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The Reason why a Lemon Put on Auction for Fun Fetched a Hefty Bid of $1,800

The auctioneers put the lemon in the auction for fun, and estimated that it would fetch up to 60 pounds (US $76), but they were in for a pleasant surprise.
Cover Image Source: Auction | Pexels | Photo by Katrin Bolovtsova
Cover Image Source: Auction | Pexels | Photo by Katrin Bolovtsova

People can splurge on the most bizarre objects when it comes to bidding at auctions for rare or antique items. One of those is a 285-year-old lemon put on auction by Brettells Auctioneers & Valuers on January 16, 2024, which fetched a price of almost $1,800, per New York Post. The lemon dates back to 1739 and is supposed to have originated in India.

The auction house purchased a 19th-century cabinet from a family, considering it to be a valuable antique item that could attract a good price tag. When the cabinet was inspected, surprisingly a lemon was found in one of the drawers of the cabinet. The lemon had a carving on it that said, “Given By Mr. P Lu Franchini Nov 4 1739 to Miss E Baxter.” The lemon was intact but had turned deep brown due to the centuries of aging process. The auctioneers thought putting the lemon in the auction would be humorous, and at most, it could fetch up to $76. Auctioneer David Brettell was quoted, saying, “We thought we’d have a bit of fun and put [the lemon] in the auction with an estimate of £40-£60.” But, when the bidding process started, everyone was surprised to see the prices go up, and finally, the lemon was sold for $1780.

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Surprisingly, the cabinet in which the lemon was found, was sold at only $40. But the lemon turned out to be much more special than what auctioneers initially assumed it to be. The key reason was the fact that it had survived close to 3 centuries and was even harvested 4 years before Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America, was born. The lemon was harvested before the French and Indian War, and the American Revolution which started in 1775. Having a history that dates longer than these huge historic events added up to its value of in the eyes of those who like collecting historical artifacts. Also, the lemon was sourced from India and was given as a romantic gift. That makes the fruit a special of its kind as it traveled from East to West, crossing the seas and withstanding the passage of time. 

Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Reyhan
Auction | Pexels | Photo by Reyhan

Winston Churchill’s denture

Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of the UK, used to wear false dentures when he had to speak or eat. The family of the dentist that made the denture for him, decided to put the dentures for auction. It was finally sold off for over $23,000.

French toast eaten by Timberlake

Justin Timberlake, the celebrated US singer and actor, was invited to a radio show, where he was served with a French toast. Timberlake couldn’t finish the toast and left it. The radio agency put the partially eaten toast on auction on eBay and secured around $3,000 for it.

Gum chewed by Britney Spears

In 2004, chewing gum was found on the stage of Britney Spears' music concert, and since Brintney is known to be a fan of chewing gums, it was assumed that she had chewed and spitted it. The chewed gum was put on auction on eBay and fetched a whopping $14,000.

A 200-year-old condom

The auction for a rare 200-year-old condom that was made from the intestine of a sheep was put on auction on Catawiki. The condom was sold for $579.46, making it one of the most expensive condoms ever sold.