22 Apr 2021
April 22, 2019 - Filed under: Auctions — Mark

A pair of giant Irish elk antlers owned by the artist Sir Sidney Nolan are being sold in London in May.

They are expected to be sold for between £26,000 and £30,000. On top of this, the buyer has to pay auction house fees and commission.

Sir Sidney Nolan was an Australian of Irish descent who moved to London in 1951 where he died in 1992. His most notable paintings were of the famous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly.

The antlers he owned are over 224cm wide and are rare because the Irish elk became extinct nearly 12,000 years ago. It is was one of the world’s largest species of elk. Although named the Irish elk, these animals also lived in Europe, Africa and China as well as in Ireland. Only a few Irish elk antlers have been found, preserved in Irish bogs. It is not known why the Irish elk became extinct, but one theory is that the antlers became too large and leached minerals and calcium causing osteoporosis that killed them.

Large Irish elk antlers have been a feature of Irish and Scottish banqueting halls. Other deer antlers that are not as rare as the Irish elk fetch a few hundred pounds.

Whether you are looking for deer antlers to decorate your dining room, antique sofas or antique cabinets, antique dealers in Lancashire and Cumbria have plenty of stylish items for sale but you probably shouldn’t expect to find Irish elk antlers.

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