Atractosteus strausi
    Messel Pit, Darmstadt, Germany
    Middle Eocene - 47 MYA

    The Middle Eocene oil-shales of Messel are unique in possessing a fortuitous combination of conditions, resulting in an exceptionally high percentage of fossil remains with soft tissue preservation. These same conditions necessitate an equally unique preparation technique. The fine example of a gar presented here was upon discovery, kept in wet newspapers until it reached the 'prep lab', where careful excavation exposed one side of the fish, at which time that surface was covered with a clear epoxy resin. After hardening, the other side was freed from its wet oil-shale matrix as well and that side was embedded in epoxy also. This is the only way the great detail of Messel fossils such as this gar can be preserved. The result is perfect preservation of the diamond shaped Ganoid scales of the skin and the wonderful bone structure of the skull plates and fins. Even the teeth are visible within the finely preserved jaw structures. The Messel site has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the only one designated strictly because of its fossils. The site is now closed to all but academic research and any examples of the wonderfully preserved Gars or other animals can only be obtained from existing collections. Measurements: 15 x 6 inches (38.1 x 15.24 cm). Gar is 10/75 inches (27.31 cm) long.

    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.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Other (TBD) (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,073

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 June 22 American Indian Art - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for being so courteous and professional. This was my first experience with a professional auction company and I could not have chosen any better.
    Jeffery S.,
    Fresno, CA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,101,515