28/10/2019 Latest News, Natural History
Summers Place Auctions offers “Jurassic Park” Amber
It all started with a piece of amber and before you knew it Jurassic Park was filled with
roaming dinosaurs. Both the novel and the film claim that scientists found dinosaur blood
within mosquitoes that had been fossilized in amber. They then used the DNA in the blood
to clone dinosaurs for the park.
Truth or fiction? Researchers are still trying to find out, although most biologists agree the
Jurassic Park scenario isn’t possible. It is, however, a matter of debate whether DNA can
be preserved in amber for millions of years. Amber is reconised as a unique preservational
mode as it dehydrates its inclusions, which stabilizes the DNA molecules. Bada et al.
(1999) created a model that predicted that DNA can be preserved in amber for 100 million
Summers Place Auctions is now selling a cretaceous amber collection on behalf of the
Advanced Amber Kretaceous Zoologia (www.aakz.com) to raise funds for further research.
Part of their amber archive is included in the Evolution Auction on Tuesday, 19th November
2019. They are focusing on paleontology via true fossil evidence and using a Cretaceous
Amber Collection from South East Asia.
Errol Fuller, Summers Place Auctions' Natural History curator, says: “100 million year old
amber has fabulously preserved flora and fauna with high transparency and preservation
as well as many good sized pieces that facilitate the study of a specimen's habitat. I am
particularly excited about the amber with the Pterosaur inclusion. All of a sudden the
Jurassic Park storyline is a lot more believable.”
Highlights among the 12 lots are the real dragon blood amber, which is a very transparent
golden amber which has the remains of a red pigmented wonderfully preserved
Cretaceous winged creature giving this animal the most aesthetically beautiful vivid red
colour and form ever seen in the amber world. The incredible inclusion creates a jawdropping
exquisite play of colours and effects under various different lighting. It weighs
72.240 grammes and is 64.00 x 51.10 x 35.46 mm big. Due to its rarity it carries an
estimate of £100,000 – 150,000.
Another important piece of amber has inclusions of a mysterious long necked eared
animal, possibly two, with incredible skulls and claws and listed as Cretaceous Tetrapod(s),
At a weight of 171.820 grammes and at 101.76 x 85.33 x 33.09 mm, it is the biggest piece
included in the auction and is estimated at £80,000 – 120,000.
An exciting discovery of a Pterosaur head in amber (weight 23.690 grammes, dimensions
50.49 x 43.65 x 21.84 mm) is expected to sell for low estimate £400,000 / high estimate
£4 million), while a tiny snake vs giant millipede amber only weighing 3.03 grammes and
33.26 x 18.52 x 10.33 mm big carries and estimate of £80,000 - 120,000.
But there are also fascinating pieces of amber for estimates as low as £1,000 up to
£30,000. These include one with a Pseudoscorpion and Cretaceous chums collection (5
pieces) comprising of 1 large pseudoscorpion chasing giant bug, 1 perfectly preserved
small pseudoscorpion, 2 spiders and 1 cockroach. A dragon head carving with 2 large
Cretaceous cockroaches of different species, 1 beetle and other small insects. The insects
are rare, large and impressive making it an amazing fossil collection in one piece.
The collection also includes a scorpion in excellent pose and very complete in very clear
Cretaceous amber and another piece with a Cretaceous fly has lovely amber flow and is
highly reminiscent of the Jurassic Park amber as it has a similarly large real Cretaceous fly
and other small insects too. The jungle life during the Cretaceaous time is perfectly
captured in two pieces of amber – one a large orange red square, the other a Green tea
All the amber lots come with one or more lab reports confirming authenticity except for
the pseudoscorpios. All of the ambers were mined in Hukawng valley except lot number
12 which comes from a deep Chung Wa mine not far from Hukawng Valley.
The Cretaceous Period
The Cretaceous is a geologic period and system that spans from the end of the Jurassic
Period 145 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Paleogene Period 66 mya. It is
the last period of the Mesozoic Era, and the longest period of the Phanerozoic Eon.
From the early 1990s a lot of research was done into Antediluvian DNA and most were
using amber to retrieve DNA. Then, in 1994 and to international acclaim, Woodward et al.
reported the most exciting results to date — mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences that
had apparently been extracted from dinosaur bones dating to more than 80 million years
ago. When in 1995 two further studies reported dinosaur DNA sequences extracted from a
Cretaceous egg (An et al. 1995; Li et al. 1995), it seemed that the field would
revolutionize knowledge of the Earth's evolutionary past. It turned out that most of them
were contaminated and not actually million-year-old DNA. Modern optics and imaging
techniques enable researchers to delve deeper and deeper into prehistoric life forms,
opening up a whole new realm of paleontology.
Amber in Art
Amber has played an important part in art history. One of the most famous works of art is
the Amber Room, especially as its whereabouts still remain a mystery. Originally designed
for the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, it left its original situ in 1716 as a present to the
Tsar and remained in the Catherine Palace near St Petersburg until it was looted during
World War II. It was last seen in Koenigsberg.
Other highlights in the Evolution Auction are:
an extremely rare Plesiosaur skeleton (Oxford Clay, Upper Jurassic) is over 3 metres
long and carries an estimate of £25,000-50,000
a large and rare Mosasaurus skull from Morocco, estimate £15,000-20,000
a rare fossilised Sabre tooth cat skeleton, estimate £12,000-18,000
a Mene Rhombea fossil fish plaque from Monte Bolca, Italy (possibly the oldest
worked fossil site), estimate £8,000-12,000
an exceptionally large and rare giant squid fossil plaque from Solnhofen, Germany,
meteorites in various shapes and sizes, from different parts of the world and wide
range of prices
For further information on the auction, please visit
www.summersplaceauctions.com or call 01403 331331.
For more press information, images or to interview one of the specialists,
please contact Silke Lohmann:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07932 618754.
Summers Place Auctions are the world's leading auctioneers of Garden Statuary and Natural History.
The sales are held in the award winning 5,000 sq ft gallery nestling within 6 acres of
walled gardens and the arboretum of the Victorian mansion, Summers Place, outside
Billingshurst in West Sussex.
24th & 25th March
22nd & 23rd September