View full screen - View 1 of Lot 1. A pair of fossilised 'Irish elk' antlers, Prehistoric.

Property of a Gentleman

A pair of fossilised 'Irish elk' antlers, Prehistoric

Lot Closed

January 14, 02:01 PM GMT


25,000 - 40,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property of a Gentleman

A pair of fossilised 'Irish elk' antlers, Prehistoric

with twenty-one points, restorations

295cm. wide; 9ft. 8in.

'Irish Elk' or Giant Deer (Megaloceras Giganteus) originated during the Pleistocene Period of the Great Ice Age and is thought to have initially colonised Siberia before migrating towards the west in response to the deteriorating climate, becoming extinct approximately 11,000 years ago. Although the Elk inhabited a vast expanse of central Europe and Asia, the largest concentration of its remains have been found mainly in the marl underlying bogland of Ireland giving rise to the popular nomenclature of this species. The high calcium carbonate content of the marl is conducive to the preservation of bones and examples of these ancient antler specimens have been discovered in Counties Wayerford, Clare and Cork, many of them in caves. Many have featured in Irish banqueting halls following a centuries old tradition, particularly during the 19th century when it was fashionable for such antiquarian relics to be displayed in baronial halls. An instance of this is recorded in an 1850`s interior drawing of the new manor at Adare, Co. Limerick (see J. Cornforth, English Interiors, 1790-1848, London,1978, fig.51).