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Dickens Toothpick
AP
The ivory and gold toothpick seen in this undated photo provided by Bonhams New York sold for $9,150 on December 15, 2009 in New York City. According to an authentication letter from his sister-in-law, Charles Dickens used the toothpick “when travelling and on his last visit to America.”
updated 12/16/2009 8:39:43 AM ET 2009-12-16T13:39:43

An ivory and gold toothpick once owned by Charles Dickens has sold at a New York City auction for $9,150.

It was being offered by heirs to the Barnes & Noble family and was up for sale Tuesday at Bonhams New York. The pre-sale estimate was $3,000 to $5,000. The auction house says the buyer did not want to be identified.

The toothpick is engraved with the author's initials and has a retracting mechanism.

An authentication letter from sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth says the British writer of “A Christmas Carol” and “Oliver Twist” used the toothpick "when travelling and on his last visit to America.”

Dickens died in 1870.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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