By Terry Kovel
I missed the May Christie’s auction of the dodo skeleton, but since we wrote about earlier ones (see Kovels Komments, June 6, 2007; June 13, 2007; July 4, 2007; and December 6, 2016), I want to add new information.
As you may remember, the dodos were discovered on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean in 1598 by Dutch sailors. They became extinct by 1758. The strange-looking flightless birds were not afraid of humans and were killed for food until none were left. The last dodo skeleton was discarded by a museum because it was too expensive to repair. It was burned and only a head and a foot remained. A few other skeletons were assembled from rare bones found in the 1860s. The auction at Christie’s offered one of these; it sold for $622,000. Another dodo skeleton sold for $430,660 in 2016.
Photo: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2019