The Most Expensive Feather In The World
A Very Costly Feather
In June 2010 a single feather was sold at an auction house in New Zealand for £3,800. The feather originated from the extinct Huia bird, last seen in the wild in 1907. There have been a number of unsubstantiated reports of sightings since that time. One of the most recent was in the 1960s.
Although long prized in Maori culture they never actually placed a monetary on what was to them a traditional token. In 1902 however a Rotorua chief presented a feather to the Duke of York when he visited New Zealand. On his return to the UK he wore the feather in his cap. This immediately caused a huge demand for the feathers. Costing about £1 at the time the price rocketed and hastened the bird towards extinction.
Both the seller and the buyer at this most exciting of auction sale declined to be identified. It is believed to have passed from one private collection and into another. The chances of another feather coming up for auction again in the near future are pretty remote.
The Huia Heteralocha acutirostris was the largest of the family of New Zealand Wattlebirds and was found only in the North Island of New Zealand.
The Feathers of the Huia Bird were normally worn by Maori people of high rank. They were worn singly or in pairs. The feathers were sometimes placed on the dead and were traded too. They were much sought after and were considered lucky. The bird was in no way threatened however until an interest was shown it and its feathers in the West.
The name 'Huia' is much used in North Island New Zealand today.
A pair of Huia
Huia Feather Wine Label
Huia, The Place
Te Waka Huia
Maori Chieftain with Huia Feathers in His Hair
Huia feather sells for $8k
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