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AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE DODO BONE, MAURITIUS, BEFORE 1690

AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE DODO BONE, MAURITIUS, BEFORE 1690

fragmentary femur, Raphus cucullatus,

12.5cm long

Provenance: Almost certainly excavated in 1865 at Mare aux Songes in 1865 by Clark. 19th century English collection. Thence by descent until acquired by current owner, Viktor Wynd.

Viktor Wynd’s Museum, London.

Wynd states:

"My life as a collector has taken me to strange and faraway places and I have sometimes been blessed with luck, the sort of luck that perseverance sometimes brings. In the 2000's I visited a grand house in Suffolk to view a spectacular collection, and in a nineteenth century collector's cabinet I came across a small group of dodo bones – to my knowledge none had come on the open market since 1934 and as far as I have been able to establish only a tiny handful of private collectors – perhaps less than ten worldwide, own one. I bought all five and they are truly one of the greatest treasures I have ever or will ever own. One I sold to a client, one I swapped for something spectacular, one I sold with Christies and it is a great personal wrench to sell this one – but needs must, the last will remain in the museum’s collection forever."

The other Dodo bone that Wynd refers to, that was bought from the same private collection, was sold at Christie's, London, 24 April, 2013, lot 47, sold £8125. At the time Christie's stated:

"This is believed to be the first dodo bone to come to auction since 1934. This exciting discovery is one of the few pieces of dodo material in private hands, and it is a privilege, and humbling experience, to have been entrusted with the bone. It is a reminder of the effect humans have on the natural world, and presents a rare opportunity to engage with this now lost and most enigmatic bird.”

Since then Christie's have sold a full Dodo skeleton from another collection for £491,250, 24 May 2019, lot 155.

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History is a contemporary reinterpretation of a Pre-Enlightenment Wunderkabinett or Cabinet of Curiosities. It is the creation of artist and writer Viktor Wynd, who has just opened a Falmouth branch of his museum inside the National Maritime Museum. His most recent book 'The UnNatural History Museum' was published by Prestel in 2020.

Sold for £5,000

Includes Buyer's Premium


 

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