York & North Yorkshire

'Rare' complete giant clam fossil fails to sell at auction

Fossilised clam shell Image copyright Tennants Auctioneers
Image caption The shells are highly prized by interior decorators

A large fossilised clam shell, believed to have been formed 180,000 years ago, has failed to sell at auction.

The 110cm (3.5ft)-wide shell, found in Kenya in 2017, is considered unusual as both sides are still attached.

They are prized by interior designers, who often convert them into luxury sinks or other decorative items.

At Tennants Auctioneers, in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, the clam was given an estimate of £7,000-£9,000 but failed to meet its reserve price.

Image copyright Tennants Auctioneers
Image caption The shell was found intact in a mine in Kenya in 2017

According to Harriet Hunter Smart, from Tennants, the clams are often found by miners excavating limestone for the building industry, with this clam found using ground penetrating radar.

She said: "It is very rare to find a clam with both sides of the shell still attached, and at 110cm across, it is certainly an impressive specimen."

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