66-million-year-old Big John triceratops sold at 6.6 million euros in Paris

Published by Cécile D., Elodie D. · Updated on 22 October 2021 at 11h52 · Published on 22 October 2021 at 11h03
Big John – the skeleton of a giant 66-million-year-old triceratops discovered in 2014 – has been auctioned on October 21, 2021 at the Hôtel Drouot. The massive skeleton was auctioned 6.6 million euros, a record.

Auction house Binoche et Giquello offers to see one of the most fascinating archeological discoveries of the past few years. 60% complete triceratops skeleton, Big John (with a skull being 75% complete), is considered as a nature miracle. He is said to have died after a fight with another triceratops in an old and submersible plain – the actual Hell Creek Formation (South Dakota, United States) – which enabled to preserve the skeleton in mud, a sediment free from any biologic life.

In May 2014, his fossilized bones are discovered by geologist Walter W. Stein Bill and the excavation starts in August 2015. In October 2020, the skeleton arrives to the Zoic studio for renovation. It took geologists and preparators thousands of hours of thorough work to extract, clean, renovate and catalog each fossil to recreate the dinosaur’s skeleton, that is immensely huge. To give you an approximative size, his two longest horns are 1.1m long (3.60ft) and over 30cm wide (11.81inch) at the base, each able to support a 16-ton pressure.

Big John has been already displayed on one of the biggest squares in Europe, the Piazza Unità d’Italia in Trieste from July 30 to August 1, 2021, and will come to Paris from October 18 to 21 before its auction at the Hôtel Drouot, this upcoming October 21. Its worth is estimated between €1,200,000 and €1,500,000.

But such a piece could not be auctioned this easily. Buyers fought this Thursday October 21 at the Hôtel Drouot. Auctions went very high very quickly. As a result: Big John has been sold to an American for 6.6 million euros, a record in France.

The buyer of this remarkable skeleton - who wants to stay under cover - explains they "fell under the spell" of the triceratops. Big John will be kept in the buyer's private collection in America.

A T-Rex has the world record for highest auctions: in 2020, in New York, a collector purchased the skeleton of one of these terrible predators for 31.8 million dollars (over 27 million euros).

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 16 September 2021 to 21 October 2021



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