• Sale 6097

    Christie's Interiors - Style & Spirit

    22 May 2012, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 143

    AN ELEPHANT BIRD EGG

    MADAGASCAR, PRE-17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    AN ELEPHANT BIRD EGG
    Madagascar, pre-17th century
    an egg of Aepyornis maximus, maximum diameter 8¾ inches, with small restorations.
    12½in. (32cm.) high


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    The Elephant Bird was thought to be the giant flying beast known as the Roc (or Ruhk) in the tales of Sinbad and accounts of Marco Polo's voyages. The bird grew to around 10 or 11 feet in height and whilst probably unable to devour an elephant, as the Roc was reputed to do, it certainly was the largest bird ever to have lived. It was estimated to weigh up to 1100lbs (the largest ostriches might grow to 8 feet in height and weigh 300lbs).
    The birds are thought to have gone extinct between the 14th and 17th centuries.