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This 8ft (2.4m) tall mammoth skeleton shown above dated to around 8000BC was uncovered by Siberian construction workers in Tomsk. It took a lower-estimate £115,000 from an overseas private buyer at Summers Place.

The comparative youngster in this selection, a pre-15th century AD moa, was the first articulated skeleton of the extinct New Zealand bird to appear at a British auction since the 1930s. At 3ft 9in (1.14m) tall, the moa skeleton was from one of the smaller species but exceptionally rare, perhaps unique, in that it was privately owned. It still is, having sold to a UK private bidder within estimate at £22,000.

A drastic change of scale – and older by far than the other lots pictured – was this collection of Baltic amber with insects locked into each piece, an example shown here, about 22m years ago. Compiled in the late 19th-early 20th century, the collection came with the collector’s identifying notes and sold comfortably above estimate at £5800.

A more familiar sight, at least at an Irish auction, was the skull and antlers of Megaloceros Giganteus, the giant Irish elk which became extinct by about 8000BC. A status symbol in Irish country seats, this set came from the contents of Milford House, Carlow, offered at a nearby hotel by Fonsie Mealy. Measuring 7ft 5in (2.26m) wide, it sold comfortably above estimate at €23,000 (£20,470).