughly $40,000 giant Asian saber-toothed cat skull.

For those with pocketbooks that might preclude them from dropping that much cash on a skeleton, the collection will be on public display until Saturday.

The auction is open to the public and kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Heritage Auctions will auction this Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton at Center 548 on Sunday.
Heritage Auctions will auction this Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton at Center 548 on Sunday.
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Heritage Auctions

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