Palaeobalistum sp.
    Upper Cretaceous
    Haqil, Byblos, Lebanon

    This incredible mirrored pair are Palaeobalistum from Lebanon and date to the Upper Cretaceous some 100 million years ago. They first appeared during the Triassic and peaked during the Jurassic before dying out completely in the Eocene Epoch some 50 million years ago. They were mainly sea dwelling, although some may have lived in brackish water, if not freshwater. This group lacked ganoid scales, and a majority were as high as they were long in terms of their shape. They were laterally flattened, and their dorsal and anal fins were long and symmetric. They feature unique dentition whereby they have incisive-shaped teeth in the front and teeth shaped for grazing in back which is a characteristic of this group. Their bodies can be covered by spiny bony plates. This pair exhibits phenomenal preservation in the fossils with both sides very complete. The matrix rock is asymmetrical and textured serving to enhance raw beauty of the fossils. The specimen displays fine bone and fin structure with no restoration. The teeth are visible in the preservation, and the dorsal and ventral fins are very detailed. The light to dark brown color of the fossil fish is a lovely contrast to the matrix stone of cream, tan and gold. As an added bonus, both pieces feature the lagniappe of a small fossil fish above the large fish at the top of the specimen on each side although one is missing the tail portion. The complete fish is almost 4 inches (10.16 cm) long, and these small fish were likely of the megalopid variety. The other is virtually complete, and both serve as confirmation this is a "split fish" phenomenon. The matched pair is raw and natural yet really elegant. The fossil fish on each side measure 11 inches (27.94 cm) each, but the plates measure 21 x 17 inches (53.34 x 43.18 cm) and 20 x 20.75 inches (50.8 x 52.71 cm) respectively. This comes with custom stands for each side. This fossil includes a Certificate of Authenticity carrying Memoire du Temps number 5514 as well as a signed copy of the hardcover book The Fossils of Lebanon which offers further information about this incomparable pair of fine Lebanese fossil fish specimens.

    Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000.

    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.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    2nd Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 481

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