Collectors bid £60,000 for Philip Larkin tribute 'Toad' sculptures

At first glance, they look more like something out of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine than a tribute to one of the great English poets of the latter half of the 20th century.

But the psychedelic-looking toads that have been turning heads in the UK's East Midlands city of Hull over the past couple of months were actually a tribute to Philip Larkin.

Larkin (1922-1985) was originally born in Coventry and later adopted Hull as his hometown after moving there to work as a librarian.

His works included Toads and Toads Revisited, to which over 40 toad sculptures dotted around Hull were placed as a tribute marking the 25th anniversary of Larkin's death.

Some of the toads which appeared around the city of Hull

After 10 weeks on display in the city, private bidders jumped at the chance to own the toads when they went to auction over the weekend.

According to the sale's organisers, Larkin With Toads, bids for the one-metre high toads ranged from £1,250 to £3,600. Overall, most of the toads sold for an incredible £60,000.

While the majority of them have been sold to private collectors (and are due to be shipped to the lucky winning bidders) a few of the unique sculptures will reportedly remain on public view.

The sale was held on Saturday September 25, with profits reportedly going to the Lord Mayor's charities, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and arts funds.



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Images: Larkin With Toads

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