A tooth belonging to former Beatle John Lennon, described as 'gruesome, yellowy-brown, with a cavity,' was purchased by a Canadian dentist for a record £19,500 (US $31,000) at an auction Saturday in the U.K.
The tooth, which had an estimated value of $15,000 to $30,000, was sold by Omega Auctions to Alberta-based doctor Michael Zuk, who purchased the molar Lennon reportedly gave to a woman who was his housekeeper at the time, Dot Jarlett, reports CNN.
Jarlett's son Barry said the legendary musician gave the tooth to his mother, who worked for Lennon in the early 1960s, after returning from the dentist. He said, "Lennon suggested giving it to my sister as a souvenir, as she was a huge Beatles fan. It has been in the family ever since."
Michael Zuk, "who has written a book on celebrities' teeth," told the BBC, "Once I heard it was up for sale I had to have it." He plans to display the tooth at his dental practice. "Some people will think its gross, others will be fascinated by it."
Omega Auction House
A molar belonging to John Lennon.
Karen Fairweather, the owner of Omega Auction House, described the tooth as "gruesome, yellowy, browny, with a cavity." She told CNN that "the tooth is too fragile for DNA testing but she has no doubt about its authenticity. Because it's coming directly from Dot, we don't doubt the provenance of the item."
The sale of Lennon's tooth comes just over a week before an auction of a letter signed by Beatle Paul McCartney offering a drummer an audition with the band. The letter will be sold by Christie's on Nov. 15 and is expected to bring $11,000.