10 of the strangest lots at Christie's Out of the Ordinary sale


10.  Early vibrator

This early vibrator was patented by a Dr Boyd in 1893-1895


Euphemistically described as an "electronic instrument for medical purposes", this early vibrator made from celluloid and metal was produced in 1898.

The device was patented in 1893-1895, with this example marked number 47. It was (genuinely) invented to save physicians from the repetitive strain injuries they developed while treating "female hysteria".

As Christie's put it: "This stimulation with vibratory devices for the treatment of female hysteria was a common and lucrative part of many doctors' office practices."

It can be yours for around £1,000-1,500 ($1,678-2,517).


9. Abercrombie and Fitch bootlegger's case

A&F prohibition
The prohibition era saw the rise of organised crime in America


This case by Abercrombie and Fitch was made during the 1920s, the era of prohibition. It includes two stamped, silver-plated flasks - allowing the carrier to discreetly lug their whisky around.

It could make £1,500-2,500 ($2,517-4,195).


8. Energizer bunny

energizer bunny
The Energizer bunny was the star of a hugely popular advertising campaign in the US


The Energizer bunny was the star of a long-running US campaign, which first appeared on TV in 1989. It ran for the next 20 years and featured in over 100 different adverts.

The character was conceived as a parody of the Duracell bunny (which was first used in 1973) after the company failed to renew their US copyright.  

As in the UK, the term "Energizer bunny" entered the popular parlance as a byword for endurance and tenacity. US president George Bush senior would compare himself to the character in his 1992 election campaign.  

This mechanism, one of the examples used onscreen, is valued at £1,500-2,000 ($2,517-3,356).


7. "Zebracorns"

The 'Zebracorns' are adorned with horns made from simulated narwhale tusk


Gaffes (fantastical creatures made by combining other animals) have proved themselves popular in recent years as taxidermy hit the mainstream.

These examples consist of a pair of stuffed zebra heads mounted with horns and are likely to prove popular, hence an estimate of £3,000-5,000 ($5,034-8,390).

Last year a similar set of "unicorn" heads sold for £35,000 ($58,310) at Christie's London.


6. Giant Japanese spider crab taxidermy

Spider crab
Spider crab is considered a delicacy in Japan


While the appeal of giant Japanese spider crab taxidermy may not immediately be obvious to everyone, the fact that it stands at just over a metre and a half across probably goes some way towards explaining its nebulous draw.

Terrifyingly, this is actually a miniscule example. Fully-grown adults have been known to reach nine feet across.

It could be yours for £5,000-8,000 ($8,390-13,424).


5. Paul McCartney's front door

Beatles door
The door is from Paul McCartney's childhood home


This will be the second time that the front door of Paul McCartney's childhood home has come up for auction, having sold for £5,060 ($7,780) at Dominic Winter Auctions last year.

This time round it carries an estimate of £6,000-8,000 ($10,068-13,424).

The lot was salvaged from a skip during renovations on the former Beatle's home in Allerton, Liverpool in 1964.


4. Giant Mont Blanc fountain pen

Mont Blanc
The fountain pen is constructed from wood and glass


What do you buy the man who has everything?

A three-metre tall model of a Mont Blanc fountain pen made from wood and brass may be the answer.

It was built at some time in the mid to late 1900s, possibly as an advertising display, and is expected to make £8,000-12,000 ($13,424-20,136).


3. Mata Hari pinball machine

Mata Hari
The Bally Mata Hari electro-mechanical pinball machine is one of the rarest in the world


The Bally Mata Hari pinball machine is among the rarest electro-mechanical games ever made, with only 170 ever created - although solid-state versions were produced in larger numbers.

The example offered features the Waffen SS motto, Meine Ehre heist Treue (My Honour is Loyalty) on Hari's knife. The dancer/spy died in 1917, a good 22 years before the start of the second world war.

It's expected to make £12,000-15,000 ($20,136-25,170).


2. Crystal encrusted dog skeleton

crystal dog
The dog skeleton is encrusted with around 60,000 crystals


This dog skeleton is studded with around 60,000 Swarovski crystals (each applied by hand) and took around nine months to complete.

It was created by a mysterious artist who works under the name Moogstones and has previously given the same treatment to an AK47.

It's expected to auction for £20,000-30,000 ($33,560-50,340).


1. Oak capture chair

oak capture
The Oak capture chair dates to around 1900


This Elizabethan style oak capture chair, produced in the early 20th century, features an array of elaborate carvings and the legend "Welcome to my friends" emblazoned below the seat.

When weight is applied, a set of iron bars shoots out, trapping the sitter. There is next to no information on its origins, which are sure to be nefarious.

It's valued at £25,000-35,000 ($41,950-58,730).

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