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This time of year is what the media call the Silly Season, traditionally a period when news is thin on the ground and reporters will file copy on bizarre tales that wouldn’t normally make it into print. They do this because many newspapers and news websites are working on skeleton staff during the holidays and are under more pressure to fill the space available. It’s an ideal time to look out for articles on the weird and wonderful things that have sold at auction.

I recently trawled through the archives with this in mind and here are a few of things I came up with:

  • William Shatner’s kidney stone. That’s right, 11 years ago the Starship Enterprise’s former Captain Kirk raised $25,000 for charity with this tasteless offering.
  • A grandmother. Ten-year-old Zoe Pemberton put her grandma, Marion Goodall, up for auction on eBay in 2010. The site shut the sale down when the price reached £20,000.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin. After JFK’s assassin was exhumed in 1981 to check that a body double had not be been buried in his place, he was reburied in a new coffin. The original one fetched nearly $90,000.
  • New Zealand. In 2006 an Australian man set a starting pricing of one Australian cent for the country. eBay also closed down this sale… when bidding reached Aus$3000.