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Gigantic Ice Age Elk Antlers Sell Big at Auction

ice age
New Zealand Herald

A set of rare Ice Age Irish elk antlers sold for a whopping $28,000 at auction recently. Would you have a room big enough to display them in?

A rare set of gigantic fossilized Ice Age Irish elk antlers sold for $28,000 at a recent auction in New Zealand. Cordy's Fine Art & Antique Auctioneer & Appraisers held the auction and sold the set in Auckland.

A bidding war took place between four parties who desired the antlers, until the final bid of $28,000 won the day.

The antlers, which still had the elk's skull attached, measured 3.2 meters (a shade under 10.5 feet) and took three men to carry.

The Irish elk (Megaloceros giganteus) went extinct around 11,000 years ago. The elk was actually a giant deer. It stood about seven feet tall and inhabited areas far beyond present-day Ireland. The animal's remains have been found throughout Europe, Asia and North Africa, although most specimens have been discovered in the peat bogs of Ireland, which is where this set was originally found.

The antlers had formerly hung in Major Robert Adams Wilson's hunting lodge for much of the 20th century. Wilson's lodge is located in Himatangi, northern New Zealand.

The ice age antlers were handed down through the Wilson family until Murray Wilson acquired them upon his father's death in 1964. Wilson gifted the antlers to his friend Malcolm McIntosh a couple of years ago. Then McIntosh moved and found that he didn't have a room big enough to display the antlers. So to auction they went.

"But they're so big and we've got no room for them in the new house," said McIntosh. "If I put them above the double bed, the first thing that would happen would be that I'd be thrown out, and they'd be close behind me. So I thought rather than them getting damaged, broken or stolen, we'll move them on."

Other sets of Irish elk antlers have sold for big money in different auctions, including the largest known pair that went for $131,000 in 2001, a set that went for $143,000 in 2003, and a pair that went for $83,000 in 2005.

Click this link to see a short video on the antlers.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

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Gigantic Ice Age Elk Antlers Sell Big at Auction