The Monocle Culture Show

How do you sell a natural history museum?

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13 June 2016

Episode 244

30 minutes

We profile a rather unique auction house, Summers Place Auctions, as they put the entire collection of a Dutch natural history museum up for sale, including the skeleton of a seven-metre-tall duck-billed dinosaur called Freya.

13 June 2016

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Chapter 1

4 minutes

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Chapter 1

Summers Place Auctions

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James Rylands is an auctioneer and director at Summers Place Auctions. The auction house has been bringing down the gavel on plenty of lots over the past 30 years and is now a world leader in garden statuary and natural history. Last week it had an interesting collection up for sale: Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands was parting with its natural-history collection. This comprised various fossils and drawings, ranging from small, immortalised fish to a seven-metre tall dinosaur skeleton.

4 minutes

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Chapter 2

14 minutes

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Chapter 2

What’s in the collection?

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Historian Errol Fuller comes into the studio to explain some of the more tremendous items up for sale at Summers Place, while back at the auction house we meet co-director Rupert can der Werff to find out about some smaller but equally exciting lots

14 minutes

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Chapter 3

6 minutes

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Chapter 3

Who would buy a seven-metre-tall dinosaur skeleton?

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There might be several candidates with the spare cash to spend on a dinosaur but how many of them have the space to display it? We know that Summers Place Auctions attracts museums and collectors but it also has a handful of locals who swing by to get their hands on a unique antique; Joleen Goffin met one of them, Sally Ann Kirch. We also hear from James Rylands about how the auction house attached a price tag to the items in the collection, and his hopes for the new home of Freya the duck-billed dinosaur skeleton.

6 minutes

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