Summers Place Auctions' 9th Evolution Sale Highlights Nature's Artistic Side
Summers Place Auctions has been running the annual Evolution Sale since 2013 and the team has always believed that nature's vibrant colours and extraordinary shapes put nature on a par with many contemporary art works. For this 9th auction of its kind, the specialists have gone out to find particularly good examples for 'nature is art', which come up for sale on Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, held at the Sussex auction house and accessible online.
Minerals are a perfect start when you want to include some nature into your home. They work extremely well with contemporary or modern art and make great focal points in a minimalist interior. Gogottes are the ultimate in that respect. They can be easily mistaken as contemporary sculptures, but are in fact millions-of-years old. They are naturally shaped mineral rarities consisting of tiny quartz crystals held together by calcium carbonate. This auction includes a fine, and at 44 cm high and 41 cm wide, a large example which is estimated at £4,000 - £6,000.
Famous since antiquity, Lapis Lazuli has been connected with some of the most important works of art and paintings of the likes like Titian. The best quality Lapis comes from about 140 cave-like mines in Badakhshan, which have been mined for 6000 years. Lapis is almost as rare as diamonds, but has the advantage that it looks great polished or as freeforms and it can be displayed outside as it is exceptionally durable and can resist both extreme heat or cold. This sale includes several fine examples including a freeform that is 56 cm high and weighs 46.9 kg, estimated at £5,000 - £7,000.
The auction also includes a rare Citrine cluster from Namibia (estimate £2,500 - £4,000), a large Mangano Calcite freeform (£4,500 - £5,500) and a Zebra onyx bowl from Mexico (£2,000 - £4,000). But minerals don't have to cost thousands - a King Cobra Jasper pyramid is estimated at £400 - £600, an Amethyst and Chalcedony sphere from Brazil £350 - £450, and a Tiger Iron freeform from Australia, which is about 3 billion years old, carries an estimate of £650 - £750.
Fossils are the next step up and there are some fantastic examples included in this auction. Highlight of this Evolution sale is a rare and impressive Tylosaur skeleton from Kansas. It is from the late Cretaceous, so approximately 100-66 million years old and an impressive 620cm long. A type of mosasaurs were a group of gigantic marine reptiles that ruled the seas in the Cretaceous period while the dinosaurs reigned supreme on the land. Although both groups became extinct at around the same time. One of the largest species of mosasaur lived in the ancient sea that once covered the land we now know as Kansas. It was a huge and ferocious creature and is scientifically named a Tylosaur. This particular example is one of only very few specimens that have ever left the USA and is estimated at £70,000 - £120,000.
An Eurhinosaurus skull, found in France during the construction of a high speed railway, is from the Lower Jurassic. The Eurhinosaurs was a type of Ichthyosaur with a very long and slender upper jaw similar in many respects to today's Swordfish. Such well preserved examples are extremely rare as the slender upper jaw is usually missing and at 130 cm long, it carries an estimate of £30,000 - £50,000.
A large Phareodus fish plaque from the Green River formation, Colorado, is expected to fetch £3,000 - £5,000. The fossils that come from the Green River Formation are approximately 60 million years old and come from the era known as the Eocene. They are celebrated for the outstanding detail they show.
Giving it more of an arty touch is a fossil bone assemblage of Edmontosaurs and Triceratops estimated at £4,000 - £6,000 and a larger one at £12,000-£15,000. A large Septarian egg on stand with removable front (£400 - £600) will be offered next to fossil Shark tooth displays from Morocco, beautifully mounted in a wall frames (£300 - £500).
Ammonites are undoubtedly one of the favourites among fossils and the perfect example of how nature can create some of the most vibrant colours. An ammonite matrix from Canada is 84cm long and shows all the colours of the rainbow. It is carrying an estimate of £30,000 - £50,000 and another similarly colourful, stand-alone ammonite is expected to fetch the same. The Bear Paw geological formation of Alberta, Canada is famous for a substance called ammolite, a most attractive mineral that is often used in jewelry and for other decorative purposes. Ammolite is actually the crushed up remains of a fossil ammonite, sometimes, however, whole ammonites are found and these are far too rare and wonderful to be broken up into fragments. They are fantastically coloured in shades of iridescent reds and greens and have to be seen to be believed. Because of their great beauty, rarity and exquisite appearance they are highly sought after and the examples offered here are particularly large. Due to their intrinsic value their export from Canada is now subject to serious restrictions and only those that were exported legally can be offered for sale. The ammonites lived over 70 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period and the extraordinary colours were formed due to the intense pressure and heat to which the fossils have been subjected over the course. A large Moroccan ammonite, 80 cm high, carries an estimate of £2,500 - £4,000 and the bidding for a pair of framed Cleoniceras ammonites from Madagascar starts at £300.