A BIZARRE auction has fetched almost £300,000 selling whacky items from around the world including a 1.67metre-long sperm whale penis and a stuffed polar bear.
The Out of The Ordinary auction had buyers warming to the ‘unusual and downright strange’ and raised £284,440.
The sale at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, curated by Mark Wilkinson, flogged the 19th century horsehair-stuffed sperm whale penis (above) for £4,600 to an anonymous buyer.
Another private buyer splashed out £13,000 on a cave bear skeleton — the Ice Age mammal that died out some 27,000 years ago — and £20,000 on a 20th century cousin, an 8ft polar bear (both pictured).
A display case with two stuffed squirrels preparing lunch (below) and the wing tips from a Cathay Pacific 747 jet were also up for grabs.
According to Sworders, taxidermy ‘has undergone a collecting renaissance in the past decade’.
A spokesman said: ‘Taxidermy eccentricities are a particularly buoyant niche. It appeals to both collectors and to interior designers looking to make bold interior statements.’
The auction also featured a jumpsuit, helmet, gloves and trainers worn by pop legend Michael Jackson on his 1992-93 Dangerous World Tour, which sold to a buyer from Japan for £16,000.
Sworders added: ‘During his performance, the prince of pop had appeared on stage in this costume with a jetpack attached to his back before proceeding to fly out of the arena.’