The Journey of TAD (The American Dragon)

Journey TAD

On a beautiful autumn day, in a hotel deep in the English countryside, I was getting ready for an evening event with friends when my phone rang.  It was the celebrated Hong Kong jewellery designer and indominable businesswoman and philanthropist Michelle Ong.  It was a terrible line given my rural location.  As I leaned as far out of the bedroom window as possible to try and hear what was being said, I responded laughing: “Er, Michelle, I thought I heard you say you want to borrow a T Rex”.  “I do” came the reply.  “So, a model of a T Rex?”.  “No, an actual one of course”.

Thus, the journey of TAD began.  Michelle is the CEO of Hong Kong’s First Initiative Foundation.  FIF supports and organises charitable initiatives around the world to benefit arts and education in Hong Kong.  Michelle had chosen to stage the premiere of the new Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdon film by organising an exhibition called Meet the T Rex.  And the centrepiece was to be our very own TAD.

The next call was to an old friend and colleague Alan Hart, former Head of Mineralogy and Palaeontology at the Natural History Museum, now CEO of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.  “Hi Al, Michelle wants a T Rex! Help”.  Of course Alan knew exactly who to contact.

The loan negotiations for TAD began in earnest in December.  The private collector who owns the fossil was willing to lend thanks to the negotiations of Christoph Keilmann, Managing Director of the Munich Gem and Mineral Show and Higher Vision GmbH.  Christoph, a gem and dinosaur expert, would oversee the project and manage the installation of our rare creature.

Malca-Amit Fine Art was delighted to support the project.  As a global secure shipping and storage company, we were perfectly placed to provide the specialised services required to transport TAD from her home in Northern Europe to her temporary abode in Hong Kong.  With our own in-house insurance broker, we could also offer full liability and insurance for the transport and display.  Two thousand kilograms of fossilised bones packed into 7 bespoke crates were flown to Hong Kong to be stored in Malca-Amit’s museum-standard fine art facility before transferring to the IFC Mall late at night where installation would begin.

Chris, and his esteemed colleague Nils Knötschke, Scientific Director of the Dino-Park Münchehagen, supported by 8 assistants, installed TAD in the atrium of the prestigious IFC Mall, in a mere four and a half hours, over one night.  That involved 12 metres of dinosaur bones, to be mounted on metal supports, lighting, showcase installation of a dinosaur thigh bone and tooth for handling by the public.

In collaboration with the IFC, Universal Studios, Higher Vision, Gem-A and Malca-Amit, Michelle and the FIF were to unveil the TAD – THE FIRST TIME THE WORLD HAD THE CHANCE TO MEET OUR T REX!

Facts about TAD:

  • TAD was found in Hardy County, Northwestern South Dakota, USA
  • TAD is a one of a kind fossil and is among the most complete T-Rex specimens existing on this planet. Over all Tad’s original bone material is around 30%
  • The discovery of TAD was in 2007.  The excavation took another 3 years.
  • TAD was prepped and mounted in 2010-2014
  • TAD has never been on public display before.