Giant ice age elk antlers up for auction

An impressive rack from an ice-age elk is for sale.

The antlers, still attached to the skull, span more than 10 feet. They were discovered in a bog and have been displayed in a private hunting lodge in New Zealand since.

“It’s something that we’re very excited about having in the sale,” Andrew Grigg of Cordy’s fine art and antique appraisers told the New Zealand Herald. “We knew we had something that was a rare find for this country.”

It’s a rare find for the whole world, actually. The antlers come from an Irish elk, an animal that’s been extinct for about 11,000 years.  According to the University of California Museum of Paleontology, the elk stood 7 feet tall and populated areas beyond present-day Ireland. Their remains have been found in Europe, Asia and Africa, but the most preserved fossils are usually found in the bogs of Ireland.

The rack, ready for auction in New Zealand, hasn’t been seen by many people over the past 100 years. The sizable mount hung in Major Robert Adams Wilson’s master bedroom in his lodge on the North Island of New Zealand. The antlers went to his son when Wilson died in 1964. Wilson’s son, Murray, gave them to Malcolm McIntosh two years ago. McIntosh, who camped on Wilson’s land as a boy scout, initiated the auction.

The massive piece is expected to sell for thousands at the auction on November 8.


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