Brit Museum forced to auction exhibits including Queen Victoria’s knickers

The Daily Star’s FREE newsletter is spectacular! Sign up today for the best stories straight to your inbox

A museum of oddities is being forced to sell off some unusual items due to the impact of the pandemic with a dodo bone, a unicorn skull, and even Queen Victoria's knickers on sale to the highest bidder.

Artist, writer, and collector Viktor Wynd is selling the selection of strange pieces to keep his Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History afloat.

His museum in Hackney, east London, has been open for 12 years but lockdown restrictions curbed the flow of visitors.

Among the 442 lots going up for auction are a bizarre list of items including Victoria's underwear, a taxidermy winged kittens, and a two-and-a-half foot leg bone from a woolly mammoth described as an "Irish giant".

Around 80 of the lots are from Wynd's own collection.

For an estimated £3,000 to £5,000 a dodo bone can be bought in the sale, along with a 19-century electric shock therapy machine, an aquatic dinosaur fossil, 12 hippo tusks and teeth, a Fiji "mermaid", a fiber-glass model of T Rex head, a taxidermy polar bear head and a rare unicorn skull.

Wynd said: "In the last year we haven't been able to trade so our finances are disastrous. We rely on foreign tourists and people from out of town.

"When we do open, will people want to visit an underground cramped museum?

"It's utterly heartbreaking, I would never dream of selling so many of my greatest treasures, but we have no other way of surviving.

"We are getting ready to re-open in May so we are selling these items to make sure we are able to carry on."

Still, Wynd is not selling up completely, and not on the market are some McDonald's Happy Meal Toys, old master etchings, and other taxidermied creatures.

"I'm a collector, it's what I do, I've been doing it for years. My whole life I have travelled all over the world, gone to auctions, found things in skips. I look for some things, but sometimes they find me," said Wynd.

"I started collecting pebbles when I was a baby, I've been collecting since I was a child. The museum is a work of art in itself. It's full of things that I love and give me great pleasure."

Wynd said his favourite pieces include the dodo bird bone as it is so rare.

"The rarest piece is the dodo bird. There's only about six or seven in the whole world. It's the most iconic example of the damage that humans can do to the environment," he said.

"Just looking at some of the collection of features of extinct birds makes a chill run down the back of my neck because birds like the Eskimo curlew at one time was one of the most populous birds on the planet – and now it's gone."

Called "From the Curious to the Extraordinary", the auction will be held by Chiswick Auctions in west London on May 6.

  • In the News

Source: Read Full Article