Matthews Auctioneers in County Meath, Ireland sold a Victorian-era sex toy carved from a piece of ivory over the weekend.
The piece realised $4,126, substantially higher than its $868 high estimate.
The lot is presented in a handmade wooden box
Auctioneer Damian Matthews explained to the Irish Times: “It is a beautiful piece, which comes from one of the well-known Anglo-Irish families.
“A family member found it in a drawer, and he put it in the auction for fun really. We believe the ivory dates back to the 1840s.”
The highly unusual lot is made from an Indian elephant tusk. It was commissioned by a wealthy aristocrat for his wife.
The carving was likely carried out in China, then home to some of the world's most talented ivory workers.
Matthews explained: “The Chinese were famous for carving ivory, and the quality of carving is so good, I think that is where he would ... have had it done…
“This was a very enlightened family, and this would have been a very loving gift from a husband to wife.
“You can see that because the level of detail is incredible, down to the folds of the skin.
“There’s a heart carved at the base of it, where her finger would have been, and a receptacle in which she could keep a lock of his hair.”
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