If you happen to have $8 million in your pocket, Sotheby’s New York has the perfect artifact – a gigantic dinosaur to grace your foyer, delight your nerd buddies and terrify your elegant guests!
By: Isabelle Kellogg
Posted on: July 5, 2022
Once you’ve purged your garage or home, Sotheby New York’s live upcoming “Natural History” auction (also dubbed “Geek Week” by Sotheby) promises to be a bonanza for collectors of large-scale prehistoric treasures. If you’ve been yearning for an authentic dinosaur, a mega-ton bundle of bones, this Gorgosaurus, discovered and excavated in 2018 in Montana, should be on your wish list immediately.
Roaming the Earth 78 million years ago, this close relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex shares some similar characteristics, even though it predates the T-Rex by about 10 million years (yes, do the math). For example, it has a huge skull with dozens of craggy teeth, two small two-fingered limbs like pinchers appear below the neck area, and two huge bird-like feet with three claws each which most likely helped this two-ton creature run like mad to catch its prey or run away in fright if terrorized. As the master hunter of its time, in which it was believed to have hunted in packs of four, the Gorgosaurus was a dominant force and a singular predator.
At the hush-hush press briefing, up close and personal with this sturdily re-constructed skeleton (please excuse any reference to the movie, “Night in the Museum”, but it’s inevitable), we surmised that collectors and museums vie for items like this, whether it’s to augment existing natural history collections or for bragging rights among friends, thus shooting the expected closing price to between $5-$8 million.
Here are some additional details worth noting if you’re looking to accommodate this fellow. Measuring nearly 10 feet tall and 22 feet long, it is one of the most valuable dinosaurs to ever appear on the market. A member of the Tyrannosaurid family, whose name translates as “fierce” or “terrifying” lizard, the Gorgosaurus was a fearsome apex carnivore (meat eater) that reigned during the Late Cretaceous period.
The Gorgosaurus’ body proportions are typical of swift-moving biped dinosaurs, with powerful hind legs and a large tail which acted as a counterbalance while running. This specimen, which was a very large, mature individual at the time of death, is of pristine quality. All known skeletons, both from the U.S. and Canada, are housed in institutional collections, making this the only specimen of its kind available for private ownership.
For those of you who live in the New York City area, go see the Gorgosaurus from July 21 to 27 at Sotheby's York Avenue galleries in Manhattan (free entry) where you can pretend you’re an extra for another Jurassic Park movie – just before it gets auctioned on July 28.
In addition to a career in communications and marketing focused on the luxury lifestyle sector, including co-authoring and lecturing a case study on French heritage jeweler Mauboussin with Harvard Business School, Isabelle continues to share her experiences about fine art, wine, travel, jewelry and culture as a freelance writer for internationally based digital publications.