Natural History


Sotheby’s made history in 1997 with the first ever auction of a dinosaur, when, under the helm of late Vice-Chairman David Redden, it sold “Sue” the T. Rex for the then-astonishing sum of $8.3 million. At the time, Sue was still in field jackets and unmounted, so potential buyers had no way of knowing just how complete “Sue” was. Now, fully prepared, mounted, and housed at the Field Museum in Chicago, it is known that “Sue” is the most complete T. rex fossil to have been discovered.

After a short series of Natural History sales in Paris, Natural History sales at Sotheby’s have been revived under the leadership of Cassandra Hatton, Global Head of Science & Popular Culture. Cassandra and team have transformed how fossils sales are handled at auction, working directly with the field paleontologists who have excavated the specimens, and traveling throughout the American West to personally inspect the dig sites and labs the specimens are prepared in. By being involved throughout the preparation process, we ensure that Sotheby’s offers only fully documented specimens of the highest caliber.

Our marquis Natural History auction takes place in New York in July during “Geek Week”, an incredibly popular sale series overseen by the Science & Popular Culture department, consisting of various Science & other related sales which have included Space Exploration, Meteorites, and History of Science & Technology. Sotheby’s also occasionally offers exceptional single-lot Natural History sales in New York throughout the calendar year, and as a global department, has and can offer sales of exceptional specimens in Hong Kong, London, & other locations. In addition to auction sales, Cassandra Hatton & team sell exceptional specimens privately, working closely with a number of Museums & Institutions in the United States and around the globe, as well as private collectors.

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To enquire about offering one or more items in Sotheby’s Natural History sales, please click here or email

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Auction Results

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Dinosaur Fossils (Full and Partial)
Non-Dinosaur Fossils & Subfossils

Past Auctions


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