Menu
Welcome Sign-In | Join Now
Sold for Sign-in or Join (free & quick) includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 

Description

ELEPHANT BIRD EGG
Aepyornis maximus
Holocene
Madagascar
This incredible egg is from the largest bird ever to have lived, the 10-foot tall Aepyornis of Madagascar. Known as the Great Elephant Bird, it was perhaps unsurprisingly a ratite (flightless bird) like the Moa, the Rhea or the Ostrich, lacking the keel to its breastbone that would provide sufficient leverage to operate its wings in flight. Believed to have weighed almost 900 lb (400 kg), it was a native of Madagascar that survived at least until the late seventeenth century: the French governor of the island at that time wrote of a reclusive giant bird that laid its eggs in hidden places. Indeed, human desire for these eggs may have been the cause of its extinction, as shell fragments have been found amongst remains of human-made fires, suggesting that they were a substantial food source. The bird has also been popular in folk legend, supposedly inspiring the Roc, or Rukh, of Marco Polo's writings and of the Thousand and One Nights, and immortalized by H.G. Wells in his 1898 story "Aepyornis Island". Remarkably little is known about the creature, however, because no complete skeleton has ever been discovered, and very few associated ones are available for study; their least scarce remains are these incredible eggs. In fact, less than 40 complete, unbroken specimens are known to exist. Most usually the shells of other eggs are reconstructed from fragments, but once in a blue moon a complete specimen turns up, such as the present specimen. Aepyornis maximus produced the largest known bird egg, and maybe the largest egg ever produced by any animal with respect to volume. The volume of this egg roughly equals that of 170 chicken eggs.

This is a truly superb example, with no cracking and no repair, boasting a gorgeous, pitted texture throughout. Of a lovely uniform ivory color, it is one of the finest specimens one could hope to find of these highly desirable eggs, 12¼ inches long, 27½ inches in circumference, presented on a perspex ring stand.

Condition Report*:

Condition report available upon request. *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

Service and Handling Description: Requires 3rd Party Shipping (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
May, 2012
20th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 2,409

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

Heritage membership

945,308
bidder-members
$891,451,904
sold in the last year

Join Now - It's Free

VIEW BENEFITS
  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    winnings 

Consignments wanted

Consign to the 2016 May 20 American Indian Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

Learn about consigning with us

Heritage Auctions has consistently displayed unvarying kindness and knowledge. Its experts permitted me to profit from my hobby without ever treating my treasures solely in terms of their market value.
[ Additional Handwritten Note » ]
Maggie Thompson,
Iola, WI
View More Testimonials

HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit: compete.com

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
REALIZED $1,441,296
2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
REALIZED $6,712,638
2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
REALIZED $441,524
2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
REALIZED $5,683,719
2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
REALIZED $439,980
2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
REALIZED $624,835
2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
REALIZED $824,108
2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
REALIZED $1,089,341
2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
REALIZED $1,725,292
2015 May 14 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Beverly Hills
2015 May 14 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Beverly Hills
REALIZED $2,309,960

© 2015 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved