The weird and wonderful memorabilia sold at auction

Image caption A set of three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe's chest was auctioned in June

False teeth belonging to Sir Winston Churchill have sold for £15,200 at an auction in Norfolk.

But they are not the only strange items to have gone under the hammer.

From false teeth and half-smoked cigars to a cat's ashes and celebrity chest X-rays, fans are prepared to pay high prices to get their hands on memorabilia - no matter how weird.

One of the strangest lots to go under the hammer recently was the ashes of Frisky, the Coronation Street cat, which had appeared in the starting sequence of more than 1,000 episodes of the soap.

The wooden casket carrying the cat's remains fetched £844 at an auction in Gloucestershire on 22 July after furious bidding by fans of the soap.

The lot, auctioned by Dominic Winter Book Auctions, also included a cremation certificate and postcards of Frisky with other Coronation Street stars.

The auction house is no stranger to selling unusual items.

Other weird lots have included a tooth believed to have belonged to Napoleon, a handkerchief purportedly dipped in the blood of Charles I after his beheading in 1649 and moustache hair belonging to Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

"Odd things are always coming through the door, often as part of a larger collection," said auctioneer and valuer Chris Albury, from Dominic Winter.

"But we would only put something up for sale if we believe the story. We have rejected a lot of Napoleon hair."

In 2003, a scrap of wallpaper from the bedroom Napoleon slept in while imprisoned by the British was sold for £1,250 by Mullock's in Shropshire.

Image caption Tools put up for auction were said to have been used in Elvis Presley's post-mortem examination

The auction house, which sells a lot of Hitler and Nazi memorabilia, has also sold a piece of Napoleon's coffin and a microphone used by Churchill.

Richard Westwood-Brookes, historical documents expert at Mullock's, said historical figures such as Hitler, Churchill and Napoleon had huge followings.

"When you get absolutely obsessed with certain people in history you start collecting memorabilia to do with them," he said.

"You get the standard sort of stuff like letters written by them, paintings, newspapers relating to them, but eventually as your collection starts to grow you start looking for the exotic."

He said verifying the veracity of some items was difficult.

"With this sort of stuff you either go with belief or you don't," Mr Westwood-Brookes said. "Often it's a situation where people want to believe it, just as we like to believe legends."

It is not just historical figures that draw strange items on to the auction market - celebrity memorabilia can be equally weird.

Instruments said to have been used during Elvis Presley's post-mortem examination and embalming in 1977 were due to be auctioned next month.

Image caption The box carrying the remains of Frisky the Coronation Street cat fetched £844

But the tools, which included rubber gloves and a toe tag, were withdrawn from the sale following concerns about their authenticity.

It was feared they may have been sterilized and used again.

In June, a set of three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe's chest fetched $45,000 (£28,775) at an auction in Las Vegas.

They were taken during a hospital visit in 1954 and had been expected to sell for $3,000 (£1,918).

Other strange items to be auctioned include a paddling pool, a garden spade and a bag of seeds.

They were part of a collection of hundreds of belongings left on the Tyne and Wear Metro system which went under the hammer at South Shields Market Place in 2007.

A false leg and a kitchen sink were auctioned in similar sales in previous years.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites