Archive for the 'Fine Art' Category

03
Oct
17

Exploring the Benefits of Collecting Art for Everyday People

Collecting art can be incredibly rewarding for a number of reasons. You want to know what the benefits of collecting are, especially for everyday people who are not art professionals. The art auction house is a great place for everyone and it gives you the chance to learn more about various types of art. Explore the advantages associated with collecting art and then get started with your new investment opportunity and hobby.

MAURITS CORNELIS ESCHER

MAURITS CORNELIS ESCHER (Dutch 1898-1972) “Ant,” Lithograph

Meet New People for Networking

You do not have to work in art to benefit from networking with fellow art lovers. Once you get started with collecting art, you will find out about different events that are happening that you can attend. Keep in mind that a variety of art collectors are powerful people and they have a lot of connections. This can benefit you in your career no matter what industry you work in. So, take advantage of the different events even if you are not planning to buy at all of them.

Learn More About Art and History

Art and history are closely related, so when you start to collect art, you get to increase your knowledge of both of these. When you see pieces that inspire you, make sure to read up on them and what the purpose of the pieces are. For example, if you see a painting that makes you feel passionate about it, make it a point to learn about the history of the piece and why the artist created it.

Change Your Thinking and Enjoy More Detailed Thoughts

Art is simple and complex at the same time. This challenges your current way of thinking and makes you appreciate the small details. Those who collect art tend to be able to better analyze details, allowing them to see the bigger picture much faster. This can benefit you in all areas of life and aid you when it comes to things like solving problems in your life.

Become More Culturally Aware

All cultures throughout the world have art as a major focus. When you explore the different art available, you will start to learn about the cultures that created it. This makes it easier to be culturally aware and to expand your knowledge of people all over the world.

You can see that there are many reasons you might consider starting to collect art. When you are ready, head to an art auction house to see what is available and to increase your chances of finding great pieces. At this type of event, it is often easier to find a variety of art and there is a better chance of getting a great deal on what you find.

To learn more about consigning or buying fine art, visit michaans.com. Attend one of our Free Wednesday Appraisal Events from 10am to 1pm. Drop-ins welcome!

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25
Sep
17

Great Russian Artists Every Art Lover Needs to Check Out

There are generations of stunning and inspiring Russian art, but you do not have to go back far to find brilliant artists and individual pieces. When you head to art auctions, you can find a lot of relatively modern art from this area of the world. Knowing more about some of the more recent pieces and artists makes it easier to know exactly what you are looking for and allows you to explore different styles.

Vladimir Donatovitch Orlovskii

VLADIMIR EGOROVICH MAKOVSKY - The Samovar

VLADIMIR EGOROVICH MAKOVSKY (Russian Federation 1846-1920) “The Samovar” Oil on canvas

For most of his life, this artist lived in Russia. He was born in 1842 and died in 1914 after moving to Genoa, Italy. His Crimean landscape art won him numerous awards, and landscapes were his primary focus. Those interested in landscape art are sure to find his work both beautiful and inspiring. Some of his most famous pieces include:

-Harvest

-The Missive

-Winter Sunset

Aleksandr Gerasimov

This artist graced the world from 1881 to 1963, leaving a number of inspiring and iconic pieces in his wake. He focused on Soviet leaders for the most part and visual arts were a common choice. One of his most famous works is of Joseph Stalin, a leader who remains well-known throughout the world for his actions during his leadership. When you are exploring Gerasimov’s work, make sure to check out:

-Feast on a Collective Farm

-Stalin and Voroshilov at the Kremlin

Nicolai Semenovich Samokich

A painting called The Anichkov Bridge is one of the most famous paintings created by this Russian artist. Like most of the artists here, Samokich was most famous for his landscape art, but he also did a lot of work with genre painting.

Petr Petrovich Vereshchagin

PETR PETROVICH VERESHCHAGIN - High Water of River Pisava

PETR PETROVICH VERESHCHAGIN (Russian Federation 1836-1886) “High Water of River Pisava” Oil on canvas

This Russian artist actually used an American style, with his primary focus being on landscapes and cityscapes. In the wilderness of the Urals, he painted plein-air and was the first artist to do so. His inspiration stemmed from where he lived and his life. He created works based on where he traveled and what he saw. The other men in his family were mostly all artists too. He was born in 1843 and lived until 1886. Some of his most famous works include:

-View of Palace Square, St. Petersburg

-Landscape from Crimea

-View of the River Chusovaya

-View of the River Dnieper

-Tatar Square in Tiflis

-View of Perm

-Street is Tiflis

Now you know more about relatively modern Russian art and the pieces and artists that are shaping and inspiring current generations. You can head to the art auctions with this knowledge so that you can better explore the modern Russian art and determine which pieces and artists fascinate you the most.

To learn more about consigning or buying Russian art, visit michaans.com. Attend one of our Free Wednesday Appraisal Events from 10am to 1pm. Drop-ins welcome!

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18
Sep
17

Fun Facts About Iconic Artist Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol is an artist often discussed at art auction houses. His work is diverse and interesting, and different from many other iconic artists. It appeals to a wide range of people and has served as inspiration for thousands of artists throughout the world. Learning more about this world-famous man will shed some light onto what made his work so unique and creative.

Andy Warhol - Liz

ANDY WARHOL (American 1928-1987) “Liz” Color offset lithograph, Sold for $36,000 at Michaan’s Auctions

Popular Works of Art By This Artist

As the leader of the Pop Art Movement, Warhol has created a number of iconic paintings that are vibrant and unique takes on a variety of common things, such as food, flowers and celebrities. This movement took place during the 1950s and Warhol is credited with bringing this style of art to the United States. Some of his most famous paintings include:

-Banana, which was created in 1966 and served as an album cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico

Mickey Mouse, which is a silkscreen created by him in 1981

Big Electric Chair was created in 1967 and it stands as a comment on the death penalty controversy

Flower Series is a 1964 piece that was inspired by Patricia Caulfield, a nature photographer

Coca Cola (3) is from 1962, and it was created as a comment on mass consumerism

Mao is a piece created in 1973 and it is a portrait of Mao that stands 15 feet tall

Self-Portrait is one of his most famous works, and it was done in 1986 a year before the artist died

Eight Elvises is from 1963, and it is a piece about Elvis that broke records concerning the sale price

Campbell’s Soup Cans, from 1962, is made from 32 canvases using the Abstract Expressionism technique

Marilyn Diptych is from 1962 and it is composed of 50 images of the iconic actress

Andy Warhol - Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century

ANDY WARHOL (American 1928-1987) “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century” (Set of ten announcement cards from the Jewish Museum in New York with Brochure). Color offset lithograph

The Body of Work of Andy Warhol

Warhol was a very busy artist and even has a museum completely dedicated to his work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the city where the artist hails from. Of all of the museums that focus on a single artist, this is the biggest one in the United States. If you visit this museum, you can explore a vast array of work that spans seven floors. This museum has:

-1,000 print pieces

-17 galleries

-2,000 paper works

-4,350 video and film works

-900 paintings

-4,000 photographs

-77 sculptures

You can see that Andy Warhol was a rather fascinating person. His work is praised by experts and artists at art auction houses all over the world. Now you know more about his work and his life, making it easier to appreciate his accomplishments.

To learn more about consigning or buying Andy Warhol art, visit michaans.com. Attend one of our Free Wednesday Appraisal Events from 10am to 1pm. Drop-ins welcome!

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25
May
17

There Is Truly Nothing Like A One-Of-A-Kind Object

When you find something that is one of a kind, it means that there is nothing else like it on the entire planet. This gives it a value that is beyond anything that we are used to in our modern world of reproductions and duplicates. These days nearly everything we buy is being made in a factory that is creating thousands of other units that are exactly the same as the one before it and the one that comes after. This has depreciated the respect and value for unique objects. People have started to consider everything as disposable and it drives a materialistic perspective that does not actually appreciate an object for what it truly is. While a factory-made item may serve a function for a few years, every day that passes, it falls in value and becomes just another regular item. However, when an item is one of a kind, it becomes something else and retains, if not gains, value with every day that passes.

ZAO WOU-KI

ZAO WOU-KI (Chinese born/French 1920-2013) Untitled “Abstract Composition,” Color etching on paper, Sold for $5,605

Rarity creates a certain sense of appreciation that can be understood by anyone who values something that is unlike anything else. When something is one of a kind, it stands above everything else and provides the owner with a sense of satisfaction to know that they are in possession of something that special beyond comparison. It is not easy to find something that is one of a kind, which is part of what makes it so special or coveted by others. It is like finding a hidden treasure at art auctions and although it may be passed between people or lost for years at a time, there is only ever one person who will be able to call it their own. Even if there are objects that are similar or serve the same purpose, when something is truly unique, it possesses a special characteristic that cannot be replicated in any way.

ANTON HENNING

ANTON HENNING (German, b.1964) “Portrait of a Matron in a Green Dress,” Mixed media on canvas, Sold for $6,490

Many people will spend years of their lives looking for a true one-of-a-kind item. They will scour art auctions and estate sales to find something that is more than just an item. They want to find something that contains a story or a meaning that is symbolized just by the existence of that unique item. It is not easy to do this, but it is possible. There is more than 7 billion people on this planet, but there can ever only be one of a truly original item. There are many different qualities that can make something unique such as historical value or artistic creation, but this does not change the fact that there is only one. Purchasing something that is one of a kind is the only way to own something that is more than it appears.

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27
Mar
17

Huanghuali Creates History In Asian Antiquities

Huanghuali is a special type of wood that has been used to make stunning Asian antiquities for centuries. The term Huanghuali can be translated to mean ‘yellow flowering pear’. It is a type of wood with stunning characteristics that comes from a certain type of fragrant rosewood. It is a type of wood that that is famous for creating masterful furniture during the Ming and Qing dynasties, but it is still widely used today to create high-quality furniture. Both antique huanghuali furniture and modern cuts of this wood are considered extremely rare as the tree that provides the wood is threatened near extinction due to overexploitation. While it would be considered unethical and illegal to buy new products made from huanghuali, the scarcity of this wood has made huanghuali antiquities even more valuable. Some art auctioneers have seen huanghuali antiques sell for thousands of dollars.

A Huanghuali Folding Horseshoe Back Armchair

A Huanghuali Folding Horseshoe Back Armchair, Late 20th Century, Sold for $9,440 at Michaan’s Auctions

Characteristics of a Luxurious Wood

Huanghuali wood usually possesses a yellowish brown color, but it can range from reddish brown to golden yellow. The highest quality huanghuali has a mesmerizing surface that seems to shimmer and reflect light in a particular way when it has been properly treated and polished. The grain ripples like water and reminds some of an infinite expanse of mountainous landscapes. It is a beautiful example of the majesty of nature and it possess many characteristics of hardwood that make it ideal for furniture building and artistic creations. It is a highly prized and coveted type of wood and antiques that are made of it are sold by art auctioneers all around the world for considerable sums of money. Anyone that sees a well-polished piece of huanghuali can immediately recognize why it is considered one of the finest woods in the world.

A Huanghuali Veneered Coffer

A Huanghuali Veneered Coffer, 19th Century, Sold for $35,400 at Michaan’s Auctions

Beautiful Antiques Inspired By Royalty

The majority of antiques made from huanghuali come from the Ming and Qing dynasty and were commissioned by members of the royal family. Due to the rarity of the wood, it was usually reserved for the highest quality furniture created by the best artisans. This makes huanghuali asian antiques extremely valuable in contemporary times. Particularly due to the threatened state of the tree, any antique furniture that is made of huanghuali is even more desirable and valuable. Art auctioneers continuously see huanghuali antiquities sell for much more than expected as eager bidders drive up the price at art auctions. The craftsmanship and the quality of the wood in many huanghuali pieces make them extremely durable against the tides of time and a beautiful possession that anyone would be proud to hold. No one should ever pass on the opportunity to own something of such great artistic and historical value, no matter the price.

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21
Mar
17

Filipino Art – A Small Island That Is Making Big Waves In The Art World

When most people consider art, they are not automatically drawn to the Philippines as a source of creativity and artistic expression. However, there are many famous artists and amazing pieces that are being produced on the tiny island and it is making a huge impact on the art scene all around the world. There is a long history of creative expression from the Philippines and it has finally started to gain the recognition that it deserves in art auction houses and galleries in many different countries. They are quickly becoming some of the most coveted pieces of art available on the market and they are selling for huge amounts of money. Filipino art is inspiring others to create, but it is an art form that cannot be truly emulated due to the history and cultural context of the country.

Artistic paintings were first introduced to the country by the Spaniards in the 16th Century. The Spaniards originally used ornate paintings to promote catholicism across the country, but this quickly evolved as the Filipinos took the art form and made it their own. Now, there are many famous Filipino artists who are respected for creating some of the most beautiful artworks that have ever been produced in the country.

Famous Filipino Artists

Juan Novicio Luna

Juan Luna is considered one of the first recognized and respected Filipino artists. He was a painter and sculptor in the late 1800s and was awarded a gold medal at the 1884 Madrid Exposition of Fine Arts. His work consisted of mostly historical scenes, but political commentary always surged beneath his brush strokes. His work is considered extremely valuable and it is some of the first respected art created within the country.

JUAN LUNA Y NOVICIO

JUAN LUNA Y NOVICIO (Filipino 1857-1899) “Sketch of a European Lady” Pen and ink on paper, Sold for $944 at Michaan’s Auctions

Lito Mayo

Lito Mayo is considered the ‘original punk’ of the Filipino art scene and he was active during the rise of modernism and contemporary work in the city of Manila. Although his career was short due to an early death, he was respected as an experimental artist and collaborator that helped establish the art scene in the Philippines. In a very short time, this Filipino artist was able to make a large impact in the art world.

Benedicto Cabrera

Benedicto Cabrera is a contemporary artist who was awarded the honor of the National Artist of the Philippines in 2006. He is a painter and is considered one of the best-selling artists from his generation. His work is recognized and desired all around the world and he is a well-respected and influential member of the Filipino and international art scene. Any person would be lucky to own one of his spectacular paintings.

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23
Jan
17

How the Artisans of Today Get their Inspiration from California Auctions

Artists, artisans, and creators are on a constant lookout for sources of inspiration. They’re searching for the next big idea that will drive them, as well as the spark that will ignite the flame of their ingenuity and creativity. In this vein, they often discover and channel inspiration from the past, from masters who paved the way in many different mediums. One of the most inspiring periods for many artisans is the 17th century.

Inspirational pieces from this period include everything from paintings and drawings, to sculpture and needlework, to clothing and architecture, to textile design, furniture design, and even book design. There are many examples of all of these items on the Internet and in books, but there are places artists can go where they can see these historic objects up close and in person. These places include art and antiques auctions in California.

MARY DeNEALE MORGAN

MARY DeNEALE MORGAN (Californian 1868-1948) “California Coastal Dunes” Watercolor on board

 

 

Inspiration-Gathering at California Auctions: Suggestions

Gathering inspiration is always a personal process, but there are tried-and-true ways to do it that have worked consistently for many artists and artisans. The number one rule that applies to inspiration-gathering, however, is that there are no rules. There is no limit to where an idea may come from because inspiration is everywhere.

The Value of In-Person Viewing

At auction houses, items up for sale may be displayed in a main gallery or showroom up to the point of sale. This gives people a chance to view and inspect them before bidding, but it also affords artisans and creatives a unique opportunity to interact with rare, historic, or valuable pieces from the past in person. Viewing something in real life is far different from looking at a picture of it on the web or in a book, and a whole new cache of ideas may spring from seeing an art piece or historic item in 3D.

 

Spanish Baroque Style Trestle Table with Iron Stretchers

Spanish Baroque Style Trestle Table with Iron Stretchers

Questions to Ask to Generate New Ideas

With these things in mind, collecting inspiration depends on what intrigues a particular person, not to mention what stands out to them about an object, situation, person, place, or idea. However, some people need a push to get them thinking in a way that generates new concepts. Here are some thoughts that may be helpful when pursuing the muse at auction houses:

What story does the piece depict? Are there multiple possible stories?

Look at the evidence of wear on the item, if any. Note its condition. What does this say about the usefulness of the piece? Try to imagine what kind of people would have used it, and in what ways.

Think about the value of the piece. If it is a painting or art object, why is it valuable? If it is a furniture piece or other “useful” item, why is it so treasured today?

Note the colors in or on the piece. How are they related — are they primary or secondary colors, for instance? Do they evoke nature? Think about why the artist or artisan chose them.

Is there a recurring pattern or motif on the object? What is it?

These questions are relevant when viewing any item or art piece for inspiration, not just 17th century or antique pieces. With the right mindset, inspiration can be drawn from any decade.

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18
Jan
17

How the Designs of the Past Influence Trends of the Future

Trends come in cycles. It’s apparent in everything from fashion to interior design to art and lifestyle movements. They do come about as reactions to past trends and ways of living, but many trends are simply recycled versions of what came before. Seasoned designers understand this cycle and use it to their advantage. This is why art auctions are so valuable in the design world.

Ostervig Rosewood Dining Set

Ostervig Rosewood Dining Set

What’s Old Becomes New Again

Many trends hearken back to past decades for inspiration. Interior designers know how these trends come about and in many cases can even predict them. They additionally understand the fundamental aspects of classic trends that repeat themselves over the years. These aspects include functionality, simplicity, and balance. When pieces from history resurface at auction with some combination of these attributes, they will look good well into the future in addition to right now. Seasoned interior designers can spot these hallmarks of classic design from a mile away.

Art Auctions Offer the Best of Old Trends Making a Comeback

Classic furniture and decor will never go out of style. These are crafted from sturdy, fine materials like wood, stone, and metal, and have simple lines. If they do have details, they are elegant and not over-the-top. Auctions are a treasure chest for finding items like these, ones that will look good in any home. One of the reasons for this is that people tend to keep what’s timeless, and so an item is handed from person to person and lives a long life before eventually making its way onto an auction block.

However, trendy pieces are also hallmarks at an auction. Consider the mid-century modern trend, which finds its roots in the 1950s and 60s. New pieces are being manufactured and sold in modern stores that exactly mirror pieces from 60 years ago. Go to an auction, however, and one can find original mid-century modern furniture made in the era that birthed it.

Pair of Knoll Mies Van der Rohe Brown Leather Upholstered Barcelona Chairs

Pair of Knoll Mies Van der Rohe Brown Leather Upholstered Barcelona Chairs

Good Designers Respect the Past

No décor was created in a vacuum. All design springs from inspiration from other sources. Good interior designers are well aware of this fact and use it to their advantage. They have respect for original pieces from past eras that are in style again, and they understand how past trends can morph into something new.

Art Auctions are one of the best places to find where trends start, or where inspiration for new trends is born in the first place. This format specializes in the sale of the unique, the historic, the valuable, and the special. At auction, what is old and has potentially lost its value for one person transforms into something new and full of value for someone else. In this vein, good interior designers are able to see the potential in objects, art, furniture, and the like that perhaps have not made it back onto the trend radar. In these instances, a new trend might be in the wings.

13
Dec
16

Reasons Why Buying Antiques from Estate Liquidators is a Good Investment

Antiques, whether this includes furniture, art, paintings, or objects that once served a practical use but are now decorative, are a good investment. This is true for many reasons. Those who purchase antiques from auctions and estate liquidators will soon find out just how well they spent their money. These reasons have everything to do with history, longevity, quality, style, and stories.

Italian Neoclassical Marquetry Walnut Commode

Italian Neoclassical Marquetry Walnut Commode

The Value of Antiques for Modern Life

They Each Have a Story

Antiques have had a whole life before buyers swoop in to give them new ones. They probably had multiple owners; sat, hung, or were placed in multiple locations, homes, and rooms; and maybe even had multiple purposes beyond their intended uses. An antique chair could have been someone’s favorite reading spot 100 years ago, or where the head of a family sat for dinner every evening, 150 years ago. Sometimes the stories are known, and sometimes they aren’t, but in the latter cases, it’s satisfying to imagine what they are.

They Have History

Besides stories, antiques have a history. They were made in a different time, a different place, and a different era with manners, customs, etiquette, and ideas that are quite possibly long gone. Their history reveals what was important, worth noticing and remembering, to the people who made them and cherished them.

They’re Well-Made

Antiques have lasted throughout the years, sometimes hundreds of years, for a reason. They were probably crafted by hand with care and attention. This craftsmanship is a very good sign that they will last for a few hundred more years.

Granted, antiques require care. However, the fact that an object has stood the test of time in the first place is a good marker of its continued lasting quality. Better yet, even if an antique acquires a few scratches, marks, scuffs, or dings along the way during its long life, most antique enthusiasts will tell you that these are simply marks of character.

They’re Timeless

Some trends never go out of style. There’s a reason antiques look classic in any room and any situation. Their construction, lines, and design are timeless. They defy trends. These are wonderful pieces to add to a home’s décor for this reason. The investment is returned through the years of use the antique will provide, not to mention the enduring beauty it will afford. Some antiques, like wooden furniture, even get better with age as they acquire a patina.

Watson Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Three Piece Epergne

Watson Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Three Piece Epergne

Antiques from Estate Liquidators Have Enduring Value

While purchasing an antique piece is an investment, it is one that usually pays off. Antiques have the advantage of being well-made, which has helped them to last through multiple ownerships and all kinds of different uses. They also have a history as well as stories attached to them, which perhaps makes them more special than the run-of-the-mill items one might find at a big box store or furniture outlet. When one purchases an antique, they are truly buying quality as well as a piece of that history for themselves.

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07
Dec
16

5 Unique Items That Only Could Have Been Sold at Auction

Auctions regularly sell items that are unique, mysterious, intriguing, or just plain weird. The selling platform is perfect for these kinds of objects, as usually they were once part of someone’s collection or an eccentric’s estate. There is no other place in the world where items of both enduring value and unique provenance are bought and sold. Some examples of one-of-a-kind items sold at auction illustrate exactly why art auctioneers are the perfect place to find a gem with a story behind it.

Thirty Nine Bushnell Foto Co. Glass Negative Plates From The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Thirty Nine Bushnell Foto Co. Glass Negative Plates From The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

One-of-a-Kind Items Sold by Art Auctioneers

Winston Churchill’s Set of False Teeth

He was the British prime minister during World War II, and Winston Churchill remains revered for his leadership during that time. He is perhaps the most famous prime minister ever to hold office in Britain, as he led his country to contribute to an Allied victory. Unsurprisingly, his dentures went for a steep price tag when they were sold at auction in 2010. According to the Daily Mail, the set of upper false teeth sold for 15,200 pounds.

The Violin That Serenaded the Sinking Titanic

A famous piece of the legend of the sinking Titanic involves a violinist leading his fellow band members in a rendition of “Nearer My God to Thee” in order to calm the panicked passengers. That man’s name was Wallace Hartley, who eventually died when the ship sank. His violin went up for auction in 2013. According to BBC News, it sold in just 10 minutes for a grand total of 900,000 pounds.

A Stuffed Ostrich from 1785

Representative of the opulence of the famous courts of the 18th century, a giant taxidermy ostrich from Italy’s “Little Versailles,” circa 1785, sold at a Christie’s “Out of the Ordinary” auction in London for $33,150. According to Christie’s, the bird measured 82.5 inches high — equivalent to almost seven feet tall – and was enclosed in an elegant walnut case.

This sale, in particular, is a prime example of some of the weird and wonderful items that can be found when one purchases from art auctioneers. Some of the other items included in the sale were a Victorian Gothic coffin stand, a bronze death mask of Napoleon, and a taxidermy peacock.

An Andy Warhol Line Graph

Pop artist Andy Warhol is famous for his Campbell’s Soup cans and his Marilyn Monroe screen prints, but one of his lesser-known works is a line graph drawing that depicts the U.S. unemployment rate from 1980 to 1984. Whether or not it was meant to be art is a mystery, but it sold at auction nevertheless for $32,500.

A Partially-Fossilized Elephant Bird Egg

Now extinct, the elephant bird of Madagascar was the largest bird of all time. The species could reach heights of 10 feet and weigh as much as 880 pounds, according to ZME Science. The elephant bird died out in the 17th century due to excessive hunting. One of these bird’s massive eggs, measuring roughly 9 inches in diameter and over a foot long, was sold at auction in 2013.

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