It’s not that long ago that I wrote about some of the stranger items that come up for auction. They tend to be treated like religious relics, things that are not necessarily attractive or valuable in themselves, but take on huge significance because of whom they once belonged to.
Another of the more bizarre examples has just surfaced: Edward VIII’s wisdom tooth. Described as “stained” – presumably as result of his smoking habit – the tooth was removed in 1940, four years after the king abdicated and went into exile as the Duke of Windsor. Kept by the dentist’s family, it is now expected to fetch £10,000 at auction.
Who would want such a thing? You’d be surprised; wealthy and ultra-keen royal watchers, for instance, are just the sort to have something like this mounted and put in a glass paperweight.
Never underestimate the attraction of items that many of us would find bizarre and off-putting as collectables: anything Elvis, for instance, from his hair to his nail clippings, can find an audience. Unlike other collectables, the only thing that makes them valuable and desirable is their association with an historic figure. On every other count, from condition to aesthetic appeal, they score zero on the appeal scale, but that doesn’t matter to the aficionado of such things.