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Record-breaking Huia feather sale

Extinct New Zealand Bird Feather Sells for Record $46,521 NZD

 

World's most expensive feather sells at New Zealand auction | CNN

A feather from the long-extinct huia bird has set a new record by selling for $46,521 NZD (approximately $28,400 USD), according to Webb’s Auction House. The huia, last seen in the early 20th century, previously had feathers sold for up to $8,400 NZD ($5,100 USD). Expected to fetch up to $3,000 NZD ($1,830 USD), the feather’s final sale price on Monday far exceeded estimates, becoming the world’s most expensive feather ever sold.

More valuable than gold: New Zealand feather becomes most expensive in the world | New Zealand | The Guardian

Leah Morris, head of decorative arts at the Auckland-based auction house, highlighted the feather’s significance as a piece of New Zealand’s natural history and a reminder of the ecosystem’s fragility.

The huia, a member of the wattle-bird family, was highly valued by Maori for its distinctive white-tipped feathers, symbolizing high status and used in ceremonial attire. European New Zealanders also prized the feathers for fashion and home decoration, leading to extensive hunting and the species’ eventual extinction.

A Maori chief wears a huia feather in his hair

The bird’s popularity surged when the Duke and Duchess of York were seen wearing huia feathers in 1901, leading to increased demand. Despite conservation efforts in the early 1900s, commercial interests in dead specimens proved more profitable, sealing the huia’s fate.

A rare feather just sold for $28,000, making it worth 40 times as much as gold by weight | Business Insider India

Prospective buyers of the feather had to secure a permit from New Zealand’s Ministry for Culture and Heritage, ensuring the feather remains within the country. This sale follows the auction of a Victorian pair of taxidermied huia for $457,704 NZD ($280,000 USD) in the UK last year.

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