Home Sweet Home for T-rex Known as 'Samson'

  • LAS VEGAS, Nevada
  • /
  • November 12, 2009

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The T-rex "Samson" found a buyer.
Bonhams & Butterfields

Home Sweet Home for T-rex Known as 'Samson'

Shortly following Bonhams & Butterfields' successful auction of Natural
History at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, 'Samson,' one
of the largest known Tyrannosaurus rex specimens ever discovered, has
found a new home, after what can only be described as tremendous
interest from institutional parties and private buyers worldwide.

Thomas Lindgren, Co-Director of Natural History, reported that: "Bonhams
& Butterfields was very pleased by the post-auction interest and
ultimate sale price, and we expect 'Samson' to be displayed publicly in
the future."

The rare 66-million year old Tyrannosaurus skeleton - dubbed "Samson" -
is one of the three most complete specimens to have been discovered.
Native to North America, Tyrannosaurus rex is recognized as the 'Tyrant
Lizard King' and is the most famous of the behemoths of the "Age of
Dinosaurs."   This rare example from the Cretaceous period was excavated
near Buffalo, South Dakota over 15 years ago.

Prepared by scientists and technicians at the Carnegie Museum of Natural
History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, "Samson's" skull is considered to
be one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus skulls in existence.  The
entire specimen contains approximately 170 bones, more than 50% of the
total bone count of an entire skeleton. 

Of further interest are pathologies (evidence of healed injury or
disease) of the skull and portions of the skeleton that open a window
into the life of this virtual beast.  The skeleton is beautifully
prepared and mounted utilizing the most modern methods, which allows for
new discoveries and enhanced aesthetic qualities. 

This animal was most likely a very skilled hunter with binocular color
vision and an extremely sensitive sense of smell.  In life, "Samson"
measured approx 40-feet in length and could have looked into a second
story window.  Its massive skull and powerful serrated teeth could have
bitten through the leg bone of any contemporary dinosaur. 

During the Cretaceous Period, Tyrannosaurs occupied a position at the
apex of the food chain giving this creature lasting celebrity.

Auctions of Natural History at Bonhams & Butterfields continue on
December 6, 2009 in Los Angeles.  The holiday sale will feature a
diverse group of distinctive and high quality mineral specimens,
exceptional fossils, gold nuggets and unusual jewelry including a
selection of "phenomenal" gems as well as lapidary works of art. 

Highlights include The Winter Palace, an illuminated music box of
fabricated of Rock Crystal, Diamonds and Aquamarines by German lapidary
artist, Manfred Wild (est. Estimate $200,000-300,000); The Cat's Meow,
an unusually large and highly sought after cat's eye chrysoberyl ring
weighing 47.80 carats (est. $120,000-140,000); The Holt Kunzite, an
immense emerald-cut 722 carats Brazilian Kunzite (est. $35,000-45,000)
and a five pound natural non-nacreous pearl, possibly the second largest
ever discovered (est. $300,000-400,000).

Press Contact:
Bonhams & Butterfields: Jannelle Grigsby, jannelle.grigsby@bonhams.com,

About Bonhams

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America and in August 2003, Goodmans, a leading Australian fine art and antiques auctioneer with salerooms in Sydney, joined the Bonhams Group of Companies. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further seven throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston in the USA; and Switzerland, France, Monaco, Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 57 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to www.bonhams.com. (01-08) For other press releases, go to www.bonhams.com/press.

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