Paris evolution sale: from dinosaurs to space diapers

Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:47pm EST
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PARIS (Reuters) - From entire dinosaur skeletons and fossilised bugs alive more than 400 million years ago, to modern space paraphernalia, there is something for every pocket in a Paris evolution-themed auction next month.

The hundreds of pieces charting life on earth culminate in curiosities from the space age, such as a pair of bright green cloth diapers made for Russian astronauts.

Other eye-catchers include an 8-meter-long Spinosaurus skeleton, complete with its distinctive long spines and sharp-toothed open jaws.

Hand-sized trilobites, marine bugs dating back some 470 million years, are priced at around 2,000 euros ($2,985) each and fossilised dinosaur teeth and small insects can be snatched up for a few hundred euros.

But the dinosaur skeleton is estimated as several hundreds of thousands of euros.

"There's something for every wallet and every fantasy," curator Bertrand Cornette de Saint Cyr told Reuters at the Drouot-Montaigne auction house, where the sale will be held on December 1 and 2.

"He we are no longer looking at objects, at man-made paintings, but at the sources of life, the sources of everything," he said.

Auction houses such as Christie's have held several prehistoric sales in recent years as Hollywood movies have fueled interest in dinosaurs and their remains.

The Russian astronaut suits, space-ship manuals and hardware are aimed at space-age fans as well as art lovers.

"There are some objects that can be compared to contemporary art," said collector Francois Daneck, who owns some of the pieces on sale. "A space glove in the office of a company boss, that could be top."

(Reporting by Laurent Hamida; Writing by Sophie Hardach; Editing by Jon Hemming)

<p>A sabre toothed dinosaur is seen during a presentation at an auction room in Paris November 27, 2009. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes</p>