23 November, 2016

Way back at the start September, we wrote about a very rare dodo skeleton that was to be placed into auction and yesterday the auction finally took place.

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It was the first near complete example of a dodo skeleton to be offered for sale in almost 100 years and as such interest was particularly high in the lot, leading a flurry of bids before the hammer was brought down at £280,000.

The winning bidder was a private collector bidding over the phone and inclusive of buyers’ premium, the total price amounted to a staggering £346,300.

As you would imagine, the near complete skeleton is extremely rare and is one of only 12 similar examples worldwide with the others all being held in museums which span the globe from its native Mauritius to the United States.

The Mauritian government has since enforced a ban on the export of dodo bones, leading experts and auctioneers to believe that it is now very unlikely that another composite skeleton of this nature will ever come up for sale again.

The previous owner was a private collector who had accumulated the bones over a period of 40 years before he could finally assemble what became one of the most complete examples of a dodo skeleton.

Dodo Skeleton
4th March 1938: A Dodo skeleton opposite a reconstructed model of the extinct bird in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. (Photo by Becker/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Dodos were first seen by sailors in 1598 on their native island of Mauritius but became extinct around 70 years after their discovery and humans are thought to have driven the bird to extinction through hunting and the introduction of other animals to the island.

Auctioneer James Rylands sells a rare near-complete Dodo skeleton for a total of £346,300 at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 22, 2016. The 95% finished composite skeleton of the flightless dodo bird is the first to come up for sale in nearly 100 years, and fetched a hammer price of £280,000, or £346,300 with buyers' premium, as part of Summers Place Auctions' fourth Evolution sale. See PA story SALE Dodo. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire