Victorian-era sex toy sells for €3,200 at Co Meath auction

Winning bidder for Anglo-Irish antique dildo believed to be private collector from US

A notable Victorian-era sex toy which belonged to an Anglo-Irish family sold at auction today for €3,200*, receiving more than 100 bids from nearly 40 different countries.

The winning bidder for the rare piece, sold by Matthews Auctioneers in Co Meath, is believed to be a wealthy private collector from the United States who outbid a Los Angeles erotica museum to take home the antique dildo.

The 19th century sex toy was put up for sale by a well-known Anglo-Irish family, auctioneer Damien Matthews outlined.

The piece was auctioned off today at just after 5.30pm, in Oldcastle.


Most interesting

Mr Matthews said the item was certainly one of the most interesting pieces he’s ever sold at auction in his career. “It was crazy, we had bids from museums, sex-shop owners, housewives, doctors - just mad,” he said.

News of the auction had been picked up by news sites in the UK, US and beyond, Mr Matthews detailed. There was even one bidder who had travelled from Chile to try to secure it.

"It is interesting in that it reveals practices from Victorian-era Ireland that we wouldn't have known about," he added.

The vast majority of bids came in around the €1,000 mark, and the guide price for the piece was €500-€800.

Four minutes

The bidding process lasted just around four minutes, with bids coming in from “everywhere”.

The auctioneer estimated the ivory used for the dildo dated to the 1840s, it would likely have been carved in China towards the end of the 19th century, and would have been a gift from husband to wife.

*It was reported in error earlier that the sale price was €320,000.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times