The 5 weirdest auction lots of 2013

We write hundreds of articles on a huge range of items here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, but now and then pieces come up for auction that are so strange, macabre or downright bizarre that they stand out.

Let's take a look at five of the most bizarre auction lots of 2013, in ascending order of weirdness…

5. Jackie Howe's personalised shears

Unless you live in Australia it's unlikely that you'll have any idea who Jackie Howe is, but for our friends in the Antipodes he is a bona fide folk hero.

Howe was a sheep shearer from Queensland who was extraordinarily good at his job.

In 1892 he sheared 321 sheep in just seven hours and 40 minutes using a pair of early electric shears, a record that remained unbroken until 1950 and the development of modern shears.

Wolseley Jackie Howe shears
Howe has been immortalised in a statue in the town of Blackall, Queensland

His single week record was set at 1,437 sheep in 44 hours and 30 minutes - a figure that remains unbroken even today, over 120 years later.

The hand piece was presented to Howe in 1893 by the Wolsely Company and is inscribed with his name. It was purchased by the National Museum of Australia for $46,360 at Sotheby's in Melbourne in October.

4. Louis XVI bloody cloth

Louis XVI was not the most popular monarch and presided over a France that was deeply in debt and marred by civil unrest.

In 1774 he ascended to the throne, but 15 years later he was ascending the stairs to the guillotine after the storming of the Bastille.

Louis XVI blood auction
Louis XVI was executed in the early days of the French revolution

So what's weird about this cloth?

Well, not only was it dipped in the king's blood following the execution, it's also housed in a miniature coffin that features the inscription "The precious blood of Louis XVI, 21 January 1793", along with a bag of sand reportedly taken from the ground where his body fell.

It sold for $24,400 at Coutau-Begarie in Paris in April.

3. Mammoth-hunting weapon

The Rutz-Clovis point is one of the oldest tools ever uncovered, potentially dating back as far as 10,000 BC, and was probably used to hunt mammoth.

Rutz Clovis point Morphy
The Rutz Clovis point is one of the most significant pre-historic artefacts ever discovered

At over nine inches long it's the largest Clovis point, or spearhead, ever discovered and is carved from a rare green obsidian - making it one of the most desirable pre-historic artefacts on the planet.

It was discovered in a field near Washington state in the late 1950s and sold for the first time in November of this year, for a hugely impressive $276,000.

2. Hermann Goering's cigars

A collection of cigars stamped "Specially made for Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering" and taken from the Nazi official's home in Brandenburg sold at a UK auction in August.

Hermann Goering cigar auction
Goering was known to dress in costume and change his clothes up to five times a day

Following the war, Goering was tried at the Hague and sentenced to hang - but managed to smuggle in cyanide which he took the night before his execution.

The cigars were stamped with his personal coat of arms and remain in original condition. They sold for £1,300 ($2,035) at an auction house in the UK.

1. Fijian cannibals' cutlery

In at number one in the weirdest auction lots of 2013 we present a set of cutlery used by a tribe of Fijian cannibals.

Fijian cannibals' cutlery auctions with a 1,740% increase
The forks were offered from the personal collection of a British-based collector of tribal art and medieval weapons

The ceremonial forks were made in the 19th century, and would have been used by lower level members of the tribe to feed human flesh to their seniors.

Fiji had a terrifying reputation among Westerners at the time, due to the ferociousness of the local customs -  with sailors referring to the archipelago as the "Cannibal Isles".

The extraordinarily macabre lot sold for £29,440 ($47,353) in the UK in January of this year.

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